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Tatunashvili’s Body Released to Family

The body of Archil Tatunashvili, a thirty-five-year-old Georgian citizen, who died at the hands of the Russian-backed authorities in Tskhinvali on February 22, was released to his family, few hours after his mortal remains were transferred to the Georgian authorities.

The body was delivered to Tsilkani settlement of internally displaced persons from Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia early morning on March 21, following examination at the National Forensics Bureau in Tbilisi.

Meanwhile, reports have emerged that Archil Tatunashvili had signs of being tortured, with journalist and civic activist Lasha Berulava claiming Tatunashvili’s finger was cut off, “which indicates that he was tortured before being killed.”

Nugzar Tinikashvili, head of the exiled administration of Akhalgori Municipality, confirmed to journalists, citing relatives’ accounts, that Tatunashvili had multiple signs of being tortured.

Tskhinvali authorities said yesterday that the forensic examination conducted in Russia identified “bruises, hematomas and scratches” on Tatunashvili’s body, but stressed that the injuries were “light” and could not “be considered as the cause of his death.”

Tskhinvali has also been maintaining 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 of heart failure.

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