Monday, September 19, 2011

Pankisi Gorge on Alert, here we go again, 10 years later! ShorenaKhangoshvili Arrested

Police forces on alert in Pankisi Georgia, Georgia over arrest of English teacher!

Media sources report, "police groups are patrolling Pankisi and warn local residents against participating in the protest rally scheduled for today. They say that rally participants will have serious troubles, Kakheti Information Center reports. Local intend to rally in support of English language teacher Shorena Khangoshvili, who was arrested last Friday in Akhmeta on drug-related charges. Local schools and kindergartens have closed in Duisi in a sign of protest against Khangoshvili’s arrest."

One of the teachers, Shorena, connected to the Roddy Scott Foundation, name in honor of a 31 year murdered Journalist who had visited the region in documented the plight of the Kist and Chechen people during the two Chechen wars. Pankisi is an enclave of ethnic Chechens, called Kist, who have lived for hundreds of years in Georgia.

Some consider that this is but one move in a ,much larger game, which is not to be discussed in a bloggl.

However, as one school age teen student wrote,  "I just got the news and was seeking for the source online. I'm literally shocked cause this woman was the most normal teacher  when I did an internship in Pankisi over the summer. I just watched some videos  and her mother claims that Asmat,  Shorena Khangoshvili, has contacted with her. Shorena  told how police was searching her bag but could find nothing and on their way to Tbilisi she heard how they were talking between each other which drug to mention in the official document. I am not sure how convincing these words are, but honestly, during those 5 days I've been there she was the only one i could really trust."

Shorena is a journalist by training, having graduated from a US State Department funded Master's program in Tbilisi, Georgian Insitute of Public Administration in Tbilisi - and the first ethnic Chechen to ever graduate from the English taught program. She had lived in Chechyna and became a refugee with the Chechen war. Becasue of her English skills she was able to find local employment with the Roddy Scott Foundation as a program coordinator and teacher of English.

It is hard to say other than the face value charges, drug related, as why she was actually arrestd but some insiders suspect that it is politically motivated. The arrests serves many purposes. not only in terms of upsetting the local population against the Central government but to be make certain that a foreign funded school teaching English and Computer Skills for IDPs and local children is shut down, too many uncontrollabe eyes on the situation there,. a very cozy situation over the years.  All this, includng the most recent fanfair and recriminations may be part of a larger plan to again use the once imfamous Pankisi Gorge (valley) as a device of subterfuge.

Asmat Khangoshvili

New story today!

Subject: Roddy Scott Foundation, Drug Trafficking

Roddy Scott Foundation Excludes Asmat Khangoshvil’s Involvement in Drug

Vladimir Lozinski, a Trustee and Director of the Roddy Scott Foundation, sent statement to InterPressNews. According to him, participation of
Asmat Khangoshvii in drug trafficking is excluded. I and many people in the foreign community of Tbilisi have known and worked with Asmat “Shorena” Khangoshvili for seven years in a professional capacity. It is impossible that she would be involved in drug trafficking”, Vladimir Lozinski said. He was informed by his staff about detention of Khangoshvili, according to which, she was arrested by a group of Tbilisi based plain clothes security in Akhmeta on Friday 16th her outside the pharmacy in Akhmeta. “Locals citizens, Lukhumi Kushtanashvili and Lino Kushanashvili tried to help her because they thought it was a kidnap.  The police told them to go away." Unless you want more problems go away". The local taxi drivers asked, “Why are you arresting this woman? They said " We have found drugs in her bag".

A local resident responded. "You have not even opened her bag yet".

The police then opened her bag and went through it, took out her cosmetics”, Lozinski says.

He has been informed that local eyewitnesses heard the police ask each other in the car what kind of drugs would they accuse her of carrying –
pills or narcotics. Eye witnesses refuse to be named out of fear of reprisal from the police.

Roddy Scott was young English journalist who was killed in Chechnya. The Foundation is named after him and is supported by private donations from the international journalist community, senior foreign correspondents from the BBC, the Estonian, Dutch Embassies and the International
Women's association in Tbilisi. It is running English language and computer classes for more than 160 young students in the Pankisi Valley
for the past 4 years.

The management of the foundation assesses that Asmat Khangoshvili is one of their best teachers.

Roddy Scott foundation collaborator Asmat Khangoshvili was detained on Friday in Akhmeta. Her mother, Tina Gumashvil informs that Khangoshvili was taken to Tbilisi the same day and sentenced to a month of imprisonment without being questioned.

The local residents of village Duisi protests her detention and they are not going to stop. They also plan to gather signatures and address
international organizations.

(Source: Interpressnews, 19 Sept 2011.)

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