Family of abducted Georgian doctor urges UN Sec-Gen to ‘urgently send’ commissioner to Georgia

Doctor Vazha Gaprindashvili was abducted on November 9.  Photo: Firefly World., 25 Nov 2019 - 17:33, Tbilisi,Georgia

The family of a famous Georgian traumatologist and orthopedist Vazha Gaprindashvili, who has been in illegal detention in Georgia’s Russian-occupied Tskhinvali region for 17 days, has submitted a letter to the UN Secretary General via the Georgian Foreign Ministry earlier today.

In the letter the family urges the UN Secretary General to use all measures to secure the release of the abducted doctor and ‘urgently send’ a UN special commissioner working on such issues to Georgia to help resolve the case.

The letter has been submitted by Gaprindashvili’s wife Tamila Lapanashvili.

Gaprindashvili’s daughter told the media that the Red Cross might be allowed to see the doctor in Tskhinvali prison tomorrow.

The family says that Gaprindashvili was abducted by Russian-controlled occupation forces when he was trying to help a patient.

On November 22 Amnesty International demanded the release of the doctor who was sentenced to two-month illegal, pretrial detention in Georgia’s Russian-occupied Tskhinvali region on November 15“for deliberately crossing the border.”

De facto Tskhinvali says that Gaprindashvili does not admit that he 'crossed the border, as he believes that there is no border and South Ossetia (Tskhinvali) is occupied by Russia." Photo: Nino Alavidze/ 

Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia has stated  that government agencies are working in a 24-hour regime to achieve the release of doctor Gaprindashvili.

Georgian Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani has raised the issue with High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, acting chair of OSCE Miroslav Lajcak, Deputy Secretary General of UN Rosemary DiCarlo and Deputy Secretary General of NATO Mircea Geoana, the Georgian Foreign Ministry reported yesterday.

A number of officials and organisations, including President Salome Zurabishvili, the United States Embassy to Georgia, the US mission to OSCE 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.