Georgian Doctor’s Detention in Tskhinvali Discussed at OSCE Permanent Council

On November 21, David Dondua, Georgian ambassador to Austria and the representative to the OSCE and other Vienna-based organizations, informed the OSCE Permanent Council of “abduction and illegal detention” of a Georgian doctor Vazha Gaprindashvili.

According to the Georgian Embassy to Austria, in his address, Dondua stressed that Georgia and international community should unite their efforts “to immediately release him.”

Gaprindashvili, who told his family on November 9 that he was leaving Tbilisi for some business, was sentenced to two-month pretrial custody for “illegally crossing the border” in occupied Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia on November 15.

Dondua said at the OSCE that Gaprindashvili’s case “illustrates the need for re-opening of so-called crossing points and allowing freedom of movement across occupation line.” “Current situation negatively affects the most vulnerable segment of population – elderly, children and persons in need of medical care,” he tweeted



The United States Mission to the OSCE as well as the European Union member states have joined Georgia “in expressing their concern” on Gaprindashvili’s illegal detention, and called for his “immediate release.”

Calling for “the immediate end to closures of the crossing points,” the U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission Harry Kamian said that U.S. reiterates its “full support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognized borders.”

“We once again urge Russia to fulfill all of its obligations under the 2008 ceasefire agreement, including the withdrawal of its forces to pre-conflict positions and the provision of free access for humanitarian assistance to these regions, as well to reverse its recognition of the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states,” he concluded.

Earlier on November 19, the OSCE Secretary General Thomas Greminger also expressed his hope “for early return of detained Georgian doctor to his beloved ones.” “Humanitarian approach to all detention cases is of utmost importance,” he tweeted.

In its earlier statement, the Georgian Foreign Ministry reported that it is “using all of its diplomatic tools” aimed at suspending illegal processes on occupied territories and improving human rights situation on the ground.

Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili has called on the heads of international organizations “to use all available means” to achieve the release of the Georgian doctor, while the State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality, Ketevan Tsikhelashvili announced on November 17 that the Georgian doctor would be released “in coming days.” 

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