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Rustavi City Council Chair apologizes for obscene and sexist comment on journalist

By Tea Mariamidze
Tuesday, July 16
Rustavi City Council (Sakrebulo) Chairman Levan Oniani apologized to Inga Grigolia, a journalist of TV Pirveli, for an obscene and sexist comments made on her on Facebook.

The comment was made by Oniani a few days ago after Grigolia had an interview with the Minister of Interior Affairs Giorgi Gakharia. In the comments below the Facebook post about the interview, Rustavi City Council Chairman wrote: “Inga is complaining about the contactless rape.”

This comment was followed by a lot of criticism towards Oniani, who at first said that his comment did not refer to Grigolia. However, later he wrote a public apology on his Facebook page.

Oniani writes in his Facebook post that “as a man, he does not see anything humiliating to apologize to a woman.”

“We must take care of the dignity of each member of our society, and I cannot allow new conflicts for my reason. Although my friendly joke did not upset at all the addressee [Grigolia], first of all, I would like to apologize to her for the inconvenience created,” the post reads.

Ruling Georgian Dream (GD) member also apologized to his wife, who is expecting a baby, and to his party, for “affecting the image” of GD.

“I hope that our children will live in a country where people do not confront each other, where friendly messages are not subject to political speculation and everyone knows their function and place,” the politician writes.

Women’s Movement did not accept Oniani’s apology towards Grigolia and called on the GD to expel him from the party.

“We are concerned that sexist, violent and discriminatory attitudes that have been repeatedly revealed by various officials of the ruling party Georgian Dream. Unfortunately, such actions have never been followed by a proper reaction by the party and these people have not been imposed any political responsibility,” the movement says.

The movement calls on Rustavi City Council to sack the chairperson of Sakrebulo from the post and on the Georgian Dream to exclude Oniani from the party.

To note, GD member and Chairwoman of Human Rights Committee of the Parliament Sopo Kiladze, also slammed Oniani for his comment towards Grigolia.

“Such statements against women are shameful, especially in the traditional culture of Georgia where women are respected very much. It is doubly shameful when a political party representative makes such a comment. No one should get away with the humiliation of women!” Kiladze noted under the same post on which Oniani commented earlier.