Journalist says he was abducted, threatened

JANUARY 17, 2007
Posted: January 26, 2007

Ilya Chachibaya, Giya Boklomi

Two unidentified men briefly abducted Chachibaya on his way to work in the western Georgian city of Zugdidi, according to local press reports and CPJ interviews. The men intercepted Chachibaya, forced him inside their sedan, threatened him, and told him to stop working as a journalist, Chachibaya told CPJ. Afterward, the men left him at an abandoned house just outside the city, he told CPJ.

The assailants did not say what prompted the attack, Chachibaya said. Giya Boklomi, which has a circulation of about 5,000, covers social and political issues. Chachibaya, who is 17, claimed that his reporting on the governor’s office, including his inquiries about a recent prank, had prompted prior threats.

In December, Chachibaya told CPJ, local authorities demanded to know the identity of his sources and threatened him with physical violence as well as the closure of his newspaper. Chachibaya said he refused but continues to receive anonymous threats by phone.

Local police are investigating the attack and the earlier reported threats. No one has been charged.