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Occupied Tskhinvali Representatives Quit IPRM Meeting in Protest

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, September 17
Representatives of Georgia’s eastern occupied Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) region left the meeting with members of the central Georgian government in protest on Friday, as they demanded the removal of the cases from the agenda which were related to torture and death of Georgian citizens on the breakaway territory.

The cases demanded to be removed were torture and murder of Archil Tatunashvili in 2018 and death of David Basharuli in 2014.

“The removal of the issues from the agenda and ultimatums within the International Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) format are categorically unacceptable for the Central Government of Georgia, due to the fact that demands are contrary to fundamental principles of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism,” the Georgian State Security Service wrote.

The meeting disruption came shortly after the decision of Interpol, the world police organization with 192 countries, to issue a red notice for two individuals charged with the illegal deprivation of liberty and murder of Tatunashvili.

David Gurtsiev and Alik Tabuev, employees of the so-called law enforcement agencies of Tskhinvali, were charged by the Prosecutor's Office of Georgia in June 2018.

The Mtskheta District Court ordered their pre-trial detention in the same month, but as they live in the occupied region they still walk free.

Gurtsiev and Tabuev were included in the Interpol list on September 13 and as soon as they are identified in one of the Interpol member countries, they will be arrested and extradited to Georgia.

Tatunashvili’s body was returned to his family only 26 days after his death and all inner organs were removed from the body. The de-facto Tskhinvali administration refused to hand it over before an autopsy was made by a Russian forensics office which said Tatunashvili died of acute heart failure caused by myocardial ischemia on February 23.

Tatunashvili and two other Georgian citizens were detained in the occupied Akhalgori area by Russia-controlled border guards on February 22.

Georgia is drafting a lawsuit against Russia for Tatunashvili’s case in the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).