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David Katsarava to be interrogated on the case of stirring up ethnical strife

By Khatia Bzhalava
Thursday, June 4
David Katsarava, the President of the Georgian National Canoe Federation and the leader of the anti-occupation movement is being interrogated on the case of stirring up ethnical strife with the status of a witness by the State Security Service of Georgia. On May 30th, it was officially announced that the security department of State Security Service of Georgia(SSSG) launched an investigation under the article of racial discrimination.

A significant part of Davit Gareja monastery complex’s territory(covers 2,5 kilometers), which once fully belonged to Georgia, is now located on the border(450km) of Azerbaijan and Georgia. David Katsarava and his fellow members of the anti-occupation movement often go near the border and protest against Azerbaijan’s side as well as the Georgian government.

According to the State Security Service of Georgia, there are groups and individuals who are trying to arouse contention between ethnic Georgians and Azerbaijans in the regions of Kvemo Kartli and Kakheti. As the authority states, these individuals mention such accumulated issues in negative contexts, incorrect interpretation of which might cause dispute between ethical Azerbaijans and Georgians in the areas where ethnical minorities are tightly settled. particularly these people invade in the matters of SSG’s competence and endeavor to use the issues occurred in Kakheti and Shida Kartli to stir up national hostility’

Katsarava claims that there are no signs of racial discrimination in their activities and they have not created the background of radical proclamations.

“I was the first one summoned to be interrogated in the case of stirring up ethical discord. The subject of Davit Gareja is freshly fabricated by the SSSG in order to stop the anti-occupational movement `the power is in unity’, which has been patrolling the occupation line for three years now and has been active about Davit Gareja. They hide from us the number of kidnapped people, as well as the activities of Russia, and all this is a result of ‘The politics of not teasing Russia’ conducted by the Georgian government, ” said Katsarava.

On the 20th of August, 2019, the Leader of the anti-occupation movement Davit Katsarava was charged with violence as he had had a clash at the occupation line with the local villagers, who accused him of staging false provocations. However, Katsarava refers to the case as ‘politically motivated’ and ‘sown with white threads.’