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Blaming Interior Ministry

By Tea Mariamidze
Thursday, March 23
Georgia’s opposition party, the United National Movement (UNM), claims that the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) plants drugs on people.

The UNM raised the allegations after Ana Margvelashvili, the daughter of the President of Georgia, told Rustavi 2 TV that the MIA had planted drugs on her friend Mikheil Tatarashvili, and that he had been illegally detained.

Ana Margvelashvili also stated that some of her other friends were also threatened by the police, and were frightened they would be arrested if they did not leave the country.

“I think it is clear that the children, relatives or friends of the people with different opinions are being persecuted in our country,” the President’s daughter said.

UNM MP Nika Melia says that the statement of the President’s daughter is “alarming”. He believes the whole of society should unite against the current drug policy.

“The Interior Ministry is carrying out a campaign of planting drugs and weapons…When the members of the President’s family speak about this, it is deeply alarming. I believe in our society, and the consolidation of their opinions will stop this,” he stated.

Members of the parliamentary minority party, Movement for Freedom – European Georgia, have the same opinion. They also spoke about the pressure placed on the President.

“This is extremely shameful…if the President’s family members are not protected in society...can you imagine how unsafe the ordinary citizens might feel?” Sergo Ratiani, a member of the European Georgia party, said.

The members of the Alliance of Patriots party believe that an investigation should be launched after the statements of Ana Margvelashvili.

The ruling Georgian Dream (GD) faction rejects the allegations, and says the fight against drugs should continue without any compromises.

“This is a PR campaign. The fight against drugs should continue without any compromises, as it was before…each statement made by the members of the President’s family should be carefully considered, which is why we should wait for the investigation,” Archil Talakvadze, a GD member, stated.

The President’s daughter also participated in a protest rally against the drug policies held at the Interior Ministry on Wednesday afternoon.

“I am protesting against the existing drug policy of planting drugs, and I stand by the side of my friend, who had illegally been detained,” Ana Margvelashvili stated.

The President’s son-in-law, Mindia Gogochuri, whose house and car were once searched by the police last year, also spoke about pressure from law enforcers.

“For the last three months I and my friends have been receiving warnings that if we did not leave the country, they would plant drugs or weapons on us…we were even afraid to go out,” Gogochuri stressed.

According to the opinion of one of the political analysts being a member of President’s family is not a privilege but rather it is responsibility. Everybody should be equal against the law. Of course, planting of drugs is ill practice. Unfortunately, if there are some cases of such conduct, it should be mentioned that it was often exploited by the previous Georgian leadership, this is heavy heritage and this should be uprooted.