FIDE Vice President held in custody by Spanish Police, after being heavily beaten up Print
Saturday, 30 October 2004 00:00
FIDE Vice President and European Chess Champion 2003, Grand Master Zurab Azmaiparashvili is being held in custody by the Spanish police at a federal police station in Palmanova, Mallorca, without charges after a serious incident where he was severely beaten up by security guards towards the end of the Closing Ceremony of the 36th Chess Olympiad in Calvia on October 30th 2004. FIDE Vice President and European Chess Champion 2003, Grand Master Zurab Azmaiparashvili is being held in custody by the Spanish police at a federal police station in Palmanova, Mallorca, without charges after a serious incident where he was severely beaten up by security guards towards the end of the Closing Ceremony of the 36th Chess Olympiad in Calvia on October 30th 2004.

As the Chess Olympiad Closing ceremony came to an end, a special prize bearing the name of a prominent female Georgian chess player and former World Chess Champion, Nona Gaprindashvili was about to be awarded. However, the Master of Ceremony failed to explain the reason behind the award.

FIDE Vice President Zurab Azmaiparashvili, who is Georgian, tried to notify this to the organisers, who did nothing to correct this incredible mistake. Despite his clear VIP identification, he was severely beaten up by several security guards, according to witnesses. Persons near by, including his wife, Mrs Marina Milorava were then themselves beaten up as they attempted to help him.

FIDE Vice President Zurab Azmaiparashvili was handcuffed and taken away at approximately 20h on the 30th of October 2004. He has been detained by the Spanish police for several hours, without any FIDE official or FIDE legal representative having any information of his health or whereabouts. The Calvia Olympiad organisers refused to intervene in an incident that they could have easily prevented from escalating. The Spanish Chess Federation did not give any assistance either and their President Mr.Javier Ochoa de Echaguen even refused to help FIDE find a Spanish lawyer.

Why a FIDE Official with VIP accreditation should be treated in such an aggressive way is beyond belief and leaves all of the chess family astonished and angry. FIDE is appalled by the aggressive and rude reaction of the security guards and of the apparent lack of concern of the Calvia Olympiad organisers. FIDE therefore demands the immediate release of Vice President Zurab Azmaiparashvili without charge. He is clearly held without any grounds and FIDE asks for a public apology from the Calvia Olympiad organisers whose mistake has provoked this terrible incident.

Before midnight on the 30th of October 2004, FIDE officials went to Palmanova police station to see Vice President Zurab Azmaiparashvili. They were offered no assistance whatsoever. The FIDE lawyer was even denied access to Mr Azmaiparashvili. FIDE officials asked for Mr Azmaiparashvili to be examined in a hospital by an independent doctor, which was also denied. At this moment, FIDE regrets to have had no assistance in this very serious matter either from the Calvia Chess Olympiad, or from the Spanish Chess Federation.

Press Contact:

FIDE Deputy President Mr. Georgios Makropoulos +30 6948176162

FIDE Vice President Mr. Morten Sand + 47 90561288

" FIDE Deputy President Georgios Makropoulos and Olympiad Director Antonio Rami at a press conference after the closing ceremony

"

GM Zurab Azmaiparashvili shown here winning the European Championship 2003
 
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