- May 31, 2017
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.
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.