Occupied Akhalgori court leaves well-known Georgian doctor in illegal pretrial detention

Doctor Vazha Gaprindashvili was abducted on November 9. Photo: Firefly World. 

Agenda.ge, 13 Dec 2019 - 18:19, Tbilisi,Georgia

A so-called district court in Georgia’s Russian-occupied Akhalgori district has left a well-known Georgian doctor Vazha Gaprindashvili in pretrial detention “for deliberately crossing the border” to occupied Tskhinvali region more than a month ago. 

 The closed court session was held in Akhalgori earlier today, shortly after the Geneva International Discussions where the issue was raised. 

 Gaprindashvili was abducted on November 9, 2019. 

 On November 15, he was sent to illegal, two-month pretrial detention.

 De facto Tskhinvali is demanding Gaprindashvili admit he “illegally crossed the border” which the doctor refuses to do, saying Tskhinvali is part of Georgia [de facto Tskhinvali reports]. 

 Georgian officials have been actively raising the issue since his illegal detention. 

The family had expectations that Gaprindashvili would be released. Photo: Nino Alavidze/Agenda.ge. 

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.