Son of Concussed MP of Adigeni Council Speaks about the Attack

On July 28, Zurab Shainidze, MP of the European Georgia party, was physically assaulted in Adigeni. According to the Chairman of the Adigeni Organization of Georgia, Simon Parunashvili, Shainidze was confronted by members of the governing party Georgian Dream. He claims that this is not the first case of violence being shown. 

GEORGIA TODAY contacted Mindia Shainidze, the son of Zurab Shainidze, who was also a victim of the confrontation, to find out their side of the story.

As Mindia Shainidze reports, everything started in 2017 when his father won the local self-government election and became a member of the Adigeni Council. The members of the opposition party began harassing the family soon after, and Mindia remembers an incident where strangers approached his house, which resulted in a serious conflict and police interference. Members of Georgian Dream are said to have pestered not only the family of Zurab Shainidze, but everyone who voted for him in the election. 

“I won the project ‘Imedis Gmirebi’ [Hopes Heroes] in 2014, and in 2015 established a Sports-Cultural Educational Center as an NGO, training students for free not only in sports but in English too,” Mindia told us.” He said his family is well respected in Adigeni, something, he claims, which may have resulted in the confrontation, as “the opposition party wants to take the whole family down.”

On July 28, Zurab and Mindia Shainidze were celebrating the public holiday ‘Shuamtoba,’ when a conflict began between Mindia’s students, who at the time were playing football on the playground, and young members of the opposition party. According to Mindia, they knew that the teenagers were his students as the bullying and fighting had happened before. Mindia said he intervened immediately. “They were throwing sticks and stones at each other. Among them were some local people, even some women,” Mindia said.

After suppressing the confrontation, there were only 7-8 men left, including Mindia, Zurab and Mindia’s friend Beso. They were waiting for a car to come and take them back to the village when 50 men armed with batons attacked them.

“I heard them shouting that they wanted to kill me,” Mindia told GEORGIA TODAY.

They were saved by their friends, who had heard about the incident and rushed to help them. 

“I was unconscious for two hours and kept in hospital,” Mindia claimed. Zurab is now at home with a concussion. 

Mindia also told us about the founder and head of the group of attackers, Zakaria Endzeladze and Amiran Miqeladze. He said they registered themselves as individual entrepreneurs immediately after Endzeladze became the head of the municipality, receiving an approximate tender of 150,000 GEL.

“I suspect Endzeladze is paying the youth group of attackers with that money to scare my family away. He was threatening me not to support my father in the election. He was also spreading rumors that I was preparing Wahabists as there is a religious diversity in my sports school. If the government does not take the relevant action, I will have to demand political asylum as I don’t feel safe in my own country,” he told us. 


By Mariam Kukhilava

03 August 2018 17:59