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Rubber Bullets to Promote Democracy

22.11.2007 13:10

Matvey Senin

A scandal associated with the details of the opposition rally crackdown in Tbilisi on November 7 is escalating in Georgia. We have to remind that Georgian Special Forces dispersed the meeting of the people who disagree with the Saaakashvili?s policy by using water jets, buttons, gas and rubber bullets. According to the latest data, more than 600 wounded were delivered to hospitals.

The people were especially disgusted with the information on the use of special acoustic guns or Medium Range Acoustic Device (MRAD) supplied to "the young Georgian democracy" by the US partners.

The operating principle of this system is based on the use of a powerful acoustic emission of 2000 Hz that brings pain and panic on a human being. It is a new weapon and its tests are still in progress. Nobody knows to what degree it is safe for a human being as alleged by the developers. Before Tbilisi, the Americans tested the acoustic gun in Iraq against combatants, now they decided to test it on the peaceful Georgian people. The Georgian officials refrain from any comment on the use of this weapon.

These days it became known that as the police stock of rubber bullets has been completely shot away against the demonstrators, Georgian Ministry of Interior Vano Merabishvili had to approach his Azerbaijan colleague for assistance.

During the prone conversation with Azerbaijan Ministry of Interior Ramil Usubov Mr. Merabishvili requested him to assist with rubber bullets and gas grenades. In return, the Azerbaijan Minister of Interior not only positively responded to the request but also gave a pair of pieces of advice. In particular, he suggested using the stun grenades: "Because stun grenades generate big noise, explosion, yes, like this, and they are scared ?".

We have to explain that the stun grenades are the offensive weapon. They are used as a rule by anti-terrorist and special assault squads because the noise of the explosion can split enemy's ears for a long time and cause severe harm to his health.

Curiously enough, that during the conversation Merabishvili also boasted that the Georgian authorities banned the "Imedi" opposition TV channel, whereat the Azerbaijan Minister said: "It is long overdue to do this".

The phone conversation between the Ministers of Interior of two countries-members of the Organization for Democracy and Economic Development ? GUAM is rather indicative.

Ukraine, Moldavia, Georgia and Azerbaijan long ago declared expressly that they are going to be integrated in the civilized "European structures" and NATO, so they established the GUAM Organization to this end and pronounced it "a stronghold of democracy" in the post-Soviet space.

It remains a kind of puzzle, how the crackdown of own citizens? rally by special force squads using the technical means dangerous for the human health, beating the peaceful people with buttons and poisoning with gas correlates with "the European values". Not later than yesterday, President of Georgia Mikhail Saakashvili claimed that Georgia "by all criteria of democracy" is a democratic country.

"There is an actual and effective opposition in Georgia that enjoys full freedom to express its opinion", Saakashvili said at a press-conference in Tbilisi.

The Georgian President modestly omitted the facts that he parched this "active opposition" with microwaves, poisoned with gas and deafen with stun grenades. By the way, the Saakashvili?s opinion on the democracy in Georgia is clear. Now it would be very nice to know what the Western partners of Tbilisi in Washington, Brussels and Strasburg think about it as they still keep deathly silence.