Public Defender’s Statement on Release of Giorgi Giunashvili from Tskhinvali Prison

On November 26, 2017, information was spread about the release of Giorgi Giunashvili from the Tskhinvali prison. The Public Defender of Georgia notes that the release of Giunashvili is undoubtedly an important positive step towards improvement of the rights situation of conflict-affected population.

It should be emphasized that illegal arrests continue at the dividing lines of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia, while another Georgian citizen G.L. remains in the long-term imprisonment in Abkhazia.

Public Defender Ucha Nanuashvili addresses all relevant agencies and the parties concerned to maintain human rights-based approach during any negotiation and decision-making process, as well as to take effective steps for reducing the damages suffered by the conflict-affected population and stop detention of citizens at the dividing lines.

Giorgi Giunashvili was detained by the border guards of the Russian Federation on the charge of "illegal crossing of border” on June 8, 2016, but later the de-facto law enforcement agency additionally charged him with involvement in "illegal armed formation", while the Tskhinvali de-facto court sentenced him to 20 years in prison.

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