Another private life video footage with sexual content has been released through the Internet. This is already the second private life video, uploaded on Youtube public space within a week.
All individuals on March 14 video post are show with covered faces. The video includes a threat message of the video material author, addressed to the acting politicians, calling on them to withdraw from politics. Otherwise, the author promises to continue releasing similar private life video records.
‘Go away from politics and there will be no more video posts. If not, there are next series to come, “ – the video post author threatens.
In view of the aforesaid, Youtube access for subscribers of Georgia’s two key Internet providers – ‘Silknet’ and ‘Caucasus’, has been restricted.
The first video footage of a politician’s private life was posted on Youtube on Friday, March 11 and it was available for Youtube users for about an hour. Particular individuals, shown on the video footage, could be identified. Alongside with that, for better circulation of the aforesaid video material, the Internet-links were sent to the media outlets from unknown social network accounts.
The video was blocked within an hour after its release.Georgian Interior Minister, Giorgi Mghebrishvili, Chief Prosecutor, Irakli Shotadze and Head of the National Security Service, Vakhtang Gomelauri, personally oversee the investigation process. However, despite the fact that four days already passed, the investigation has not yielded any particular results.
Criminal proceedings have been instituted pursuant to Article 157 of the Criminal Code, that envisages up to 4 years in prison for disclosure and dissemination of information on private life.
Georgian Premier, Giorgi Kvirikashvili called on the relevant agencies to promptly investigate the case. As it is pointed out in his statement, investigation of this case will be a serious test for the investigative agencies, which they have to pass.
Tamar Kaldani, the personal data inspector, also immediately responded to the incident. She called on the investigative agencies not just to track the source of dissemination of the aforesaid materials through the Internet, but also to identify its origin and authenticity.
Meanwhile, Georgian Parliament Chairman, David Usupashvili, termed the aforesaid incident as a moral terrorist attack against the entire public. He called on the law-enforcers to appeal to international anti-terrorist agencies for technical assistance in the probe and also to offer GEL 1 million reward for providing any information on those, behind leaking of the video.
The opposition blamed the authorities for dissemination of the aforesaid private life video records. According to Irakli Alasania, leader of the ‘Free Democrats’ party, only certain governmental circles have access to such type of materials.
‘It is quite logical that only the government has access to such materials. Those materials were not destroyed, they are stored at the special services. It could be also replicated by the former government, but today, I absolutely inwardly think, that the recent developments, especially in the past 1 year, give grounds to assume that certain branches of government have been involved in this attack,’- said Irakli Alasania.
David Bakradze, the National Movement leader, also puts the blame on the government. In Bakradze’s words, similar incidents can be avoided through a struggle against this government, which is covering up those, who are committing such dirty acts of terror.
Irakli Sesiashvili, Georgian Parliament’s Defence and Security Committee Chairman, flatly denies the government’s possible involvement in the case. He, in turn, accuses of the aforesaid certain representatives of the former National Movement government.
‘We all know, whose political faith was this form of governance; who once ordered to record such videos, who prepared them, stored, used and disseminated them. If anyone wants just to throw stones at the government – that’s exactly what the video releaser aims at. I already see a certain political, orchestrated campaign. I will regard those, who couldn’t see this campaign – who was actually guilty and responsible for that, to be driven by and be part of this campaign,’ said Irakli Sesiashvili.
The human rights organizations have condemned leak of private life video footages through the Internet. They have criticized the impunity of such cases and called on the law-enforcement agencies to conduct efficient investigation.The NGOs claim, none of the secret surveillance cases have been investigated and no one has been punished so far.
Dissemination of video footages also caused strong reaction in the social networks. Almost none of the Facebook users shared the video post on their pages. A protest rally was organized outside the State Chancellery a few hours after release of the first video footage. The rally participants called on the government to punish the perpetrators. The banners, they brought to the State Chancellery, read:
‘Take a video of me in toilet too!’
‘Sex is not a crime!’ ‘Private life shall be inviolable!’
The public movement ‘This Affects You’, that was protesting against illegal secret surveillance last year, is now launching a new campaign. Unlike last year, it will be a broader campaign, involving the greater part of NGOs and representatives of the civil society. The movers of the campaign say, the matter does not just concern politicians and public figures. Any citizen may be facing similar problem. The first protest rally as part of this campaign is scheduled for March 19.
JAMnews has tried to find out, what people think of private life video leak and whom they consider to be responsible for that:
‘Of course, it’s the government, that is responsible for that. They promised, that would not happen again and that they had destroyed the tapes. I think now, as something has gone wrong, they are using those tapes for their own purposes. This, as they think, is a perfect means for blackmailing and destroying individuals’
‘Those video footages have clearly proved that politics is a dirty game. In my opinion, it’s again the National Movement that has spread those footages. Here one should be either always very strong and persistent, or take care of one’s private life and leave politics’
‘It seems to me that private life is nobody’s business. Why should one care how I live? A copy of these records had been probably made long before the tapes were destroyed’
‘They stop at nothing to reach their goal. Right from the very beginning I did not believe, those tapes had been destroyed. They saved all materials related to the parties, everything they needed. Of course, it’s Bidzina Ivanishvili behind all that. No one would release anything without his consent. That’s for sure’
‘It does not become us. It’s inappropriate for our society. This is a very dirty method in all respects– for both, those, who took that video and those, who used it’
‘What I personally do is nobody’s business’
‘Well, I do not know, whether the government couldn’t control it or not. but nothing could be excluded. There are so many things beyond their control, that it won’t be surprising, if they couldn’t control that either’
‘The leak of those footages has negative consequences, especially for those, whom they directly concern’
‘In my opinion, it goes without saying that it’s absolutely unacceptable and mind-polluting’
‘That’s wrong. Those, who have recorded all that, are wrong’
‘There are elections ahead and they are trying to destroy their opponents. Of course, the government is responsibility for that, who else could be?! Those, who now maintain control over the situation. It is unacceptable for any civilized world country, but we haven’t achieve that yet’