The Interior Ministry has acknowledged that it was the police “mistake” that journalists were injured and impeded to perform their professional duties during the clash that took place outside the Tbilisi police headquarters on June 15.
“We regret and apologize for that… This is our mistake and we acknowledge it,” Eka Zguladze, the deputy interior minister, said. “The Interior Ministry will spare no efforts not to repeat the same in the future.”
Maestro TV and Kavkasia TV, two Tbilisi-based television stations, said that their crews on the ground were attacked during the incident. Both television stations have temporarily ceased broadcasting in protest. Zurab Kurtsikidze from European Pressphoto Agency (epa), was beaten; he had bruises on his head and back. Video and photo cameras were also seized by the police from number of journalists.
Eka Zguladze said that the police had returned all the equipment seized from journalists.
Reuters correspondent in Tbilisi has confirmed that photo camera had been returned by the police. Davit Akubardia, head of the Kavkasia TV, told Civil.Ge that the police had returned the television stations video camera, but it was broken and Maestro TV has also confirmed that it video camera was returned.