Date: 2020-07-30
Period: 2020 Parliamentary elections - Pre-election period
District: Kobuleti , Kobuleti
Incident Category: Intimidation , Threatening
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 the rally. 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.