Georgian soldier who died in captivity of South Ossetia transferred to Georgian-controlled territory
21 March, 2018
Georgian soldier who died in captivity of South Ossetia  transferred to Georgian-controlled territory
The de facto government of Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) has handed over Archil Tatunashvili's body to the Georgian side. The International Committee of the Red Cross was directly involved in the transfer of the body.
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Red Cross was directly involved in the transfer of the body

Deputy Head of the Analytical Department of the State Security Service Kakha Kemoklidze, State Minister for Equality and Civic Reconciliation Ketevan Tsikhelashvili and representatives of other state agencies also participated in the process.
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The body was
handed over to the Georgian side at the Ergneti checkpoint


The body was handed over to the Georgian side at the Ergneti checkpoint.
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Archil Tatunashvili's body had been examined at the National Forensics Bureau. The examination process lasted for about 7 hours by the experts of Levan Samkharauli National Forensics Bureau as well as independent experts, hired by Tatunashvili's family.
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Archil Tatunashvili's body had been examined at the National Forensics Bureau

Tatunashvili's family members, Ketevan Tsikhelashvili, State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality, Sozar Subari, Minister of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees, clergymen and ordinary citizens paid tribute to the deceased.

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Archil Tatunashvili's body has been transferred to his house in the village of Tsilkani

Archil Tatunashvili's body has been transferred to his house in the village of Tsilkani. The civil funeral will be held from Wednesday. Archil Tatunashvili will be buried on Saturday.

"We would like to thank all those who contributed to the transfer of Archil Tatunashvili's body and we would like to announce that this tragic fact will be investigated by all means", said State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality Ketevan Tsikhelashvili.
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State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality Ketevan Tsikhelashvili

"Of course, I doubt that the pseudo-investigation carried out in Tskhinvali is close to reality, - Sozar Subari, Minister of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees of Georgia, told reporters at Ergneti checkpoint where Archil Tatunashvili's body was transferred.

The Minister belives that Georgian investigation will be able to establish the truth. "With the very first information spreading by the de facto authorities of Tskhinvali, it seemed that there was violence against Archil Tatunashvili. Despite the fact that they tried to "embellish" this statement, it was clear ", Subari said.
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The Minister belives that Georgian investigation will be able to establish the truth

The Minister said that the transfer was too late. "In the National Bureau of Expertise the primary examination of the body will be carried out. The body was accompanied by certain materials. The study of these materials is a subject of further investigation. It is obvious that we can not talk about the reasons for the death yet, but with the very first information released by the de facto authorities of Tskhinvali, it seemed that there was violence against Archil Tatunashvili," said Sozar Subari.
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Minister of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees of Georgia

The EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM) welcomes the fact that the body of Archil Tatunashvili was finally released to his family, - it is said in the statement released by the EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM).

“The Mission has been facilitating dialogue over the EUMM-managed Hotline on this tragic case during the past weeks.

The EUMM, in its monitoring capacity and in line with its Mandate, follows developments closely. Of course, Russia, as a side, which has a full control over the occupied territories of Georgia is responsible for the violations that are taking place in these regions, including the fact of deprivation of life of Archil Tatunashvili, Archil Talakvadze, leader of the parliamentary majority , said in Parliament while presenting the resolution on Russia.

Talakvadze noted that despite of the fact that the right of Georgian citizen was so grossly violated, Georgia will not lose balance and try to solve the problem of restoration of territorial integrity with the assistance of the international community.
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The EU Monitoring Mission welcomes the fact that the body of Archil Tatunashvili was released to his family

The EUMM reaffirms its readiness to support ongoing investigations and to facilitate discussions through the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) and the Hotline.

The Mission calls for a swift agreement between participants on the resumption of the IPRM meetings in Ergneti, which are co-facilitated by the EUMM and the OSCE,” - the statement reads.

Archil Tatunashvili's death is a big tragedy for the whole Georgia. It is worth mentioning that the Georgian rugby players (nicknamed the Lelos) were wearing t-shirts with Archil Tatunashvili’s name on them when performing national anthem of Georgia at the European championship match against Romania on March 18. The Lelos became champions and as a result of the victory over Romania, Georgian team has gained back the Anthim the Iberian Cup.
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Georgian rugby players wearing t-shirts with Archil Tatunashvili’s name on them

As a reminder, on February 22, the occupation regime detained three Georgian citizens - Archil Tatunashvili, Levan Kutashvili and Ioseb Pavliashvili in Akhalgori. On February 23 it was reported that Archil Tatunashvili died in unclear circumstances. According to Ossetian media, Archil Tatunashvili died in Tskhinvali  hospital.

De-facto Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) released two citizens of Georgia, who were detained together with Archil Tatunashvili, from illegal imprisonment on March 12. They left the occupied territory of Georgia. Levan Qutashvili and Ioseb Pavliashvili are already on the territory under the control of Georgia's central government.
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Occupation line in the country's occupied Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) Region

Tskhinvali, so called South Ossetia, is the breakaway region of Georgia since the 2008 Russia-Georgia war. Currently, Russian troops are positioned there. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev issued the order of recognizing Abkhazia and so-called South Ossetia on the 26th August, 2008. Besides Russia, 5 more countries recognized the breakaway territories as independent (Venezuela, Nicaragua, Nauru, Tuvalu and Vanuatu), although later both Vanuatu and Tuvalu withdrew their recognition and re-established diplomatic relations with Georgia. Rest of the world does not recognize neither Georgian regions as independent states.

Update:

Archil Tatunashvili will be buried at the Mukhatgverdi Brothers’ Cemetery on March 24. According to the Ministry of Defence, the family members of Tatunashvili expressed the desire Archil Tatunashvili to be buried at Brothers' Cemetery.

Related stories:

De-facto Tskhinvali releases two Georgian citizens from illegal imprisonment

Citizens gather to protest Georgian man’s death in Georgia’s occupied region

U.S. Department of State Spokesperson on death of Georgian citizen in occupied Tskhinvali Region

EU releases statement in relation to the latest developments in Georgia’s occupied Tskhinvali Region
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