Pro-Opposition TV Shareholder Giorgi Rurua Assaulted in Prison

On November 2, Giorgi Rurua, one of the shareholders of the pro-opposition Mtavari Arkhi TV, was assaulted in prison by five persons as he left his cell to meet with his lawyer, according to a statement by Special Penitentiary Service (SPS). SPS said it had immediately informed the investigative authorities and that a probe has already been launched.

The Penitentiary Service’s statement came after MP Salome Samadashvili of the United National Movement party announced that Rurua had been physically attacked in the prison.

Rurua’s defense lawyer Dimitri Sadzaglishvili claimed the attack was organized by the government, since no verbal confrontation preceded the attack, and taking into account that it happened soon after the elections.

Giorgi Rurua was arrested on November 18, 2019 on charges of illegal purchase, storage and carrying of firearms, and was subsequently sentenced to four years in prison. Rurua has repeatedly denied charges as politically motivated. Opposition parties alleged earlier in the spring that the release of Rurua – “political prisoner,” along with Gigi Ugulava and Irakli Okruashvili, was part of the foreign-mediated March 8 deal with the ruling Georgian Dream party. GD leaders have rebuffed the opposition’s allegation.

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