Georgian Dies in Tskhinvali Custody

Detained Georgian citizen Archil Tatunashvili, 35, died in custody of the Russian-backed Tskhinvali authorities in the early hours of February 23.

Tskhinvali “security service,” called “state security committee” or “KGB,” says that Tatunashvili had been detained the previous day in Akhalgori and “taken to Tskhinvali for questioning.”

They claim that during his transfer to a detention cell after being questioned, Tatunashvili fought back and “sustained injuries, was knocked down and rolled down the stairs,” after which he was taken to hospital, where he died “after two hours.”  They also claim that “according to the preliminary results of the autopsy of the body of Tatunashvili, the cause of death was acute heart failure.”

Tskhinvali KGB accused Tatunashvili, who it said had been a member of the Georgian armed forces, of “genocide against South Ossetians,” ties with the Georgian security agencies, and “preparing new acts of sabotage on the territory of the republic shortly before the election of the President of Russian Federation.”

The Russian-backed authorities’ security force says Tatunashvili was detained “during one of his visits to South Ossetia.”

Akhalgori Municipality, the territory of which was almost entirely under the jurisdiction of the central government before the Russo-Georgian War of 2008, is home to 4209 persons, according to the region’s Russian-backed authorities. 2337 (55.5%) of the total population are ethnic Georgians.


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