Detained Georgian Citizen Reportedly Commits Suicide in Abkhazia

The State Security Service of Georgia has announced that Irakli Kvaratskhelia, a 29-year-old Georgian citizen detained in Russian-occupied Abkhazia, has committed suicide.

De-facto Abkhazian representatives shared the information via a Hotline operational in the scope of the EU monitoring mission (EUMM), reported the State Security Service.

A statement released on March 12 reads: ‘The State Security Service of Georgia is conducting activities aimed at identification of the objective circumstances in relation to the death of the mentioned person through every instrument at its disposal.’

De-facto Abkhazian authorities gave suicide as the reason for Kvaratskhelia’s death in prison.

“We have received information about the alarming case yesterday by the EUMM mission. The reasons behind the death are being identified with the help of the mission. Before all causes of the suicide are found, we have already taken steps to inform the international community regarding the incident,” said Georgian Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani.

However, Zalkaliani stated that he does not know whether Kvaratskhelia was physically abused. Sergi Kapanadze, a European Georgia party member said that Tbilisi should make a “strong reaction” if Kvaratskhelia was tortured and killed.

President Salome Zourabishvili tweeted her condolences: ‘The tragic news of the sad death of a young man in the occupied Gali district is heartbreaking continuation of the situation in our occupied territories. I share the sadness of Irakli’s family and friends and pray for their strength in this difficult moment.’

327 Georgians have been detained for “illegally crossing the border” from 2017 to 2019. Kvaratskhelia was reportedly arrested after a verbal dispute with occupying forces. Imedi TV has reported that he leaves behind a wife and one child.


By Amy Jones

Photo source: Eurasianet

13 March 2019 16:07