The State Ministry for Reconciliation and Civic Equality of Georgia, a body charged with overseeing Moscow-occupied regions, said on November 15 that Onise Gatenashvili, patient from occupied Akhalgori district of Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia, died while being transported to Georgia proper a day earlier.
The State Ministry for Reconciliation said that the continued closure of the crossing points with Georgia proper since September 2019 by the Kremlin-backed South Ossetian authorities has claimed the lives of 16 people in the region.
Patients in the occupied region are required to seek medical help in the regional capital first to get a permission of transfer to Georgia proper, instead of directly travelling to Tbilisi. Ethnic Georgian-majority Akhalgori district is located some 50 minutes drive away from Tbilisi, whereas detour via Tskhinvali, including addressing Tskhinvali-imposed complications, takes at least few hours more, that have proved fatal for several patients with getting delayed transfers.
The Ministry said Gatenashvili was being transported by emergency vehicle from Akhalgori via Ergneti village crossing point to a clinic in Georgia proper following the involvement of the International Committee of the Red Cross. The State Ministry noted, however, that despite the Georgian Government’s immediately carried out medical evacuation, the patient being in a critical condition, passed away in the emergency vehicle.
Noting that relevant agencies in Georgia continue putting efforts into enabling the population in the occupied region to move freely with the rest of the country, the State Ministry called on international organizations and partners to “strengthen their pressure on on the occupied regime.”
- Amid Crossing Point Closure, Patient Dies after Delayed Transfer to Tskhinvali
- Georgian CSOs Address Intl Community over ‘Humanitarian Crisis’ in Occupied Akhalgori District