Archive - 27/5/2015


Wed, 27/05/2015 - 15:58

Questions of the South Ossetian citizens imprisoned in Georgia are being discussed in the international format - Khokh Gagloyty

Relatives and friends of the citizens of South Ossetia George Zasseev, Joseph Kochiev and George Valiev, serving life sentences in the Gldani prison in Gori, are concerned due to failure of the Georgian authorities’ promises about the retrial of the convicted persons.

From February 24 to March 29 George Zaseev, Joseph Kochiev and George Valiev went on hunger strike, hoping for a revision of the trumped-up cases, because of which they had been sentenced to life imprisonment. After 36 days the prison was visited by representatives of the Georgian Presidential Executive Office; they assured the hunger strikers, that their cases would be reviewed. The prisoners stopped the hunger strike two months ago, but their cases have not been reviewed.

Deputy Presidential Envoy of the RSO for post-conflict settlement Khokh Gagloyty commented the situation, noting that "South Ossetian citizens, imprisoned in Georgia, are the hostages of the Georgian authorities."
"Speaking about the fate of the South Ossetian citizens in Georgian prisons, whom the South Ossetian side believes the hostages of the Georgian authorities, we should talk about concrete personalities - said Gagloyty. - It concerns, primarily, the citizens of South Ossetia Kochiev, Valiev and Zasseev, who since July 2005 are kept in prison, sentenced to life imprisonment. It is no secret that the Georgian side, mainly referring to representatives of the so-called "power block" and the nationalist wing of the political establishment, is biased against our fellow citizens. The evidence of this fact is in their principled unwillingness to release them. "

Answering the question of the correspondent of the news agency "Res", whether the South Ossetian side raised the question of the review of the cases of the convicts sentenced to life imprisonment after the hunger strike, Gagloyty has noted that "South Ossetian delegation, constantly puts this question at all international forums, attended by the South Ossetian and Georgian sides."

"This applies to the Geneva international discussions and meetings in the framework of the IPRM - said Gagloyty. - In particular, at the last round of Geneva discussions South Ossetian delegation submitted to the co-chairs of the Geneva discussions the letter from the President of the Republic of South Ossetia Leonid Tibilov with our proposal on mutual release of prisoners and the appeal to the Co-Chairs to act as mediators in this matter. "
Gagloyty has added that this question is put, regardless of the hunger strikes of prisoners.
"Although they are always the subject to our particular anxieties and concerns, and the fate of the South Ossetian prisoners in Georgian is one of the key issues in the relations between the Republic of South Ossetia and Georgia, - said Gagloyty. - The position of Georgian representatives on this issue also contains the constant definitions such as the "principled position" and "red line."
Such approaches of the Georgian side may be relevant only to journals colorings, and are contrary to those "humane initiatives" which are declared by the Georgian authorities in their promotional materials. It should be clearly understood by the observing part of the international community. "

Answering the question, whether there is any hope for a positive solution to the issue of the South Ossetian citizens serving sentences in prisons of Georgia, Khokh Gagloyty assured that "there is a hope, and the Office of the Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy of the RSO for post-conflict settlement will be working in this direction, relying on the existing capabilities."

It should be noted that in summer 2005 three citizens of South Ossetia George Zaseev, Joseph Kochiev and George Valiev had been detained in the village of Auneu by Georgian special services. The detainees were accused of distributing drugs and committing a terrorist act in the town of Gori (Georgia), and for ten years are kept in Gldani prison in Tbilisi. Within ten years, this is the fourth hunger strike in the hope that their cases will be reviewed.