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US, NATO Concerned by Georgian Man’s Death in Occupied Tskhinvali

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, March 1
(WASHINGTON)--The US Department of State and NATO officials have revealed their concern over the death of Georgian citizen Archil Tatunashvili on the territory of Georgia’s occupied Tskhinvali region in unclear circumstances on February 23.

The United States called for full accounting of circumstances of the tragic incident and urged all sides to agree on additional measures to strengthen mutual confidence and transparency in the region.

The US Department of State also declared they were “deeply concerned” by the arrest of other Georgian citizens Levan Kutashvili and Ioseb Pavliashvili.

The US called on the de facto regime to allow the people return to the Georgian-administered territory.

James Appathurai, NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia, also expressed his deep concern over the issue.

“Deeply concerned by the latest developments in South Ossetia, Georgia, in particular the death of Georgian citizen Archil Tatunashivili and the detention of two others", Appathurai said on his official Facebook page.

Archil Tatunashvili, Levan Kutashvili and Ioseb Pavliashvili were illegally detained by occupying forces in the Akhalgori region of Georgia last week.

Tatunashvili was announced to die on February 23 from “heart failure. The remaining two have been released from the detention facility. However, the puppet regime deprived them of their documents and they are unable to leave the region.

Goga Aptsiauri, journalist at Radio Freedom Georgia, says Tatunashvili and the two had problems with Akhalgori police Chief Aleksandre Jioev.

One of the journalists says that the verbal dispute with Jioev was the reason of detention.

De facto Tskhinvali refuses to hand over Tatunashvili’s body to official Tbilisi, saying they are expecting experts from Russia to carry out a forensic expertise.

The Tatunashvili family gave a two-day term to the Georgian Government to ensure the transportation of the body from Tskhinvali, otherwise, they said they would block the central highway linking east and west Georgia. The deadline expires today.