was born on May 26, 1938.
In 1955 the future prominent leaders of the
National-liberation and Human Rights movement in
Georgia, - Zviad
Gamsakhurdia and Merab Kostava, together with
some likeminded persons then in the age of 15-16
years old, initiated and established an underground
youth patriotic organization "Gorgasliani",
which printed and spread proclamations about Human
Rights violations in Georgia, and anti-Soviet and
anti-totalitarian character. The activists of
"Gorgasliani" tried to give to the
wellknown events of 1956 a background of Human Rights
and National-liberation. The extremely risky and
dedicated activities of this patriotic youth
organization was not unnoticed by the KGB, which was
known for its brutality. 3-5 April, 1957 members of
"Gorgasliani" were charged (cr.case No
457). After six months of detention in the
KGB-isolator they were released on conditional
penalty because they were under age. After that Mr.
Zviad Gamsakhurdia and Mr. Merab Kostava became the
subjects of open or secret observation of the Soviet
In 1962 Kostava graduated from the Tbilisi State
Conservatoire. In 1962-1977 he was teacher of the
music school in Tbilisi.
In 1973 under leadership of Zviad
Gamsakhurdia and Merab Kostava in Tbilisi was
established the first public and legal Human Rights
organization in the Caucasus - "Human Rights
Initiative Group", which had close contacts with
Human Rights groups in the former Soviet empire. The
Human Rights Initiative Group also cooperated with
the Moscow samizdat underground journal
"Chronicle of current events" (Editor and
Publisher Mr. Sergei Kovaliov).
In 1976, on the basis of this group,
was established the Georgian Helsinki Group, which
represented the first group of this kind on the
territory of the former Soviet-Union. From its
establishment the Helsinki Group actively defended
the issue of Human Rights, especially the rights of
political prisoners and prisoners of consciousness in
the former Soviet empire. They also actively defended
the Georgian language and the absolutely undefended
monuments of Georgian culture. The Group was
publishing and spreading illegal samizdat underground
journals "Okros Satskmisi" ("Golden
Fleece") and "Sakartvelos Moambe"
In 1974 Dr. Zviad Gamsakhurdia and
Mr. Merab Kostava were appointed International
Members of the Nobelprize-awarded organization -
"Amnesty International" (UK).
In 1977 the prominent leaders of the
Helsinki Groups in the former USSR were arrested and
Zviad Gamsakhurdia and Merab Kostava with them.
Merab Kostava was released in 1987 after hard work by
Zviad Gamsakhurdia and other activists of Human
Rights movement. After Kostava's release a new period
in the Georgian National-liberation and Human Rights
movement began. In the same year a new underground
journal of the Georgian Helsinki Group, -
"Matiane" ("Chronicle"), was
issued. Later (1989) also the bilingual
Russian-English samizdat journal "Vestnik Gruzii
/ Georgian Messenger" was published.
In 1986-1990 the Georgian Helsinki
Group (from September 1989 - Union) was coordinator
of all important protest actions of the Human Rights
and anti-imperialist movement. On the 9th of April,
1989, after the brutal dispursal of the peacefull
action in Tbilisi, among other organizators Dr. Zviad
Gamsakhurdia and Mr. Merab Kostava were arrested.
They were kept during 40 days in the KGB-isolator.
Merab Kostava, who tried to maintain the
integrity of national powers, died in the accident On
October 13, 1989.