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Tbilisi clinic defends nurse over ‘joke’ advocating date rape 

19 July 2022
Stills from the video posted on TikTok in which Tornike Gulisashvili joked about raping women. The label on the bottle has been blurred.

A medical clinic in Tbilisi has defended a member of staff who posted a video on TikTok in which he joked about raping women who did not want to have sex with him.

Tornike Gulisashvili, an assistant nurse at the Aleksandre Aladashvili Clinic, posted the video in medical attire, seemingly shot in the clinic. The video begins with a grinning Gulisashvili and the caption, ‘She: I will never sleep with u’, after which he places a bottle of a prescription anaesthetic on the desk assertively as a ‘solution’.

The video has since become unavailable. 

Calls have emerged to fire Gulisashvili over the video; however, the clinic has remained defiant.

A spokesperson told OC Media that he had ‘admitted he made a mistake’ and had removed the video after receiving a warning and being placed on probation. 

Despite the claim Gulisashvili was reprimanded, Levan Beselia, the head of the Critical Medicine and Emergency Care Department at the clinic, dismissed what he had done as ‘some funny video on TikTok’, while criticising the media for inquiring about it.

Beselia claimed that the only reason Gulisashvili was reprimanded was for wasting time at work.

‘I don’t even give a damn about that video or videos of that sort because I’m busy dealing with serious affairs’, Beselia told OC Media, citing patients in critical conditions. 

‘I guess you don’t have anything else to do if you’re enquiring about this.’

‘Do you know what TikTok is? I can show you not just similar videos but those much worse that are not only about rape but directly include facts; were you interested in those instead of focusing only on Tornike Gulisashvili? TikTok is not a serious platform but is full of dallying, laughs, non-serious acts’, he said.

Beselia denied that the video glorified any kind of violence while further defending Gulisashvili.

‘I’m dealing with serious affairs here […] Tornike Gulisashvili too; when I send him to a patient to do what he is tasked to do, he does very serious work’. 

‘I take neither TikTok nor that kind of behaviour by Tornike Gulisashvili seriously because I underline, I deal with serious work here.’

OC Media has reached out to Gulisashvili directly for comment.

[Read on OC Media: Consent not required: how Georgian legislation allows rapists to walk free]

Ana Arganashvili, the director of the Tbilisi-based Partnership for Human Rights group, described the clinic’s reaction as inadequate. 

She told OC Media that given the clinic’s reaction to the incident, their organisation intended to appeal to the Regulation Agency for Medical and Pharmaceutical Activities to probe the Aladashvili Clinic for possible sexual assaults.

She underlined that Gulisashvili’s actions were especially egregious considering the power medical staff have over unconscious people and their access to potentially dangerous drugs.

‘How can we be sure that that person has not already abused his position and has not violated anyone? Or what are the checks against such offences?’, Arganashvili asked.

‘Any woman who has had any medical intervention under general anaesthesia in their clinic will obviously wonder if she was a victim [of sexual violence] herself because what we saw in this video is an element of a crime that can be committed only by medical staff — in an emergency care unit where others are not allowed.’

‘That’s why it’s especially dangerous when medical staff do things like this: it triggers suspicion in all of us about whether that is the actual practice there.’ 

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