The fate of the missing residents of South Ossetia remains on the agenda - Murat Dzhioev

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The issue of clarifying the fate of South Ossetian citizens, who are listed to be missing since 2008, is important and relevant, and is raised at every round of the Geneva discussions, - said Presidential Envoy of South Ossetia for post-conflict settlement Murat Dzhioev.

The Plenipotentiary said that within the framework of the visit to South Ossetia of the co-chairs of the Geneva discussions, the diplomats had met with the relatives of the missing citizens of South Ossetia.

He has reminded that the recent OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde paid a visit to Georgia, on the eve of which the South Ossetian side sent her a letter to raise the issue of the missing citizens of South Ossetia while in Georgia.

“And as we were informed by the OSCE representatives, at the meeting with the official circles of Georgia and the Prosecutor General of this country, they raised the issue of the missing, and seemed to have received assurances that this issue would be considered. That is, the recommendations of the independent expert Dusan Ignjatovic, invited at the time by the OSCE, will be implemented. This is very important, since the recommendations clearly state that five young people were definitely in the hands of the Georgian security forces,” he said.

He has added that Ignyatovich worked under a contract that the OSCE concluded with him, and during his activity he managed to prepare three reports, in which it was clearly recorded that three young guys - Pliev, Khachirov and Khugaev - were in the Georgian police and it is Georgia where we should look for traces of their stay. “There are even videos with their interrogations on the territory of Georgia. As for the other missing person, Kabisov, he was detained by the Georgian security forces in August 2008, there are specific facts about his being in the hands of the Georgian security forces. Moreover, there is even a decision of the Gori court that he was sentenced to a fine of 2.5 thousand lari and was allegedly released from the courtroom so that he would pay the fine. He left the courtroom and disappeared,” said Dzhioev.

The Plenipotentiary said that there was reliable information about the presence of citizen Ikaev at the Vaziani military base (Georgia).

“He stayed there for several days, and after that he was transported to Kaspi and from there his trace disappeared. That is, five citizens of South Ossetia were definitely in the hands of the Georgian security forces. But we are talking not only about these five people, but about more than a hundred South Ossetian citizens who are listed missing since 1991. And in this direction a trilateral coordination mechanism is working - South Ossetia, Russia and Georgia under the auspices of the ICRC, and Ignyatovich was working to find the missing after 2008, ”he explained.

Dzhioev has added that in his reports, Dusan Igniatovich gave specific recommendations - who should be interrogated as a witness, and who as an accused, etc. “And some steps in this direction were made in due time, but since people often change in Georgia and in the prosecutor’s office, each time we have to start from scratch. The current Prosecutor General of Georgia, according to the co-chairs, gave assurances that they would resume the work to clarify the fate of the missing people. Last year, because of the coronavirus, Ignjatovic did not come to the region, but we turned to the OSCE with a proposal to continue cooperation with him until the fate of these guys is clarified,” the Plenipotentiary explained.

According to him, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has been actively working in the search for missing citizens, and the OSCE representative at the meeting of the co-chairs have stressed that they will be cooperating with the ICRC.

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