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Machalikashvili's family addresses Strasbourg Court

By Tea Mariamidze
Friday, June 7
Family of a 19-year-old Temirlan Machalikashvili, who was deadly shot by a special unit serviceman during the anti-terrorist raid in Georgia's Muslim-populated Pankisi Gorge in 2017, has filed a lawsuit to European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

The information was released by the Human Rights Education and Monitoring Center (EMC), which is protecting the rights of the Machalikashvilis family.

The applicants' interests in Strasbourg, along with EMC, will be protected by the European Center for Human Rights Advocacy (EHRAC), a London-based organization.

In the application argues about the alleged violation of Article 2 (right to life), Article 3 (prohibition of torture, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment) and Article 13 (the right to an effective remedy).

It is yet unknown when the Strasbourg Court will decide on the case or whether or not it accepts the case for further consideration.

On June 6, EMC representatives and Tamirlan Makalikashvili's parents talked about arguments they filed while lodging complaint.

The complaints are as follows:

- The Special Operation of December 26, 2017, where Temirlan Machalikashvili was deadly shot, was planned so that the possible risks were not assessed properly

- The special operation unit used the "unnecessary and disproportionate lethal force against Temirlan Machalikashvili during the operation. The family says he was in bed when Georgia's State Security Service (SSS) broke into their house and shot him. EMC says Machalikashvili was wearing earphones and could not hear what was going on in his house.

- The State "did not provide timely medical assistance to the wounded Temirlan Machalikashvili. He was taken to the hospital for about 40 minutes later by the SSS car, but not by an emergency vehicle.

- Investigation on the case of Temirlan Machalikashvili "does not meet the standards of independent, objective, effective and timely investigation. The family and EMC say important evidence was destroyed or falsified. In addition, the family has not been granted the status of the victim yet.

- The investigation is delayed and, even though "by the end of 2018, the investigation already had enough evidence they did not make the decision.

According to EMC and the Machalikashvili's family, "the remedies on the national level are not effective, and the investigation has not been able to restore the violated rights."

Temirlan Machalikashvili died on January 10, 2018, from the severe head injury he received in the raid of December 26.

The State Security Service says that Machalikashvili had a hand grenade.

The Pankisi raid came after the large-scale anti-terrorist operation in Tbilisi on November 21-22 2017, which saw Islamic State terrorist Achmed Chatayev and his two accomplices killed and one detained.

Georgia's State Security Service claims Chatayev and his group planned attacks on diplomats in Turkey and Georgia.

The December raid in Pankisi aimed at detaining the people who supported Chatayev to come to Georgia, buy weapons and find an accommodation, security officials stated.

During the Pankisi raid, Machalikashvili was deadly shot, and four others were detained for alleged support for terrorism.

The Machalikashvili family says that the Security Service raided the wrong house and a special unit serviceman could not differentiate a mobile phone from a hand grenade.

They state that the deceased is a victim with no links to terrorism, and all who planned and executed the raid must be held accountable.