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Georgian President Awards Deceased Archil Tatunashvili Order of Honor

By Tea Mariamidze
Tuesday, May 22
President of Georgia, Giorgi Margvelashvili has awarded Georgian citizen Archil Tatunashvili, who died in custody in a detention facility of Georgia’s Russian-occupied Tskhinvali region (South Ossetia) on February 23, Order of Honor.

The puppet regime at first refused to hand Tatunashvili’s body over to Georgia-proper authorities following his death in custody in unclear circumstances. However, late on March 20, his body was transferred to the Georgia and on March 24, he was buried with military honor at Mukhatgverdi military cemetery on the outskirts of Tbilisi.

Tatunashvili’s body had bruises and injuries and the autopsy assessed that some of the organs were missing from the body of the deceased.

The President hosted Tatunashvili’s parents in the Presidential Palace on May 21, saying the case must be investigated and perpetrators punished.

Margvelashvili said Tatunashvili is awarded for revealing special civic responsibility and personal bravery.

“Thank you very much for growing such a son. We are awarding Archil with the Order of Honor after he passed away and I am convinced that the huge pain that we have experienced with you by Archil’s death will be mitigated when the case is completely investigated and the offenders are punished,” the President said.

Margvelashvili believes that Georgia should file a lawsuit to the European Court of Human Rights regarding Archil Tatunashvili's murder.

“Archil Tatunashvili was bravely defending the interests of our country and he tragically and heroically sacrificed himself for the love and protection of his motherland,” he added.

Tatunashvili’s family thanked the president for appreciation, while the lawyer Tamar Avaliani said they have already prepared a lawsuit that will be submitted to the Strasbourg Court.

She explained that the Non-Governmental Organization, Human Rights and Monitoring Center – EMC is working on this issue.

“We sent a statement to Moscow on Friday about the launch of investigation into murder and torture of Archil Tatunashvili on the territory of occupied South Ossetia,” the lawyer stated.

She stressed that the Russian Federation is to be held responsible because it controls the breakaway region.

“This is why we think that we should have communication with the Russian Federation. We requested an investigation was launchedby the Russian Federation. Of course, we have no big hopes in this regard,” Tamar Avaliani said.