Source: BBC Monitoring Former Soviet Union – Political
Publication date: 2002-08-16
Excerpt from report by Georgian TV on 16 August
[Presenter] A religious confrontation has become ungovernable in Kaspi [a town in eastern Georgia] where a Jehovah’s Witnesses convention scheduled for today has been thwarted. A raid on the property of one of the organizers of the convention, Ushangi Bunturi, is the reason. Local residents armed with knives and axes attacked the Bunturi household property and set fire to the courtyard. The attackers destroyed all the literature kept on the premises. A few hours before this incident, local residents burnt a stage and benches and seats prepared for 3,000 people in the area where the Jehovah’s Witnesses intended to hold a convention. The Jehovah’s Witnesses blame supporters of Guram Sharadze [MP, campaigning against religious sects] for the fire. Local residents say that they will never allow Jehovah’s Witnesses to hold any gathering there.
[Uncaptioned Jehovah’s Witness, presumably Ushangi Bunturi] There is evidence that they carried knives and axes.
[Correspondent] Have you filed a complaint?
[Jehovah’s Witness] Not yet because it happened late last night.
[Corespondent] Do you intend to file a suit?
[Jehovah’s Witness] Indeed, I do…
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