INTIMIDATION/HARASSMENT BASED ON ALLEGED POLITICAL MOTIVE
2020-07-30 On July 30, a rally concerning the problem of drinking water in Khetsubani, Mukhaestate and Buknari
was held outside Kobuleti City Hall. According to the rally organizer, Elene Chkhartishvili, after the rally
was announced on Facebook, she was contacted by her fellow-villagers, friends of the mayor and asked
her to meet with the mayor alone, without locals, in the village center at night. The meeting was held and
they talked about the water problem, however the mayor’s friends told Elene that the mayor liked her and
in exchange for not holding the rally, she was offered to nominate herself and they would hire her in the
self-government. After Elene refused the offer, her mother received a threatening phone-call from
strangers the following day. The call was made from an unknown number. She was told that she would
better silence her child while she could because she is a student and her future would be ruined.
According to Elene Chkhartishvili, locals were also intimidated and as a result, they did not participate in
Kobuleti Municipality Mayor Mirian Katamadze did not answer calls of ISFED. Mayor’s representative
in v.Buknari, Giorgi Kebuladze confirmed that meeting took place; he explained that the meeting was at
night because the following day the mayor was leaving for a working meeting and he could not leave the
issue unattended. Giorgi Kebulia rules out any fact of intimidation.