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FM Addresses World to Unite for Ending Russian Occupation in Georgia

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, February 28
The Georgian Foreign Minister has addressed the international community from the high tribune of the United Nations (UN) to join in stopping the Russian occupation in Georgia and provide an access of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to the occupied territories of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali.

Janelidze made the statements during his speech at the UN High Level Segment of the Human Rights Council in the wake of the death of Georgian citizen Archil Tatunashvili in occupied Tskhinvali in obscured circumstances.

“Russian occupation requires relevant consolidated response of the international community. Only through international pressure can occupation and all its grave consequences end, human rights protected, international law upheld,” Janelidze stated.

The Minister underscored that Tatunashvili, 35, is another victim of the Russian occupation of Georgian regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali.

“We call on an immediate access for international and regional human rights mechanisms on the ground,” Janelidze said.

The Foreign Ministry press office reads that during all his meeting in the UN, Janelidze raised Tatunashvili’s case, as well as the previous murder case of Giga Otkhozoria by occupant forces in 2016.

Federica Mogherini, the EU High Commission for Foreign Policy stated at the UN headquarters that the EU, is concerned by the death and demands an immediate and fair investigation.

The European Georgia opposition party stated that Tatunashvili’s death is “another example” of the fact that a “pragmatic policy” to Russia announced by the Georgian Dream ruling party “does not work.”

Otar Kakhidze from the European Georgia opposition stated that from now on the government of Georgia “must be” more vocal and critical to the Russian illegalities.

Tatunashvili was detained with his two friends by occupant forces in the occupied Akhalgori area on February 22.

De facto Tskhinvali announced Tatunashvili’s death on the next day, saying the reason was “heart failure”.

The two individuals detained with Tatunashvili have been released. However, they are unable to leave the occupied territory as the de facto leadership deprived them of identification and transport documents.