Georgian FM ‘sparing no effort' to ensure return of Georgian doctor from Tskhinvali custody

  • Famous Georgian doctor and traumatologist Vazha Gaprindashvili was illegally detained by Russian-controlled occupation forces on November 9., 17 Nov 2019 - 14:01, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Georgian Foreign Ministry announced yesterday they are doing their best to ensure the safe return of Vazha Gaprindashvili, a doctor who​​​​​ was recently sentenced to two-month pretrial detention by de facto Tskhinvali authorities.

The ministry said that the detention of a well-known Georgian doctor and traumatologist points at “alarming human rights situation” in the Russian-occupied Georgian regions.

 We are concerned by the recent frequent provocative activities of occupation regime. Such activities further aggravate the existing grave security and humanitarian situation on the ground”, the ministry announced.

The ministry also noted that the European Union Monitoring mission (EUMM) and co-chairs of Geneva International Discussions (GIDs) have been informed of Gaprindashvili’s detention.

Parliament Speaker Archil Talakvadze also called for immediate release of the Georgian doctor “from illegal detention”. Talakvadze wrote on his Facebook yesterday that “it is unimaginable evil to detain a doctor, who assists people in need”.

It is unacceptable for us and I am sure that it is also unacceptable for our Ossetian brothers... By detaining a doctor, the occupation regime has again distanced itself from human values”, Talakvadze wrote.

Georgian Minister of Reconciliation and Civil Equality Ketevan Tsikhelashvili also said after visiting Gaprindashvili’s family in Tbilisi that the government spares no efforts to ensure safety of its citizens in the existing “difficult environment”.

Earlier this week, Tsikhelashvili briefed the OSCE PA Secretary General Roberto Montella of Gaprindashvili's "continued detention". 

Montella hoped for "a speedy resolution" of the issue urging to make full use of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) and GIDs "as mechanisms to prevent incidents and seek solutions". 

A number of officials and organisations, including President Salome Zurabishvili and the United States Embassy to Georgia, have expressed their support to Vazha Gaprindashvili, who was reportedly visiting a patient when he was abducted.

Doctors plan to hold a demonstration at 12 p.m. on Monday, November 18 in front of their workplaces to protest the illegal detention of their colleague.