Father of Killed Teenager Taken to Hospital from Rally

Zaza Saralidze, father of the murdered teenager Davit Saralidze, who went on hunger strike on September 10, demanding a “fair investigation” into his son’s case, was taken to hospital yesterday evening after he became unwell at the protest rally.

Before the incident, there was a confrontation between him and the police at the old parliament building in central Tbilisi, where Saralidze was holding a rally along with Malkhaz Machalikashvili, father of 19-year-old Temirlan Machalikashvili, killed during an anti-terrorist operation in Pankisi Gorge in December 2017.

The protesters were trying to set up tents in front of the parliament building when the confrontation with the police took place and Saralidze was taken to hospital.

Doctor Giorgi Gaprindashvili says Saralidze’s health condition is satisfactory but he will remain in the clinic for further treatment and medical tests.

Saralidze re-launched protest rallies on September 10, asking for the resignation of the government and appointment of early elections. He also says the rallies will continue until his demands are met.

On December 1, 2017, a fight broke out between several high school students behind their school on Khorava Street in central Tbilisi. Two students - Davit Saralidze and Levan Dadunashvili - were stabbed to death during the fight.

On May 31, Tbilisi City Court charged two minors in connection to the murders - one for the premeditated murder of Dadunashvili and the second for the attempted murder of Saralidze; however, the court stated that could not determine who exactly had killed Saralidze, which sparked mass protests in the capital on the suspicion of an intentional cover-up.

Georgia’s Chief Prosecutor Irakli Shotadze resigned amid the protest rallies, while then-Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili ordered a re-investigation of the case as there were many questions left unanswered.

Zaza Saralidze asked the authorities to deliver concrete results and arrest his son’s killers and all the people involved, claiming he will not stop until all the offenders are held responsible.

By Thea Morrison

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12 September 2018 10:20