Eduard Kokoity: the Rule of Law in South Osseitia is in place and anyone, who violates the law should be held responsible

Tue, 01/12/2009 - 18:14

The President of South Ossetia Eduard Kokoity received Tomas Hammerberg, the CoE Human Rights Commissioner. The HR Commissioner of South Ossetia David Sanakoev, the Minister for Foreign Affairs Murat Djioev, Special Representative for Post-Conflict Boris Chochiev also participated in the meeting.
The South Ossetian Presidnet underlined that the mission of the HR Commissioner was extremely important. "South Ossetian is ready for cooperation with Council of Europe, European Union and OSCE, as well as with other international agencies, in order to normalize the situation here, in the Caucasus|, stated Kokoity,- "however, we have serious questions in regards to our trust towards these organizations. Our repeated concerns and the necessity to prevent the tragedy that took place here in August 2008, did not find any understanding among the organizations, and very often, these international agencies took an active part in the distortion of the information about the real situation on The President drew the attention of the CoE HR Commissioner to the fact that "unfortunately, we have to criticize the today's mission of the Commissioner".

Eduard Kokoity mentioned the concrete example: After the last visit of Tomas Hammerberg to South Ossetia, the South Ossetian side had transferred Georgian citizens without any preconditions noting that "your visit here gave us the possibility to return these people to their homes, to their relatives. Despite this, we have not heard anywhere, including your statements, that the South Ossetian side did it exactly that way".
The SO President stated that "South Ossetia should not be set back to medieval times. The methods you and Georgia suggest in relation to exchange of persons are medieval. We are a civilized country and we will prove that. We do not understand when we are suggested to exchange people, as slaves were exchanged in the Middle Ages, or it resembles pure bargaining." "In this case I believe it is better to show one's good will. one should not be influenced by the tendencies prevailing in Georgia, when it is related to the fates of human beings, especially children. One should not make any PR or farce out of it," said Kokoity.
During the meeting, the President drew the attention to the fact that both the CoE HR Commissioner and international agencies were provided with the video materials where the Georgian law enforcement bodies were ill-treating Ossetian teenagers, the fate of who is still not known. "During the Geneva discussions, everyone was trying to escape this topic", said Kokoity. But we here hysteria about the Georgian citizens detained by our law enforcement bodies on the territory of South Ossetia.
If the European structures are concerned about the Georgian teenagers, what is the problem with the Ossetian children, whose whereabouts are unknown?"
"Today, as on many other occasions, we have demonstrated our readiness for a normal, civilized dialogue. We fully respect the rule of law here, in South Ossetia. And anyone who violates the law should be held responsible. And the Georgian citizens' responsibility will be qualified in accordance with the South Ossetian laws", said the President. "Meanwhile, taking into account the concerns about the fate of those citizens who trespassed the state border of South Ossetia and committed crimes here to persecuted in accordance with the criminal code of South Ossetia, we are ready to let their parents see them. And we demand for the same kind of response steps – to let us see our children to their relatives. We have nothing to hide."
Eduard Kokoity undefined that "lately, after the events of August 2008, we returned 86 persons to the Georgian side, while Georgia returned only seven. Today, more than forty persons, citizens of South Ossetia, are kept on the territory of Georgia and we know nothing about their fate. We hear no statements towards Georgia in this relation. Regrettably, we face biased position which prevailed before August 2008.”
“Independent fact-finding mission had scrutinized the situation and came to the conclusion that Georgia is the aggressor”, stressed the President. “We thought that the European Union would take some concrete steps, but unfortunately, the double standard policy still works. We would like to once again raise our concern in regards to the fact that this policy does not lead to any positive result, if European structures are interested in stabilization of the situation. This is the reality and our position, and we will keep expressing it, no matter if anyone dislikes it. We should base ourselves on justice and interests of the people living in the Caucasus.”
On his side, the CoE HR Commissioner Tomas Hammerberg reminded that it was not his first visit to South Ossetia. “I believe that I belong to those rare international representatives who are well-aware of the situation. My authority and tasks are absolutely independent from political factors. Thanks to this, we managed to play my role in helping private persons affected by the conflict”, he said. Yes, I am criticized. But I think this is a reaction to my strict adherence to unbiased approaches. I think this is extremely important, since many things become politicized. And this affects many people.”
”Today I spoke with the relatives of those who are detained in Georgia. I have also had meetings on the Georgian side, with the relatives of the four teenagers”, said Hammarberg. The South Ossetian side drew the attention to the fact two of the detainees are underage. “I am concerned with the fact that I could not help the families of the missing and the detainees on both sides”, said the HR Commissioner. “I believe, we are all interested in the settlement of these problems.
Eduard Kokoity reiterated that the South Ossetian side had repeatedly demonstrated its good will. The meeting continued in the absence of media.

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