Several members of the United National Movement are among those detained
Sixteen people have been detained for the possession and recent distribution of footage of the intimate life of Georgian MP Eka Beselia.
The Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs says that the footage was distributed via social media and mobile applications.
A member of the ruling Georgian Dream party, Eka Beselia, has been in the press for several weeks now given her outspoken objection to a list of candidates nominated for lifetime appointments to Georgia’s Supreme Court, claiming that the judges are known for being biased and making questionable rulings in the past under the rule of the United National Movement.
The illegal filming, possession and dissemination of footage concerning a person’s intimate life is a criminal offence, punishable by imprisonment from four to eight years.
The legislation stipulates that any dissemination of the material if illegal, including forwarding, saving or storing such footage via mobile applications is also illegal.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs has urged citizens to avoid the dissemination of such files.
“Otherwise, law enforcement agencies will be forced to apply the measures provided for by the legislation,” said Vladimir Bortsvadze, director of the central criminal police department of the Georgian Interior Ministry.
Several members of the United National Movement, as well as singer Giorgi Gasviani, are among the 16 arrested.
Eka Beselia and her supporters, in addition to the opposition, say the Ministry of Internal Affairs is trying to distract the public from the main issue of who uploaded the footage initially, and has simply detained individuals who have served as transit points for the footage.