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Machalikashvili Announces Rallies after Easter

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, April 4
(TBILISI)--Malkhaz Machalikashvili, father of a late terrorism suspect Temirlan Machalikashvili, has announced that the people from Georgia’s Muslim-populated Pankisi Gorge, as well as “others from Europe,” will hold rallies in Tbilisi after the Easter holiday, to demand the resignation of top security officials, who claimed the life of his innocent son.

"I know what Easter means to the Orthodox world, so I will wait for the completion of this period and then we will start rallies. Our demands have not been changed. We are seeking justice and establishment of the truth,” Machalikashvili said.

He stated that the current head of the State Security Service Vakhtang Gomelauri and his “gang” must quit posts and face tough punishments for the anti-terrorist operation they conducted in Panksii on December 26, 2017, when Temirlan Machalikashvili was shot in head and died in two weeks.

“Our fellow citizens are going to join us from different countries. I will visit European countries and together with our Diaspora representatives, we will protest against injustice. I will prove my truth together with the people,” Machalikashvili stated.

Machalikashvili announced the rallies about two months ago. However, he postponed the protests due to the death of a Georgian hero Archil Tatunashvili, who was tortured and killed by Russia-controlled people in occupied Tskhinvali region on February 23.

Machalikashvili stated then he knew what was the sorrow caused by the death of son and said rallies would not take place until Tatunashvili’s body was returned to his family and buried, which took place after about a month from death, at the end of March.

Temirlan Machalikashvili died on January 10, 2018 from the severe head injury he received during the December raid.

The Pankisi raid came after the large-scale anti-terrorist operation in Tbilisi on November 21-22, which saw Islamic State terrorist Ahmed Chatayev and his two accomplices killed and one detained.

Georgia’s State Security Service claims Chatayev and his group planned attacks on diplomats in Turkey and Georgia.

The December raid in Pankisi aimed at detaining the people who supported Chatayev to come to Georgia, buy weapons and find an accommodation, security officials stated.

During the Pankisi raid Machalikashvili was wounded and four others were detained for alleged support for terrorism, envisaging 17-20 years in prison or life imprisonment.

The Machalikashvili family is sure Temirlan was killed mistakenly and intend to appeal the European Court of Human Rights.