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De Facto S.Ossetia Releases Statement Over Deceased Georgian Citizen in Tskhinvali

By Tea Mariamidze
Friday, March 2
De facto Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia’s Russian-backed region of South Ossetia has published a statement about the death of Archil Tatunashvili, a Georgian national who died in occupied Tskhinvali on February 23, after being kidnapped by occupant forces. The statement also denounces negative reactions of the Georgian society, saying anti-Ossetian attitudes have reached peak in Georgia.

The so called ministry says Tatunashvili, suspected in carrying out intelligence-sabotage activities and in the murder of civilians in August 2008, was detained in Leningori (Akhalgori) on February 22, 2018 by breakaway South Ossetian law enforcers. The statement explains that during Tatunashvili’s transfer to a detention cell after being questioned, he fought back and sustained injuries, was knocked down and rolled down the stairs.

“The common sense dictates that the death of Archil Tatunashvili was not in the interests of South Ossetia, as the attempt to escape the suspect before the commencement of the merits of the case is thoroughly assessed as proof of the existing suspicion,” the statement reads.

The “ministry” also claims that the death of Tatunashvili has caused “excessive” reactions in Georgia and some are using this issue for internal political struggle.

“Georgian extremism, revanchism and aggressiveness towards neighboring states was quite successful, especially in the eyes of the international community and it was possible to hide behind the mass of empty statements about the desire for peace,” the so called office reported.

Moreover, the occupant forces denounced statements made by the international community, heads and ministries of various states and participants of Geneva International Discussions regarding the death of the Georgian citizen.

“Their "concern" over the death of A.Tatunashvili, provokes further escalation of the situation. Their position can be understood - huge money, spent by Georgia's donors on various "conciliatory" projects, did not bring results,” the statement reads.

Three Georgians - Archil Tatunashvili, Levan Kutashvili and Ioseb Pavliashvili were illegally detained by occupying forces in the Akhalgori region of Georgia last week.

At first Tatunashvili was announced to die on February 23 due to the “heart failure.” The remaining two have been released from the detention facility. However, the puppet regime deprived them of their documents and they are unable to leave the region.

De facto Tskhinvali refuses to hand over Tatunashvili’s body to official Tbilisi, saying that they are waiting experts from Russia to carry out a forensic expertise.

Georgia’s Public Defender, Nino Lomjaria said according to the information provided to her, Tatunashvili was already dead when he was brought to the Tskhinvali hospital, where the medical personnel said he seemed to have been beaten according to his injuries.

On March 1, 2018, United States Ambassador to Georgia Ian Kelly expressed concern over the incident, adding occupant forces should have their own responsibility, but it does not seem anyone has taken this responsibility yet.

“I hope that the dead body will be returned to the family as soon as possible, we are really shocked by this fact," said the ambassador.