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Georgian Citizen “Commits Suicide” in prison of Occupied Abkhazia

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, March 14
A Georgian citizen, 29-year-old Irakli Kvaratskhelia, committed suicide while in detention in the Western Georgian occupied Abkhazia region, the European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM) reported on March 12.

The suicide is the version of the de facto authorities of the region, while locals say that the man had a verbal dispute with Russia-controlled border guards, was beaten which led to the death.

They claim that a doctor was called from a Russian military base, who was “strongly warned” not to say a word about Kvatarskhelia’s “grave health condition.”

The Georgian Foreign Ministry says that the “fact is alarming” and reasons of the death must be investigated.

Georgian Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani says that he has already tasked Georgian embassies abroad to inform host countries about the details of the incident.

He claimed that he has already spoken concerning the incident with the EU special representative to Georgia, as well as with co-chairs of the Geneva International Discussions from the OSCE and UN.

Zalkaliani said that he still does not have information whether the deceased man was physically abused or not.

Georgian Minister for Reconciliation and Civil Equality Ketevan Tsikhelashvili states that knowledge of precise information regarding the developments which preceded the suicide is “of the highest importance.”

The opposition says that the reaction of Tbilisi must be very strong if it is confirmed that the man was beaten which led to his death.

“If it is approved, those involved must be put on the Tatunashvili-Otkhozoria list [the list which provides sanctions for the individuals violating human rights in the two Russian-occupied regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali),” Kapanadze said.

A murderer of Georgian citizen Giga Otkhozoria, who was killed in 2016, has not been sentenced.