Georgian civic activist from Russian-occupied Tskhinvali goes on hunger strike

Georgian civic activist Tamar Mearakishvili says that she wants to meet the co-chairs of the Geneva International Discussions next week. Photo: Tamar Mearakishvili’s facebook page., 12 Sep 2019 - 14:59, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian civic activist Tamar Mearakishvili, who lives in the currently Russian-occupied Akhalgori district, has gone on hunger strike to attract the attention of the co-chairs of the Geneva International Discussions.

The Geneva International Discussions, the talks on Georgian conflict issues launched in 2008, is co-chaired by the UN, OSCE and the EU.

Mearakishvili says that she is persecuted by the de facto government of Tskhinvali for her civil activities and has been unable to leave the district for more than two years because of fake charges against her.

I am on a hunger strike starting from today. I will drink only water,” Mearakishvili wrote earlier today.  

She says that the goal of the “extreme measure” is to make the co-chairs of the Geneva International discussions and the central government of Georgia pay her attention and ensure help.

Mearakishvili is charged with illegally receiving the “citizenship of South Ossetia (Tskhinvali)” via fake documentation, in parallel with possessing Georgian citizenship and of blackmailing the ruling party of occupied Tskhinvali.

Akhalgori district court dropped the charges against Mearakishvili in July 2019. However, the prosecution appealed the verdict and the case is still in the court of the occupied Tskhinvali.

In May 2018 Georgian Public Defender Nino Lomjaria nominated Mearakishvili for the United Nations Human Rights Prize and Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize for her "outstanding contribution to defending the rights of the conflict-affected population”.

The Embassy of Netherlands to Georgia awarded Mearakishvili with the Human Rights Tulip award and a monetary prize back in December 2018.