Georgia’s Parliament Adopts Resolution Condemning Russia’s Actions

The Georgian Parliament has adopted a resolution on Georgian citizen Archil Tatunashvili, who died in custody in Georgia’s occupied Tskhinvali (“South Ossetia”) detention facility in unclear circumstances on February 23, the second day after he was kidnapped.

The resolution condemns Russia's attitude towards Georgia and its actions on Georgia’s Russian-backed Tskhinvali and Abkhazia regions.

A total of 110 MPs were registered during the vote and the draft of the resolution was approved with 106 votes. No one was against.

According to the resolution, the Government of Georgia should submit to Parliament the Otkhozoria-Tatunashvili List, which will include Russian, de facto Abkhazian and Ossetian authorities, and individuals that participated in the kidnapping, torturing and murder of the two Georgian citizens. The list should be submitted by June 15, 2018.

Parliament is calling on the government to take measures with partners to impose visa restrictions on those included on the list, and to ban their financial and property transactions on their territories.

From the total three parliamentary opposition parties, only one supported the resolution –European Georgia, which initiated the elaboration of the Otkhozoria-Tatunashvili List.

The United National Movement (UNM) and the Alliance of Patriots of Georgia (APG) refused to take part in the voting.

According to the UNM, the Otkhozoria-Tatunashvili List should have been longer, and “the government should have conducted consultations with its partner states before the resolution was put to the vote.”

The APG made no comment about their abstention from the vote. They only said they saw no sense in adopting such a document.

Giga Otkhozoria was a Georgian citizen killed on May 19, 2016 at the Georgia-Abkhazia boundary line by an Abhaz “border guard,” who has not been held responsible and is internationally wanted.

Otkhozoria’s mother commented on the adoption of the resolution, saying it will bring neither Tatunashvili nor her son back, but expressed hope it will help to prevent similar violent facts in future.

“I hope the killers will be punished. I think this resolution will be a deterrent. It should have been adopted a long time ago,” Otkhozoria’s mother said.

Georgia’s Parliament Speaker, Irakli Kobakhidze stated the Parliament “had adopted an important resolution on the gross violation of human rights on territories occupied by the Russian Federation,” adding the document reflects Georgia’s “clear vision and approach to the Russian-Georgian conflict and the occupation of the historic regions.”

He specified that the resolution condemns: occupation of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions by the Russian Federation, steps towards actual annexation of Georgian historic regions, isolation of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region and artificial barriers at the so-called border, gross violation of human rights on occupied territories, deprivation of the lives of citizens Giga Otkhozoria and Archil Tatunashvili; destruction of Georgian villages, damage to Georgian churches; deprivation of Georgian children from the right to obtain an education in the Georgian language; and the violation of IDP rights.

A few days ago, Georgian Ambassador to the European Union Natali Sabanadze said the European Parliament is also going to adopt a resolution on Georgia’s occupation for the 10th anniversary of Georgia-Russia August war 2008, a conflict which left 20% of the Georgian territory occupied.

According to Sabanadze, political groups of the European Parliament are at present considering who will draft the resolution. She added that the document will likely be adopted this summer.

The Ambassador suggested that the document adopted in Georgia may also be reflected in the European Parliament’s resolution.

Thea Morrison

22 March 2018 19:01