Detention of 4 photographers in Georgia unrelated to professional duties

8/7 Tass 100

TBILISI, July 8 (Itar-Tass) —— The detention of four photo reporters in Georgia is unrelated to their professional activity, presidential press secretary Manana Mandzhgaladze told the Pressa.G news agency on Friday.

“The suspects are photographers, but the detention is unrelated to their professional activity. They are accused of transferring confidential information, including written documents and schedules of confidential events, to an organization, which has been defined as a spying network,” she said. “That is the charge, but the decision will be made by the court.”

Mandzhgaladze described as “inappropriate and outrageous the attempts to link the detention of the photographers to the media freedom.” “Even if they had held different positions, the accusations would have been the same,” she said.

The Georgian Interior Ministry reported on Thursday the detention of four Georgian photo reporters: photo reporter of the European Photo Press Agency Zurab Kurtsikidze, presidential administration photographer Irakly Gedenidze, his wife, Natiya Gedenidze (also a photographer) and Foreign Ministry photographer Giya Abdaladze.

The lawyers said that the detainees had rejected the accusations. Abdaladze went on a hunger strike in protest against his detention.

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