South Ossetia Refuses to Return Body of Georgian Citizen

Authorities of occupied South Ossetia are refusing to return the body of Georgian Citizen Archil Tatunashvili, 35, who died in their custody last week. 

The South Ossetian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Murat Dzhioyev, said that tissue samples have been sent to Russia for analysis. He added that Tatunashvili’s body will be handed over upon the return of the report. 

“In order for our conclusions to be confirmed by independent experts, we have sent the material for an independent examination,” he told reporters. 

Tatunashvili died on February 23 after being detained by the so-called Tskhinvali Security Service. Local media reported that Tatunashvili was detained for "cooperating with Georgian law enforcers and participating in the Russia-Georgia 2008 war.” 

The Georgian State Security Service (SSG) has denied the claim made by so-called Tskhinvali Security Service. 

South Ossetia gave their cause for his death, saying the man resisted being moved to a detention cell and as a result, “sustained injuries, was knocked down and rolled down the stairs,” after which he was taken to hospital, where he died after two hours. They also claim that according to the preliminary results of the autopsy of Tatunashvili’s body, the cause of death was acute heart failure. 

“As it has already been reported, his death was a result of heart failure. This was confirmed by our preliminary examination,” Dzhioyev told local media. 

The Georgian MFA added that it has information about two other Georgian citizens, Levan Kutashvili and Ioseb Pavliashvili, who are currently detained by the so-called Tskhinvali security force.

By Tom Day

01 March 2018 13:08