Photographers gathered in front of the Georgian Interior Ministry office in Tbilisi at 10 p.m. on June 8 to rally against the continued detention of four Georgian photojournalists.
Georgian police initially arrested five photojournalists a day earlier: among them Irakli Gedenidze, the personal photographer for Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili; his wife Natia Gedenidze, a local newspaper photographer; Shahk Aivazov, an Associated Press photojournalist; Zurab Kurtsikidze, a staff photojournalist for the European Pressphoto Agency; and Gia Abdaladze, a photographer with the Georgian Foreign Ministry.
A few hours after his detention, AP photographer Aivazov was released. The other four have since been accused of spying for "a foreign country."
The government classified the investigation as top secret, thereby closing the case to outside scrutiny. As the photographers were being interrogated inside the ministry office, their protesting colleagues demanded the transparency of the case and the release of the detainees.
Temo Bardzimashvili is a freelance photojournalist based in Tbilisi.