One month following abduction of Georgian doctor, family announces radical steps

Doctor Vazha Gaprindashvili does not admit to ‘illegally crossing the border’ as the Russian-occupied de facto Tskhinvali demands he say. De facto Tskhinvali cited Gaprindashvili as saying that Tskhinvali is Georgia and it is now occupied by Russia. Photo: IPN., 09 Dec 2019 - 12:31, Tbilisi,Georgia

One month has expired since the abduction of well-known Georgian doctor Vazha Gaprindashvili by Russian-controlled occupation forces. 

The family of the doctor held a press conference earlier today and urged the Georgian government to take more active steps for the “immediate release” of the doctor and announced “a radical form of protest” at the end of the week if the doctor remains in Russian-occupied Tskhinvali region.

The family says that they have been actively cooperating with the government and also organising separate events against the illegal detention.

The Geneva International Discussions will take place tomorrow and we urge the involved parties to use all measures for the immediate release of the doctor,” the family says.

Gaprindashvili was abducted by occupation forces near the Russian-controlled Tskhinvali region on November 9 and has been sentenced to two-month pretrial detention for “deliberately crossing the border." Photo: Firefly World. 

Georgian Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani raised the issue during his meeting with the Chair of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Slovak Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak on December 7.

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.