Seven Detained over Inmate’s Death as Protests Continue in Tskhinvali

Hundreds of protesters hit the streets of central Tskhinvali again on August 31, demanding the resignation of Kremlin-backed leader Anatoly Bibilov and the occupied region’s “prosecutor general” Uruzmag Jagaev over the death of 28-year-old inmate Inal Jabiev.

Protests erupted on August 28 following reports about Jabiev’s death after his hospitalization from the detention facility, where the inmate had been allegedly subjected to severe beatings. The young man was detained on attempted murder of the occupied region’s then interior minister Igor Naniev.

Bibilov first responded to the protests by firing Naniev, and the entire “government” following a resignation notice of the “prime minister” late on August 28.

Seven Suspects under Detention

“RES” media agency reported that Tskinvali’s prosecution bodies have detained seven suspects – staff members of the ‘interior ministry’ – in relation to Jabiev’s death.

No official charges have been yet brought as investigations are still underway and forensic medical examination has been scheduled.

Potential charges include exceeding official powers, however, according to the investigator, charges may be added and the list of suspects is subject to a change.

Former Leaders React

Commenting on current events, Bibilov’s predecessor Leonid Tibilov said he is “convinced that perpetrators will be found and punished.” The former Kremlin-backed leader called on the public to wait for the court outcome.

Another ex-leader Eduard Kokoity, Russian-backed Tskhinvali leader in 2001-2011, posted a video address on his Instagram profile, calling Bibilov to immediately resign. Kokoity said Bibilov had “declared war against his own people” and threatened with his return to Tskhinvali/South Ossetia if his demands are not met.

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