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Reports: Police Arrest Several Photojournalists
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 7 Jul.'11 / 12:42

Photographers, including some working for Western news organization and the Georgian President’s press office, have been arrested overnight on Thursday, the Georgian news agencies were reporting this morning.

According to these reports Irakli Gedenidze, photographer with the presidential press service and his wife; as well as Shakh Aivazov, a long-time photojournalist now working for The Associated Press; Zurab Kurtsikidze, photographer for the European Pressphoto Agency (epa) Giorgi Abdaladze, photographer who is currently hired by the Foreign Ministry were arrested.

Shah Aivazov of AP was released shortly after noon on July 7; he did not comment on details of the matter.

No statement from the authorities has been made yet and officials from the Interior Ministry or other state agencies were not available for the comment on the issue.

A wife of Giorgi Abdaladze, one of the detained photographer, told InterPressNews agency that the police came to their house after 2am local time, searched the house and took computers, mobile phones, CDs and a flashcard.

She also said that an investigator present during the search told her the case involved part one of article 314 of the criminal code, which deals with espionage charges, in particular with gathering state secret information and passing it to foreign country.

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