Georgian FM Zalkaliani condemns sentencing of abducted doctor, says abduction was “deliberate provocation’

Georgian FM Zalkaliani says that the Georgian government will continue to fight for the release of abducted doctor Gaprindashvili.Photo: Foreign Ministry press office., 20 Dec 2019 - 17:19, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani has condemned the decision of Russian controlled de facto Tskhinvali to sentence well-known Georgian doctor Vazha Gaprindashvili to one year and nine months in prison and stated that the illegal detention was a “deliberate provocation.” 

We have activated all the levers available and got all the international structures involved for the release of the doctor from illegal detention. The recent decision [to send the doctor to almost two years in prison] once again confirms that the adduction was a deliberate provocation. I will have an immediate communication with co-chairs of Geneva International Discussions to activate the action plan we had in the case of the bad scenario. What happens in terms of the doctor is absolutely unacceptable and fundamental violation of international norms and regulations,” Zalkaliani said. 

He stated that the government is in continuous communication with the family. 

The Georgian State Security Service says that the illegal detention and the recent decision once again reveals the violation of fundamental human rights by the Russian-controlled de facto authorities and severe humanitarian situation on the ground. 

Georgian PM’s Special Representative in Relations with Russia Zurab Abashidze has stated that the Georgian government will spare no efforts for the release of the doctor.

I cannot express what I feel now… Despite an unprecedented support of the international community and numerous appeals doctor Gaprindashvili still remains in illegal detention. The decision further worsens situation on the ground and deliberately hampers negotiations on peaceful resolution of conflicts,” Abashidze said.   

The family says that they had expectations that the doctor would be released and stated that they want to meet with Georgian PM Giorgi Gakharia.

The family has urged the Georgian government and the international community to use all levers for the release of the doctor as "it is the case of dignity and we believe that the state will stand by us as earlier."