The U.S. in Georgia issued a statement in the late evening of Friday, December 20, in response to occupied Tskhinvali’s decision to sentence Tbilisi-based doctor Vazha Gaprindashvili to prison for 21 months.
“The government of the United States does not recognize as legitimate the de facto authorities in the occupied region,” the U.S. Embassy noted, adding that “nor does it recognize as legitimate today’s sentencing of Dr. Vazha Gaprindashvili.”
- Tskhinvali Sends Georgian Doctor to Prison for 21 Months
- Georgian, Foreign Officials Condemn Tskhinvali Decision to Imprison Doctor Gaprindashvili
The U.S. Embassy called on occupied Tskhinvali authorities “and those in the Russian Federation who have influence on them, to allow for the immediate release of Dr. Gaprindashvili.”
The Embassy said that “The United States sees this unfortunate case as a symptom of the much bigger problem of occupation and aggression”, adding that it “that this case has developed in the context of other detentions, of a worsening humanitarian situation that endangers lives when people cannot receive appropriate medical care, and of a worsening situation along the administrative boundary line (ABL) which unnecessarily affects the lives and livelihoods of people on both sides of the ABL.”
- Amnesty Calls on Russia, Tskhinvali to Reopen Crossing Points, Release Georgian Doctor
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“We are using all the tools available to us, including the Geneva International Discussions, where we raise this case and these broader issues with all relevant parties”, the U.S. Embassy concluded.