Nino Burjanadze, leader of Democratic Movement-United Georgia party, called on foreign diplomats accredited in Tbilisi to react and condemn “illegal actions” taken by the authorities and in particular she brought an example of one-day detention of relatives of Koba Otanadze, a suspect into the Mukhrovani mutiny.
“What is going on? Is it 1937 now in Georgia?” she said while speaking at a protest rally outside the Parliament on May 21. “These people were held just because they are members of Otanadze’s family.”
“We respect each and every word said by you,” she continued referring to foreign diplomats. “We respect and we have heard those words that as if it is illegal when streets are blocked; now dear friends, we want to know what your assessment is over the arrest of Otanadze’s family members.”
“I am asking in which country things like that can happen? I want to know which of our friends will tell us that we should tolerate this. A country, an ambassador or any of our friends, who will tell us: ‘tolerate this’, it means that they are not our real friends; it will mean that we are third-rate people. I hope that there will be no one among those, whom we regard to be our friends and partners, who will tell us that we are not the first-rate people, that we do not deserve democracy and that we should tolerate it. So I want to strongly request you to make a comment whether it [detention of Otanadze’s relatives] was or not a blunt violation of a law and international standards for which this country is fighting for.”
“We will fight for those [democratic] values, but we will require a serious assistance in this process; we will be grateful if they help us, but if not we will do that anyway,” Burjanadze added.