Khokh Gagloyty: the Georgian authorities act with the South Ossetian citizens sentenced to life imprisonment in Georgia like the Somali pirates

Tue, 23/04/2013 - 14:31

During the meetings of participants of Mechanisms on Prevention and Reaction to Incidents (MPRI) the South Ossetian delegation has repeatedly emphasized the need to release from the Georgian prisons all citizens of South Ossetia languishing in Georgian prisons, including three citizens of South Ossetia - Georgy Zasseev, Joseph Kochiev and Georgy Valiev, sentenced to life imprisonment. This was said by the RSO Deputy Presidential Envoy for post-conflict settlement Khokh Gagloyty at the briefing in Tskhinval. He has noted that the South Ossetian authorities are concerned about the fate and health of these citizens who have joined the indefinite hunger strike April 15, in Gldani prison in Tbilisi (Georgia).

"We have always insisted on releasing these citizens, taking into account the background of their detention. They were convicted for political reasons during the dictatorship of total Saakashvili`s regime in Georgia. They were not even given a chance to appeal the sentence, "- said Gagloyty.
He has underlined that today the new Georgian government in the person of Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili is also trying to distance themselves from this issue, stressing the fact that all three South Ossetian citizens convicted in Georgia for life, were abducted by Georgian special services directly from the territory of South Ossetia.
"To some extent, judicial sentences of that time were questioned and revised by the new authorities. However, these actions have been selective, and our citizens, sentenced on trumped-up charges to life imprisonment, have been ignored. In short, the attempt to change the façade has taken place; the faces are new, but the approaches are still the same, "- stressed Deputy Envoy. Gagloyty compared the behavior of the Georgian authorities to the actions of the Somali pirates. "The hostages are taken, and further will follow the subjective view on their destiny," – he added. He has emphasized that the authorities of South Ossetia will continue to insist on the review of the criminal cases of Georgy Zasseev, Joseph Kochiev and Georgy Valiev, and pass a fair judgment.
Presidential Envoy to South Ossetia on post-conflict settlement Murat Dzhioev and Presidential Commissioner for Human Rights of South Ossetia Inal Tasoev have sent a letter to the co-chairs of the Geneva international discussions on security in Transcaucasia, where they expressed concern about the fate and health of the citizens of Valiev, Zasseev and Kochiev.
"Keeping in mind the numerous cases of reprisal against the prisoners from South Ossetia during the disorders in Georgian prisons, as well as taking into account the facts of gross violations of human rights and tortures in Georgian prisons, which were made public last year, we express our grave concern and we appeal to the authorities of Georgia to exclude illegal actions against the above mentioned citizens of South Ossetia, "- is said in a letter of the co-chair of the Geneva talks. The Envoy and the Human Rights Commissioner have also applied to the Head of the International Committee of the Red Cross in South Ossetia Leanne Hutchins with the request the above citizens of South Ossetia to be visited in prison by the ICRC representatives.
An open letter to the Prime Minister of Georgia Bidzina Ivanishvili was also written by the Ossetian human rights activist Lira Kozaeva. She has described in detail the circumstances of the arrest and conviction of Valiev, Zasseev, and Kochiev, indicating clearly the trumped-up nature of the charges, as well as the physical and psychological pressure on them, including the use of psychotropic drugs.

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