Journalists accuse policemen of assault in Batumi

  • Arobeladze (L) and Ratiani (R) were released on December 18 and the hearing in their case will take place on December 24 at Batumi City Court. NGO Social Justice Center is protecting the rights of the journalists. Photo: Netgazeti.ge.

Agenda.ge, 22 Dec 2021 - 15:56, Tbilisi,Georgia

Two journalists, Rati Ratiani and Giorgi Arobeladze, have accused police of assault, which allegedly took place following their arrest in Batumi on December 17. 

The incident occurred in front of the bar Adgili, which is located on Rustaveli street in Batumi close to the police department building.

Arobeladze, who is founder of the online media platform Mautskebeli, states that the police arrived on the scene after a clash between bar patrons and ‘a drunk man’ who, along with Arobeladze and Ratiani, was arrested and allegedly beaten up by police at their headquarters.

The whole bar was arguing with one drunk. I do not know the reason for the fight. We tried to save [the situation] but it did not work out. The man was already lying down when several police officers arrived,” Arobeladze recalls. 

Ratiani, who works as a journalist at Mautskebeli and Radio Adjara, told local online media outlet On.ge that first Arobeladze was arrested, after which police arrested him as well. 

About seven policemen beat up the unconscious drunk man, cursed at him, made him bleed,” Arobeladze said.

Ratiani stated yesterday that he was examined for ‘injuries on his body and fractures in his arm,’ while Arobeladze said that he does not have any injuries, as ‘he was hit in the head with an outstretched hand.’

Several people beat me up for quite some time,” says Arobeladze.

The journalists were released on December 18 and the hearing in their case will take place on December 24 at Batumi City Court. NGO Social Justice Center is protecting the rights of the journalists.

The Coalition for Media Advocacy released a statement yesterday which calls on the State Inspector's Service of Georgia to inform the public about the investigation into the case.

The state body has already launched an investigation into the incident for possible abuse of power, online media outlet Netgazeti reports. 

Back