Pro-Governmental Trolls, Media and the Government Against the Public Defender

Pro-Governmental Trolls, Media and the Government Against the Public Defender

After the deterioration of the health of the imprisoned third president of Georgia, the Ombudsman and her group of experts assessed the health condition of Saakashvili as critical. They recommended his treatment in the intensive care unit of the multi-unit hospital. The statements voiced by the Ombudsman resulted in the emergence of anti-opposition pages and government trolls, which, on the one hand, tried to undermine the competence of the Public Defender and her group of experts, and, on the other hand, sought to portray them as biased actors that pursue the interests the United National Movement. At the same time, fake accounts tried to create the narrative that the Public Defender is not respected by the prisoners, as she had never actually cared for them.

Apart from anti-opposition pages and governmental trolls, “Georgian Dream” leaders and supporters, pro-governmental media outlets, anti-liberal Facebook pages, media outlets and actors (Asaval-Dasavali, Tvalisazrisi.ge, Union of Rights Defenders) were involved in the discreditation campaign. In addition, there were instances ofdisinformation about the Public Defender’s Office spread by pro-Kremlin organizations and parties (“Georgian March,” “Center for Combating Islamic Terrorism”) and pro-Kremlin and pro-governmental media outlets (News FrontSpacenews.io).

The above-mentioned actors disseminated the following messages during the period of October 25th to November 24th:

  • The Public Defender is biased and protects only the interests of the “United National Movement”;
  • The council created by the Public Defender is made up of supporters of the United National Movement;
  •  The Strasbourg Court rejected the complaint regarding Saakashvili’s transfer to a private clinic, meaning that the Ombudsman and the group of experts are incompetent;
  • The Public Defender does not protect the rights of other prisoners;
  • The Ombudsman should be impeached.

“Myth Detector” revealed 14 Facebook pages, 20 fake accounts, as well as separate pro-governmental media outlets involved in the discreditation and disinformation campaigns:

Fake Accounts

After the publication of the report of the Public Defender and the council, fake accounts became more active on social media. The trolls started leaving negative comments on the Facebook posts of Radio LibertyInterpressnews.ge, Tabula – ტაბულაRustavi 2.

Trolls that Steal Other People’s Identity

Troll

Steals the Identity of:

1.Tamar Chergoleishvili
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Steals the identity of the Vkontakte.ru user Наталья Агрелова. Likes Facebook pages supportive of the incumbent Georgian Dream party and critical to the opposition.

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2.Maiko Mako
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Steals the identity of the Instagram user ugne_vos. Likes the following Facebook pages: საქართველოს საგარეო საქმეთა სამინისტრო / MFA of Georgia,ქართული ოცნება / Georgian DreamKakha Kaladze კახა კალაძე,საქართველოს თავდაცვის სამინისტრო / Ministry of Defence of Georgia
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3.Manana Partsvania
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Steals the identity of the Turkish actress Seda Guven. Likes Facebook pages supportive of the incumbent Georgian Dream party and critical to the opposition.
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4.Darejan Meliqishvili
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The identical picture is being used b various social media users. Likes pages: “Time for Truth, Provocateurs.”
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5.ნინი ამირეჯიბი [Nini Amirejibi]
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Steals the identity of the Vkontakte.ru user Ангелина Лебединская. Has 24 Facebook friends, including the fake account Gela Mgeladze. Likes Facebook pages supportive of the Georgian Dream.
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6.Lali pertaia
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Steals the identity of the Vkontakte.ru user Ангелина Лебединская. Has 24 Facebook friends, including the fake account Gela Mgeladze. Likes Facebook pages supportive of the Georgian Dream.
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Previously identified accounts that steal the identity of others.

7.Nene sakvarelidze
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Steals the identity of the Russian singer Aliona Apina. In March 2021, she became involved in the campaign to discredit Nodar Meladze, the head of TV Pirveli Newsroom, after he published an alleged secret recording of Ivanishvili’s son Bera and current Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili.

8.Kato Barbakadze
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Steals the identity of the Vkontakte.ru user Светлана Артемчик. Likes Facebook pages critical to the opposition.: ძალა სიმართლეშიაInformerProvocateursსიმართლის დროა, and shares their posts. The user was involved in the discreditation campaign against Saakashvili.
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9.Archil Zedginidze
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Steals the identity of the Vkontakte.ru user Александр ГвинскийLikesFacebook pages that discredit the United National Movement: ძალა სიმართლეშიაInformerProvocateursსიმართლის დროა, and shares their posts regularly. The user was involved in the discreditation campaign against Saakashvili.

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10.მალხაზი გოგოხია  [Malkhazi Gogokhia]
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Steals the identity of the Vkontakte.ru user Виталий МининLikes Facebook pages that discredit the United National Movement: ძალა სიმართლეშიაInformerProvocateursსიმართლის დროა, and shares their posts regularly. The user was involved in the discreditation campaign against Saakashvili.
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Trolls that conceal their identity/indicate a different name in the URL address

Troll

Conceals the identity/Indicates a different name in the URL

11.Mari Marusa
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Conceals the identity. The URL link indicates the name “keti.ket.3532.”

12.Mariam Pxoveli
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Conceals the identity. The URL link indicates the name “tamarikbilcecxlashvili.”

13.Eka Ekaterine
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The URL link indicates the name “lela.tvalava.3”. Likes pages that discredit the opposition.

14.Tamriko Tamriko
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Newly-created profile. Likesonly two pages: POSTV – ანალიტიკაTV Imedi."

15. მაი მუნი [Mai Muni] (Monkey)

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Conceals the identity. The URL link indicates the name “ertgulimoqalaqe”

16.Taipan Taipan
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Conceals the identity. Newly-created profile.
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17.Logic Analysis
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Conceals the identity. Newly-created profile. Has 6 friends, including the members of “Alt-Info.”
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18.Obi Eqturi
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Conceals the identity. Has only 1 friend. Wrote comments on several posts

Previously identified fake profiles

19.Gela Mgeladze
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Conceals the identity. Likes Facebook pages supportive of the Georgian Dream. In March 2021, became involved in the campaign to discredit Nodar Meladze, the head of TV Pirveli Newsroom,

20.Nina Maisuradze
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Likes Facebook pages supportive of the incumbent Georgian Dream party and critical to the opposition. Gela Mgeladze is in the friends list of the account. In March 2021, became involved in the campaign to discredit Nodar Meladze, the head of TV Pirveli Newsroom,


Pages Liked by Fake Accounts

Messages Disseminated by Fake Accounts

Fake accounts portrayed Nino Lomjaria as a biased party that pursues the interests of the United National Movement and Mikheil Saakashvili. Hence, she has no moral right to make recommendations on Saakashvili’s health while she completely neglects the well-being of other prisoners. The trolls left insulting comments about Lomjaria, writing that she deepens the crisis in the country and that her mandate should be terminated.

Facebook pages

Anti-opposition and pro-governmental Facebook pages (Mikheil UkrainologistTerenti Gldaneli, Time for Truth, Miss Decollete 2018), as well as pro-governmental media (POSTV – Analyticsexclusivenews.geდაიჯესტი • Digest) were involved in the discreditation campaign against the Public Defender and Saakashvili’s doctors’ council. They accused Lomjaria and members of the council of supporting the “United National Movement”, highlighting their incompetence and releasing a 2020 video of Zaliko Bergeri, in which the designer insulted the Public Defender.

On November 16th and 17th, the Facebook pages Mikheil UkrainologistTerenti Gldaneli, Time for Truth questioned the medical qualifications of Dr. Giorgi Papiashvili, a member of the council created by the Public Defender, for sharing Mikheil Saakashvili’s post.

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On November 18th, the Facebook page “Time for Truth” responded to the conclusion of the Public Defender and her group of experts, noting that a person who has been on hunger strike for more than 40 days is not weak – since he can insult prison staff, go to court and get involved in the process. “Time for Truth” reminded Lomjaria that the Strasbourg Court rejected Saakashvili’s complaint regarding his transfer to a private clinic and called for an end to the hunger strike. The page also commented on the decision of the European Court of Human Rights to be involved in Saakashvili’s case as a third party, noting that this result was expected. The same page published a screenshot of Carl Hartzel’s statement. According to the description of the post, the EU ambassador trusts the council created by the Prime Minister but does not say the same about the group of experts created by Lomjaria, which means that Lomjaria is not trusted by international partners.
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On November 20th, the 2020 video of Zaliko Bergeri, where he insults Nino Lomjaria, was shared in a coordinated manner by various pro-governmental accounts. Namely, Facebook pages Miss Decollete 2019Time of Truth, “King“, “Bats 2020” and pro-governmental media: POSTV – Analyticsexclusivenews.geდაიჯესტი • Digest.

oteworthy, the Facebook pages “King” and “Bats 2020” mainly publish entertaining posts and share political content from sportsvideos.ge. In March 2021, the online outlet Sportvideos.ge disseminated a manipulative statement in the name of Nino Lomjaria. For details, see the publication of “Myth Detector”: Manipulative Statement Disseminated in Lomjaria’s Name on Marriage and Adoption for Homosexuals and Transgenders

The posts of the Facebook page “Time of Truth” have an average of 4-5 comments. These comments are made by fake profiles to create the impression that the public does not trust the Public Defender and the council created by her. Noteworthy, on the day of the second round of local elections, these profiles were spreadingdisinformation posts and fabricated quotes by “Time for Truth” on various Facebook groups.
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Who demands the impeachment of Nino Lomjaria?

The messages spread by the anti-opposition pages and trolls were also present in the statements and posts of the leaders and supporters of the ruling Georgian Dream party.

For example, in the posts published on November 18th and 19th,  Facebook users Tornike ChelidzeLevan NakashidzeIrma Xaxutaishvili that Lomjaria is the only human rights activist in world history who is detested by prisoners.
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Some Facebook users, who support the Georgian Dream, directly demanded the impeachment of Nino Lomjaria. On November 10th, Leila Tsinadze-Melikidze, a supporter of the Georgian Dream, published a post in several openly pro-governmental Facebook groups, demanding the impeachment of Public Defender Nino Lomjaria. On November 19th, the same account published a post in the group Bidzina Ivanishvili and Future Generations#oficial, initiating the collection of signatures for the impeachment of Nino Lomjaria. Noteworthy, on November 7th, Leila Tsinadze-Melikidze shared a post in the same group, calling Nino Lomjaria the defender of the UNM.

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Leila Tsinadze-Melikidze manages the groups “Bidzina Ivanishvili and the Next Generation#oficial,” “41 Still in the Service of the People,” and “Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili.”

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Messages of the government, pro-governmental experts and pro-Kremlin and anti-liberal actors

The messages sent by the government, pro-government experts, and Kremlin and anti-liberal actors regarding the ombudsman and the council created by her were in line with the discreditation campaign on social media.

  • Message 1: Lomajria and the council should be held accountable for their malign actions

Irakli Kobakhidze, Chairman of the Georgian Dream: “… When such a” fake” conclusion is made, including by doctors and the Public Defender -tis will be followed by a continuation and this continuation was a transfer to a civilian clinic, followed by the scenario we are afraid of. In this case, this is another “fake” for which everyone should be held responsible, including the Ombudsman and the doctors.”

Similar messages were disseminated by Nugzar Chonkadze, Head of the City Security Service of the City Hall, Pro-governmental experts Zaal AnjaparidzeGia AbashidzeIrakli Lataria, and Sandro Bregadze, Leader of the far-right “Georgian March.”

  • Message 2: Nino Lomjaria and the group of experts are biased

Irakli Kobakhidze, Chairman of the Georgian Dream: “The Public Ombudsman has a very obvious political bias.”

Mamuka Mdinaradze, Chairman of the Georgian Dream: “It is unfortunate that Nino Lomjaria is completely in line with the “message box” of the “United National Movement.”

Rati Ionatamishvili, Member of the Georgian Dream: “This is a disgusting and unreliable study. It is very embarrassing, when you are deliberately defending the interests of a particular political group or party.”

Similar messages were disseminated by Nugzar Chonkadze, Head of the City Security Service of the City Hall; Davit Matikashvili, First Deputy Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Legal Affairs; Pro-governmental experts Levan Nikoleishvili and Irakli Lataria, as well as Nikoloz Mzhavanadze, Head of the “Union of the Rights Defenders,” and Jaba Khubua, the journalist of “Asaval-Dasavali.”

  • Message 3: Nino Lomjaria does not care about the rights of other prisoners

Nikoloz Samkharadze, Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Relations: “If I know correctly, at least 1000 prisoners had been on hunger strike for the last 3 years. If these prisoners did not have adequate treatment in the prison hospital, where was Lomjaria back then?”

Gia Abashidze, Pro-governmental expert: “In which democratic country on the planet was the Public Defender, which is in general a friend of the prisoners, detested by the prisoners themselves? Is this as absurd as “hot snow.”

Similar messages were voiced by Nugzar Chonkadze, Head of the City Security Service of the City Hall; Shalva Ramishvili and Bacho Odisharia,  the hosts at POS-TV.

Anti-liberal and pro-Kremlin Actors

In November, Nino Lomjaria also became targeted by pro-Russian and anti-Western actors. “Asaval-Dasavali” journalist Jaba Khubua accused Nino Lomjaria of recruiting supporters of the National Movement in the medical council and even accused the Public Defender of Ukraine Ludmila Denisova of interfering in Georgia’s internal affairs (Asaval-Dasavali, 22-28).

According to Irakli Jankarashvili, the author of Tvalsazrisi.ge and the supporter of the Alliance of Patriots of Georgia, the appointment of Nino Lomjaria was a direct directive of the then US Ambassador.

Jaba Khubua, Journalist at Asaval-Dasavali, November 22-28: “Lomjaria is harmful only at the local level and her bad ombudsmanship has not gone beyond the borders of Georgia, Denisova is ont satisfied with her own country and interferes with the internal affairs of foreign countries such as Georgia! In short, Lomjaria operates on a local scale, Denisova operates on a larger scale that is why she is worse than Lomjaria! “

Irakli Jankarashvili, author at Tvalsazrisi.ge: The appointment of Nino Lomjaria was a direct directive of the then-US Ambassador. The Georgian Dream did not support the candidate of the opposition, but the joint candidate. Who was the source of this agreement? The then-US Ambassador to Georgia! Whose direct directive was to appoint Lomjaria! Otherwise, when electing the Public Defender, the parliament had an alternative choice – the Alliance of Patriots nominated Giorgi Popkhadze, who would be an impartial Public Defender.”

In addition to Tvalsazrisi.ge, Irakli Jankarashvili’s post was published on the following Facebook pages: “Anti-Liberal Doctrine,” “Supporters of the Alliance of Patriots,” “Resident,” “Malices of Georgia”. The first three of these pages are linked to Irakli Jankarashvili.
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Disinformation and discreditation campaign regarding the Ninotsminda orphanage

The discreditation campaign against the Public Defender is not new. Nino Lomjaria became a target of pro-Kremlin and anti-liberal groups in June 2021 after the ombudsman entered the Ninotsminda orphanage of the Patriarchate. See the publication of “Myth Detector” for details: Who Joined Discrediting Campaign against Public Defender?

In November 2020, based on the Facebook post of Shota Apkhaidze, the founder of the Caucasus Center for Islamic Studies, the pro-Kremlin outlet “News Front” and Alt-Info-related Facebook accounts, as well as Spacenews.io disseminated disinformation regarding the Ninotsminda orphanage against the Public Defender.  See the publication of “Myth Detector” for details: Pro-Kremlin and Governmental Platforms Disseminate Disinformation about the Public Ombudsman and TV Formula

Source

Source

News Front Georgia
News Front Georgia

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Tvalsazrisi.ge
Tvalsazrisi.ge

Source

POS TV
POS TV
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