Occupants Release Two Georgians Detained with Tatunashvili

The de facto regime of Georgia’s Russian-backed, occupied Tskhinvali region (“South Ossetia”) have released two Georgian citizens, Levan Kutashvili and Ioseb Pavliashvili, who were kidnapped alongside Archil Tatunashvili, who died in unclear circumstances during his detention.

The two men left occupied Akhalgori late on March 11, after spending 18 days there.

Georgia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) reports that the released men show no signs of having been tortured.

Deputy Interior Minister, Kakhaber Sabanadze, Minister of Refugees, Sozar Subari, and Reconciliation and Civic Equality Minister, Ketevan Tsikhelashvili, met Kutashvili and Pavliashvili in the Mtskheta-Mtianeti police department.

Sabanadze says the Georgian side has launched an investigation under articles 108 and 143.

“We are actively working to transfer Tatunashvili’s body from the occupied territory,” the Deputy Interior Minister stated.

According to Subari, the released men will return to their families. He added that there is no news regarding Tatunashvili.

Archil Tatunashvili, Levan Kutashvili and Ioseb Pavliashvili were detained in occupied Akhalgori on February 22. The next day it was reported that Tatunashvili had died. Official Tbilisi has been demanding the handover of Tatunashvili’s body since then, however, the de facto authorities claim they need to carry out forensic expertise.

Thea Morrison

12 March 2018 19:19