The Deputy Minister of Tourism has decided to stand up for the blogger
In Abkhazia, another armed showdown is vigorously discussed, this time with the participation of government representatives. Prosecutor General of the Republic Adgur Agrba said that in connection with the shooting incident in the New district of Sukhum, Deputy Minister of Tourism Dato Kajaya was detained. This is far from the first and probably not the last case when representatives of the Abkhaz authorities openly use firearms. Why, almost three decades after the war, the republic still sometimes resembles the Wild West?
The shooting incident in the New district of Sukhum occurred on the night of December 3. As reported by the Abkhaz Telegram channels, he was associated with a night search, which local law enforcement officers decided to conduct in the house of a certain Angela Brandzia, an opposition group subscriber on Facebook and sister of the Hero of Abkhazia. The search was carried out as part of a criminal case, which the day before was initiated against her by the prosecutor's office under Part 2 of Art. 321 of the RA Criminal Code – Insulting a government representative. As the telegram channel “Abkhazia – Center” clarifies, the reason for the initiation of the case was the fact that in the publications of the woman on the social network Facebook, President Aslan Bzhania was referred to as “Bzhaka”. The case was also initiated against another active user of the social network – Lolita Khalvash.
Late on the evening of December 2, law enforcement officers went to Brandzia's home to confiscate her mobile phone and laptop. However, according to the telegram channel Respublica, “the gathered neighbors, friends and relatives obstructed the law enforcement officers, considering the charges brought forward as far-fetched”. Then the deputy minister arrived and allegedly fired a series of shots, as a result of which a resident of Sukhum was slightly wounded. The wounded did not need hospitalization.
According to the opposition deputy of the Abkhaz parliament Valery Agrba, “a group of deputies was informed about the invasion of Brandzia's house without a court order.” According to him, “people complained that their constitutional rights were being violated”. “Investigative actions, interrogations were completed, attesting witnesses were invited and, perhaps, the actions would have been completed, but several people rushed to Brandzia with insults, obscenities, one of them pulled out a weapon, they tried to block him, but he fired a shot and wounded a citizen of Sukhum. Through joint efforts we managed to disarm and withdraw him, “Agrba said.
Interestingly, Agrba himself was recently accused of opening fire in the center of the capital. On November 13, together with three other deputies, he allegedly shot in the air from a pistol in the office parking lot near the parliament in honor of the birthday of his colleague, deputy Natalie Smyr. On this occasion, one of the Abkhaz telegram channels wrote that Agrba had become the “new cowboy” of “our Wild West.” He himself, however, denies his involvement in the shooting. Earlier, on September 30, MP Garry Kokaya opened fire from a pistol on the embankment of Sukhum near the restaurant where the presidents of Abkhazia and South Ossetia Aslan Bzhania and Anatoly Bibilov celebrated Victory Day in the 1992-1993 Georgian-Abkhaz war. Also, on the night of September 30 to October 1, another member of parliament, Almaskhan Ardzinba, opened fire from an illegally acquired Kalashnikov assault rifle near the Interior Ministry building, shouting obscene curses at the police.
After the incident in the New District near the residence of the President of Abkhazia Aslan Bzhania, several dozen people gathered, demanding punishment for those responsible for the shooting. Negotiations were held between the president and the chairman of the opposition organization “Aidgylara” Kan Kvarchia, as a result of which he urged the audience to disperse until morning.
In the morning it became known that the defendants in the criminal case of insulting the president – Angela Brandzia and Lolita Khalvash – were summoned to the Prosecutor's Office of Sukhum to testify. The Minister of Tourism nominated his deputy Dato Kajay to the Prime Minister for dismissal, and he was fired. The Abkhazian opposition in connection with all these events convened a press conference at 4 pm, at which it accused the authorities of putting pressure on dissidents.