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Amid Crossing Point Closure, Patient Dies after Delayed Transfer to Tskhinvali

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Margo Martiashvili, who was transferred from Ikoti village of occupied Akhalgori Municipality to Tskhinvali for medical treatment, died in the hospital on October 28 after allegedly suffering from a stroke, Tamar Mearakishvili, an Akhalgori-based civil rights activist, reported yesterday.

It took the emergency vehicle from occupied Tskhinvali three hours to transfer Martiashvili to hospital. The patient could not be taken to Tbilisi, located some 45 minutes drive from Akhalgori, as the crossing points between occupied region and the rest of Georgia, including the Odzisi / Mosabruni crossing point, remain closed since September.

“She is yet another victim of the occupation regime,” Georgian Reconciliation Minister Ketevan Tsikhelashvili said on October 29. “I again call on everyone to open the crossing point immediately and unconditionally. The entire Akhalgori district, as well as Tskhinvali population is facing a humanitarian disaster,” she said, adding that not only Georgians, but also Ossetians living in Akhalgori are facing the same problem.

The security service (KGB) of the Moscow-backed authorities of Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia announced on September 3 that all the crossing points connecting the region to Georgia proper would be closed in relation to the celebrations of the “Day of Knowledge.”

Later on September 9, amid ongoing Chorchana checkpoint crisis, Tskhinvali KGB announced that two crossing points – the one between Mosabruni (“Razdakhani” in Ossetian) of Akhalgori Municipality and Odzisi village of Mtskheta Municipality and the second, of Sinaguri of Sachkhere Municipality – connecting the region with the rest of Georgia would be closed temporarily. It then also noted that the crossing points will be opened as soon as “the situation returns back to normal.”

Since late August, representatives of Tskhinvali, Moscow and Tbilisi held six technical meetings to discuss the issue of disputable police checkpoint, but failed to reach any progress.

According to the EUMM, Odzisi (Mtskheta district) crossing point, serving residents of occupied Akhalgori Municipality, is usually used by 400 persons daily. More than half of Akhalgori Municipality dwellers are ethnic Georgians.

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This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)

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