Mil News Repatriated body of recently kidnapped Georgian shows signs of torture

Gordus

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http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=30967

Irakli Toidze, a forensic expert at the Tbilisi-based Rehabilitation Center for Victims of Torture - Empathy, says Archil Tatunashvili’s body had “multiple [blunt] injuries, scratches and bruises almost all over the body.”

Toidze, who attended the forensic examination at the National Forensics Bureau on behalf of the center, told the media outlets today that “based on the injuries [on Archil Tatunashvili’s body], we can presumably say that he was tortured.”

The forensic expert, however, rejected earlier reports that Tatunashvili was missing a finger.

The Empathy Center issued a written statement as well, stressing the necessity of conducting a complex examination “in line with the international standards, including the Istanbul and the Minnesota Protocols.”

“There are many facts indicating that the Russian-Ossetian examination was aimed at hiding the traces [of torture], and we consider it essential that a complex examination is conducted in line with international standards,” saidMariam Jishkariani, director of the Empathy Center.

https://1tv.ge/en/news/expert-dead-body-archil-tatunashvili-multiple-injuries/

According to preliminary data, there are multiple injuries on the body of Archil Tatunashvili, Georgian citizen who died in occupied Tskhinvali region, indicating the trace of torture, – reads the statement, released by the Center EMPATHY, which was involved in the examination of Archil Tatunashvili’s body at the National Forensics Bureau.

“The examination of Archil Tatunashvili’s body was conducted on March 20-21 at Levan Samkharauli National Forensics Bureau. Irakli Toidze, forensic expert of the rehabilitation center for victims of torture, was involved in the examination process.

According to the decree of the Prosecutor’s Office, based on preliminary data, there are multiple injuries on the body of Archil Tatunashvili, indicating the trace of torture. The experts of the Center EMPATHY consider it necessary to conduct a complex-commissioned expertise in accordance with international standards,” – the statement reads.

The main suspcicious fact leading to these conclusions, well besides other cases, is that the separatists vehemently refused the return of his body for over a month and sent it instead to Russia for "forensic examination".

What is suspected to be meant by forensic examination in such cases:

“In 2014 when a young ethnic Georgian, David Basharuli, was found dead in South Ossetia […] Russian experts destroyed all the skin and made it impossible to figure out [the] real reasons for his death, even with the later assistance of the best foreign laboratories,” Olesya Vartanyan, an analyst with International Crisis Group, wrote on Twitter.

Link with some background: https://eurasianet.org/s/body-of-georgian-killed-in-south-ossetia-sent-to-russia

If this turns out to be true, it would definitly deteriorate the already grave relations, if you can call it that, between Moscow and Tbilisi.

Not a single such act committed by the separatists happens without the approval and very rarely without direct interfering of their masters at place, especialy when it is official like that, as in their "armed / security forces" are responsible. But I doubt Russian intelligence services are behind it, unless they hoped to squeeze any relevant information out of that poor guy because he served in the Georgian military.

I personaly find the separatists claims of his death being the result of him "falling down a staircase" and then "dying of a heart attack" a little absurd and also slightly insulting given the fact it's not the first incident.
 
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Sad to hear stories like this, it is a cruel world we live in. Enemies should always respect the Geneva Convention, it is there for many reasons however The Geneva convention should not be the only driving force for treating prisoners well, what about basic humanity and respect for other soldiers ?

I respect the service of any man regardless of which side, we all have or had to follow orders but treatment like this cannot be acceptable to any nation.

RIP Archil Tatunashvili & David Basharuli, God rest your souls.
 
Georgian authorities as cruel as the 1990s wars were, did not resort to mistreating prisoners of war in such manner. Back then there were a lot of militia made of criminals who did. But that was back then ..... 25 years ago .....

Before 2008 captured Russian agents were not even touched, but simply deported.

While the Russian POWs like downed pilots got all the medical attention the Georgian side could provide in 2008, on the other side some Georgian POWs got executed. The rest got either beaten or humiliated in other ways.

The sad thing about this is that we are not even talking abour prisoners of war here, but people who get kidnapped in retaliation of having served in the Georgian military and participated in the 2008 war. I'm not writing this to insist that we are better than them .... though history shows .... but because very apparently such things "rights, geneva, POWs" etc don't seem to exist in their vocabulary in many cases.

POWs should never be touched, naturaly. But to kidnap, torture and murder ppl years later as a governing body is a new level of low.

Russia, since 2008 is doing as little of progressive manner in regards to Georgia as physicaly possible. The total opposite. This very well manifests that fact and I am seriously doubting their credibility at this point. I was holding some hopes until now, but the fact they purposefully let things like this happen to appease their political subjects completly eliminated that prospect.
 
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He had index finger cut off...
it was common torture practise during 2008 war and afterwards, they cut off fingers so you wont fire weapon again...
 
He had index finger cut off...
it was common torture practise during 2008 war and afterwards, they cut off fingers so you wont fire weapon again...

That claim has been rejected by the expert cited in the first article though. It doesn't seem to be true in this particular case .... as if the damage done on him wasn't enough already.

But yeah, they do that.
 
That claim has been rejected by the expert cited in the first article though. It doesn't seem to be true in this particular case .... as if the damage done on him wasn't enough already.
Well, Probably
But that practice in 2008 was real, have personal veterans who had their index finger cut off.
 
I know, didn't mean to denie that.

I also love how lightly people take that fact, as if that wasn't a matter to be condemned in the first place.

I'm sorry, but the people who are responsible deserve nothing but to be gunned down like a stray dog.

Sorry for the emotions here, but those people are terrorists.
 
Georgian parliament passes a resolution on this specific case and the general issue. Well, this was inevitable. No name calling, but it is clear who is adressed.

Officialy this will gonna be processed legaly with international assistance. Which is what should be done.

Personaly .... I don't want to be in the skin of those people.

Here is a chance for Russia to straighten it out. At least this specific issue.

Georgia’s parliament has adopted a resolution calling for those committing human rights violations in Abkhazia and South Ossetia to be punished. The resolution orders the cabinet to create a list of people accused or convicted of ‘murder, kidnapping, torture and inhumane treatment, and serious damage to the health of Georgian citizens on the occupied territories’. It also calls for sanctions against those covering up such crimes.

Of 150 MPs, 106 voted in favour of the bill, with none voting against it, and four abstaining; 40 MPs were not present.

The bill was initiated by the opposition European Georgia party, and endorsed by the ruling Georgian Dream. The Alliance of Patriots and the former ruling party, the United National Movement, abstained from taking part in the vote.

The resolution also demands that Russia ‘not to thwart the thorough investigation of Archil Tatunashvili’s death’, and ‘not obstruct the execution of justice against the murderer of Giga Otkhozoria’. It also urged Russia to let the European Union Monitoring Mission enter Abkhazia and South Ossetia and ‘not to hinder the access of international human rights protection mechanisms in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region’.

The list, according to the parliament, will be called the Otkhozoria–Tatunashvili List, referring to the cases of Georgian citizens Giga Otkhozoria and Archil Tatunashvili.

Otkhozoria, 32, was murdered in May 2016 at a checkpoint near the village of Khurcha by an Abkhazian border guard. Georgia has called for Rashid Kandzhi-Ogly, convicted in absentia by a Georgian court, to be imprisoned. He was initially placed under house arrest by the Abkhazian authorities, but the charges against him were later dropped. Abkhazia cited Tbilisi’s failure to send evidence, while Georgian authorities said the claim was ‘absurd’, according to Civil.ge.

Tatunashvili, a former Georgian soldier, died on 23 February 2018 in Tskhinvali (Tskhinval), allegedly after being tortured by prison guards. The South Ossetian security services have claimed he died after falling from the stairs while trying to escape. Tatunashvili’s body was handed over to Georgian authorities 26 days after his death.

On 21 March, the Centre for Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture — Empathy, a forensics group involved in examining Tatunashvili’s body, said that the preliminary results showed a number of injuries that ‘indicate a high likelihood of torture’.

The Georgian Parliament has ordered the Cabinet to come up with and approve the Otkhozoria–Tatunashvili List before 15 June. The resolution urges the government to ‘take measures’ to ensure ‘all possible restrictions’ are applied to such individuals by international organisations and allied states, including cancelling visas and preventing financial transactions.

For ease of reading, we choose not to use qualifiers such as ‘de facto’, ‘unrecognised’, or ‘partially recognised’ when discussing institutions or political positions within Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh, and South Ossetia. This does not imply a position on their status.

Link: http://oc-media.org/georgia-to-sanction-rights-violators-in-
 
Good luck with that. Remember Rybak's case in Ukraine? Ukraine also asked for international assistance and condemnation in that case. Nothing concrete transpired. He was tortured and brutally murdered by Russia GRU operatives. https://www.haaretz.com/world-news/europe/.premium-tales-of-torture-from-ukraine-1.5433709

Such formal clause serves in the first place to show the international community that we are trying our best to solve this peacefully.

I'm pretty sure nobody is really counting on consequential international assistance. That resolution literaly asks for sanctions to be enforced against the individuals or agencies supporting or supervising those activities. Ideally Russia will get rid of its separatist scape goats and refrain from or prevent such actions in the future to not further complicate relations. This is not unrealistic at all. But .... I kinda have my doubts that it is entirely in their interest .... We'll see.

The Georgian parliament didn't make a resolution like that before. In the past, such issues were solved quietly.

This is gonna be solved. One way or another. This is not Ukraine, no offense @berkut76
 
Such formal clause serves in the first place to show the international community that we are trying our best to solve this peacefully.

I'm pretty sure nobody is really counting on consequential international assistance. That resolution literaly asks for sanctions to be enforced against the individuals or agencies supporting or supervising those activities. Ideally Russia will get rid of its separatist scape goats and refrain from or prevent such actions in the future to not further complicate relations. This is not unrealistic at all. But .... I kinda have my doubts that it is entirely in their interest .... We'll see.

The Georgian parliament didn't make a resolution like that before. In the past, such issues were solved quietly.

This is gonna be solved. One way or another. This is not Ukraine, no offense @berkut76

none taken. It's the same people, whether in Ukraine or in occupied parts of Georgia. As long as the justice is served, I don't care how it's done, but I have to stress that early in Ukrainian campaign, the extreme brutality and torture were hallmark of the Russian operatives (mostly from GRU) rather than the local collaborators or the riff raff who came from all parts of Russia hoping to climb social ranks by portraying themselves as the vanguard of the "Russian world".
 
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none taken. It's the same people, whether in Ukraine or in occupied parts of Georgia. As long as the justice is served, I don't case how it's done, but I have to stress that early in Ukrainian campaign, the extreme brutality and torture were hallmark of the Russian operatives (mostly from GRU) rather than the local collaborators or the riff raff who came from all parts of Russia hoping to climb social ranks by portraying themselves as the vanguard of the "Russian world".

I would not be surprised in the slightest. In any case, nothing transpires without their knowledge and approval and at least certain degree of involvment, as with the elimination of traces etc. Whoever those people are, apparently they feel safe committing such atrocities because fences seperate them and because the Georgian government follows a policy of peaceful resolution instead of resorting to drag their operatives from their cosy appartments in Georgia by the balls like in pre-war years. But if they keep going like that, Georgian agencies might re-shift their priorities ....
 
Update
More unsettling details surfacing:
http://www.messenger.com.ge/issues/4121_april_18_2018/4121_gvanca.html

The family and a lawyer of a Georgian soldier Archil Tatunashvili say that the 35-year-old man, who was killed by Russia-controlled border guards on February 23, had his organs removed when his body was returned to the Tbilisi-administered territory after about a month from death.

Lawyer Tamar Avaliani, who arrived at the Mtskheta Regional Prosecutor's Office with Archil Tatunashvili’s father Givi Tatunashvili on Monday, confirmed the information and stated that the Tatunashvili family has addressed the government of Georgia to ensure the transfer of the organs from the occupied Tskhinvali region with the help of the international community.

“Otherwise it will be difficult to clarify the causes of his death,” Avaliani stated.

Tatunashvili’s detention and death has stirred international outcry, with foreign countries and international organizations demanding from Russia to return the body, which was managed only after 26 days from death..

The body was taken out of occupied Tskhinvali by the International Committee of the Red Cross and was transported to Tbilisi immediately for an autopsy late on March 20.

Tskhinvali claims that the reason of the death was heart failure, while Georgian officials, Tatunashvili’s friends and family members stated that the body was “severely tortured.”

Tatunashvili and two other Georgian citizens were detained in the occupied Akhalgori area by Russia-controlled border guards on February 22, allegedly for participation in the Russia-Georgia 2008 war.

Tskhinvali media announced the death of Tatunashvili on February 23, and stated that the latter had an incident with detention facility staff and fell down a flight of stairs.

Tskhinvali refused to hand over the body to his family and said that they needed time to conduct a "comprehensive autopsy."

Levan Kutashvili and Ioseb Pavliashvili, who were detained with Tatunashvili, were only able to leave the occupied region on March 11 because their documents had been confiscated.

The United States, NATO, the European Union, a number of other countries and almost all international organisations had urged Russia and the de-facto leadership to hand over Tatunashvili’s body to his family and allow Kutashvili and Papunashvili return freely across the occupation line.

Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili urged the leadership of the Russian Federation to take joint steps and resolve this "complicated situation”.

However, Russia responded that this issue was far out of the framework of the Russia-Georgia agenda.

On March 19, Parliamentary majority and minority elaborated a joint resolution over Archil Tatunashvili’s death, condemning Russia’s actions in Georgia’s occupied Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions, which were recognized as independent republics by Russia, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Nauru in the wake of the Russia-Georgia 2008 war.
 
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