Photo © Publika

Davit Katsarava, a civil activist who was illegally detained at a rally against the Russian Law on so-called Foreign Agents, recalls the details of his beating by special forces.

As Davit Katsarava recounts, the Internal Affairs Ministry special task force members beat him five times, confiscated his money, phone, and personal belongings.

"What are you doing on that occupation line? Fuck your m***her," the so-called special forces swore at me. Hitting, cursing, and a shower of punches and kicks followed these words.

They liked my military bag and tore it right away. They opened the wallet taken from my pocket, saw the money, and immediately one of the blacksuited put it in his pocket. The phone was in someone else's pocket within seconds.

They couldn't do anything with the glove and the car key hanging on the carabiner, they didn't understand anything with the tactical bag attached to the body, and they left me alone for a few minutes," he wrote.

Katsarava describes the main action starting after the second, remarkable beating, when he was already battered by 10-12 special forces, "thrown" into the van, and brutally beaten with his hands tied behind his back.

"For half an hour, with my hands tied behind my back, 3-4 butchers mercilessly beat me, cruelly and purposefully, aiming at my head and face. With a special, casket-shaped glove on their hands, they rubbed my facial bones with professionally placed blows.

Injuries in the throat area / Photo by Publika

The third beating in the car, the fifth in total, turned out to be the worst. It felt like this process of torture would never end. Finally, I heard one of the butchers shout in my ear - 'kill that mother-fu***r!' That's when I felt the power of the necklace on my neck - they were trying to strangle me. I don't know how long I endured, how long they kept pushing me. I thought they would kill me during the beating. The fifth beating ended when my bloodied and torn face was handed over to his captors," recalls Davit Katsarava.

Davit Katsarava, the leader of the anti-occupation movement, was arrested on May 14. He was addressing the police and special forces who forcibly evicted the protesters from Rustaveli Avenue in front of the Parliament after the Internal Affairs Ministry accused the demonstrators of attempting to break into the legislative body's building without permission.

"In 40 kilometers, the Russians are standing here, and you have become the defenders of the Russians. You know very well what law they signed," said Katsarava. At that moment, masked representatives of the Internal Affairs Ministry recognized him and took him away. A large amount of pepper spray was sprayed in the face of other demonstrators who were standing next to Katsarava. Additionally, Giorgi Zhamerashvili, a photojournalist of Interpress News, who was trying to arrest Katsarava and then take pictures of the violence against him, was hit with a baton.

Davit Katsarava had no injuries before his arrest. On the same day, he was transferred by the ambulance brigade from the patrol police department to the Ingorokva clinic, where he underwent an emergency operation. Katsarava was discharged from the clinic on May 20.

Davit Katsarava is accused of violating Articles 166 and 173 of the Code of Administrative Offenses, which refer to petty hooliganism and disobedience to the police. His lawyer, Eka Kobesashvili, from the Human Rights Center, told Georgian News that they have not yet been provided with the case materials, and they do not know if the items taken from Katsarava in violation of the law are included in the case or if they have disappeared.

On May 14, the Special Investigative Service began an investigation into the act of violence against Davit Katsarava under subsection b of the third part of Article 333 of the Criminal Code, which pertains to exceeding official authority by violence or using a weapon. The crime carries a punishment of imprisonment for five to eight years. However, the Special Investigation Service has not yet arrested anyone.

Georgian News
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