Estonian ex-president makes live address to demand the release of Georgian doctor abducted by occupation forces [VIDEO]

Former President of Estonia Toomas Hendrik Ilves says that famous Georgian traumatologist and orthopedist Vazha Gaprindashvili must be released from illegal detention in the Russian-occupied Tskhinvali region.  Photo:, 20 Nov 2019 - 11:49, Tbilisi,Georgia

Former President of Estonia Toomas Hendrik Ilves has made a live address, demanding the release of a famous Georgian doctor Vazha Gaprindashvili, who was abducted by occupation forces on November 9 and was illegally sentenced to two-month pretrial detention for “deliberately crossing the border” in the occupied Tskhinvali region.

In the address which has been released by the Estonian Embassy to Georgia, Hendrik Ilves says that Gaprindashvili was “fulfilling his oath as a doctor and was providing medical assistance to the people who today live in an area without adequate medical care.”

The so-called security committee of Georgia's Russian-occupied Tskhinvali region said yesterday that the doctor was “actively participated” in the Russia-Georgia 2008 war as the “captain of the military medical service of the Georgian Armed Forces.”

The family dismissed the information by saying that during the five-day-war Gaprindashvili spent the whole week at Gudushauri hospital in Tbilisi, providing medical aid for everyone who needed this, no matter their nationality, “including two Russian pilots who were shot down during the war.”

Gaprindashvili was reportedly visiting a patient when he was abducted and he refused to admit the “crossing the border” [as the occupation forces demanded from him to say].

He was sentenced to pretrial detention for “deliberately crossing the border,” on November 15.

Radio Liberty cites a source from de facto government of Tskhinvali as saying that Gaprindashvili wrote that he did not cross the border, as Tskhinvali is the part of Georgia and there is no border there. Photo: Firefly World. 

The Russian controlled de facto Tskhinvali government has closed crossing points with the rest of Georgia starting September 4, creating severe humanitarian situation on the ground, with two individuals already dead due to delayed medical aid.

Georgian State Minister of Reconciliation and Civil Equality Ketevan Tsikhelashvili has stated that the doctor will be released in a few days.

According to our information, Vazha Gaprindashvili will be released in a few days. Now all efforts are aimed at ensuring that he returns to his family as soon as possible,”Tsikhelashvili said.

A number of officials and organisations, including President Salome Zurabishvili and the United States Embassy to Georgia, have expressed their support to Gaprindashvili.

The Georgian Foreign Ministry said on November 16 that they are doing their best to ensure the safe return of the doctor.