117th Ergneti IPRM Meeting

On February 13, the 117th Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) meeting was held in Ergneti. The meeting was co-facilitated by the Acting Head of the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia (EUMM), Tibor Kozma, and the Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office for the South Caucasus, Viorel Moşanu. 

Among other issues the planned “appointment” as the occupied Akhalgori district “prosecutor” of Davit Gurtsiev, sentenced in the torture murder case of Archil Tatunashvili, was also raised.

EUMM Statement

The co-facilitators called on participants to ensure security and stability along the occupation line, as well as the freedom of movement, and fully reopen the crossing points, including for regular traffic. “Discussions also covered the security situation in Chorchana-Tsnelisi area, as well as the topic of UAVs.”

Reflecting on security incidents and relevant developments since the last IPRM meeting, the co-facilitators also stressed the importance of prioritizing the security of conflict-affected communities for all parties to the IPRM.

The co-facilitators called for an end to the detentions and for the release of the remaining detainees. The participants praised the hotline operated by the EUMM and thanked the co-facilitators for the timely exchange of information in the event of crises and incidents.

According to the statement, Ambassador Moşanu, now representing the 2024 OSCE Chairpersonship of Malta, pointed to the “good practice” of accompanying technical meetings, in particular on water irrigation issues. “He voiced his hope to sustain established efforts and initiatives.”

SSSG Statement

The State Security Service of Georgia (SSSG) said its representatives “strongly demanded the punishment of those guilty of killing of Tamaz Ginturi, a Georgia citizen [committed] by the Russian occupation forces near the village of Kirbali.”

The SSSG raised the issue of of the release of all persons in illegal detention, and “strongly condemned” the illegal acts of “borderiziation” carried out between the IPRM meetings. The participants of the meeting discussed the humanitarian problems faced by the local population living along the occupation line and the possibilities to solve them.

Gurtsiev’s Planned “Appointment”

The SSSG raised the issue of the possible “appointment” of Davit Gurtsiev, sentenced by the Mtskheta District Court in 2020 to life imprisonment for the torture murder of Georgian citizen Archil Tatunashvili, as a “prosecutor” in the occupied Akhalgori district.

According to Irakli Antadze, Deputy Head of the Information-analytical Department of the Georgian State Security Service, the SSSG underlined that Gurtsiev is wanted on the Interpol Red Notice and his “appointment” will be a “serious risk for the security environment”. “We hope that they will show common sense and that the security of the local indigenous population will not be endangered in any way.”

Meanwhile, Tamara Mearakishvili, an ethnic Georgian civic activist in the occupied Akhalgori district, announced a hunger strike on February 11 to protest the possible “appointment” of Gurtsiev, who “has been terrorizing the population of our district for 15 years.” Mearakishvili says will not stop the hunger strike until the “prosecutor-general” of the occupied Tskhinvali region explains the reason for Gurtsiev’s “appointment.”

Statement by Tskhinvali representative

Representatives of the de-facto authorities in the occupied Tskhinvali region once again raised the issue of the “illegal” Georgian police post on the territory of the village of Tsnelisi/Uista.

Egor Kochiev representing the de-facto authorities, said the situation has been calm at the occupation line since December 13 last year. According to him, the number of “border violations” as well as “the incidents related to the flight of unmanned aerial vehicles and the presence of the Georgian police has decreased.”

The participants agreed to convene the next regular IPRM meeting on 20 March 2024.

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


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