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Majority, Opposition MPs Draft Resolutions Condemning Tatunashvili’s Death

The Parliament of Georgia is to adopt a resolution condemning the death of a Georgian citizen, Archil Tatunashvili, while in custody of the Russian-backed Tskhinvali authorities on February 22. Despite Tbilisi’s requests and international mediation, his body has not yet been transferred to his family.

The ruling Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia party presented the draft resolution on March 2, a day after the opposition European Georgia party submitted a text of its own.

The ruling party resolution, “strongly” condemns the “deprivation of lives” of Archil Tatunashvili and Giga Otkhozoria, who has been killed in area adjascent to Abkhazian boundary in May 2016. It states the responsibility for both cases “rests entirely with the Russian Federation as the power exercising control on the ground.”

The resolution urges Moscow to ensure “immediate handover” of Tatunashvili’s body, and to allow the two other Georgian citizens detained together with the deceased – Levan Kutashvili and Ioseb Pavliashvili – to cross to the Tbilisi-administered territory.

It also calls on the Russian Federation to fulfill the August 12, 2008 ceasefire agreement, and “to act constructively in order to move forward within the Geneva International Discussions for establishing the international security mechanisms [in the two occupied regions], and on ensuring the return of internally displaced persons.”

The ruling party further appeals to the international community to engage in securing the handover of Tatunashvili’s body, and the enactment of “international human rights and security mechanisms” to the occupied regions.

The draft filed by European Georgia speaks of the “murders” of Archil Tatunashvili and Giga Otkhozoria, condemning them as well as other human rights violations. This resolution also places the responsibility on the Russian Federation as the power “exercising effective control in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia.”

The resolution develops on the initiative voiced by the party few days ago and proposes compiling the so called “Otkhozoria-Tatunashvili List,” which would include Russian, Sokhumi and Tskhinvali authorities and individuals that have had a part in "kidnapping, torturing and murdering the Georgian citizens."

According to the proposal, the persons included in the list will be sanctioned by the Government through freezing their assets whenever accessible, and calling on international partners to do so where these are not accessible for the Georgian jurisdiction, and proposes denying these persons social benefits that Tbilisi normally offers to residents of the two occupied regions.

The opposition resolution also calls on the Government to “work with partners” on imposing visa restrictions against the persons included in the list, and to ban their financial and property transactions on their territories.

The Parliament is expected to discuss both texts in the coming week.

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