Web Portal on Human Rights in Georgia

End of 18-month imprisonment

Lado Bitchashvili, Shida Kartli

Giorgi Giunashvili, released from Tskhinvali isolator after 18-month imprisonment, is thankful to everyone, who believed his innocence and contributed in his release.

On June 8, 2016 Giunashvili was arrested in the occupied village of Disevi and the Tskhinvali court sentenced him to 20-year imprisonment for sabotage-terrorist activities. Representatives of the Government of Georgia raised the issue of Giunashvili’s innocence and his release during all meetings in the frame of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism in Ergneti village during one and half year. The Georgian side requested his release during Geneva International Talks too (IPRM). 

Representatives of the Tskhinvali de-facto authority handed Giunashvili to the Georgian side on November 26 at the Ergneti checkpoint. Representatives of the information-analytic department of the State Security Service, Office of the State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality and Ministry of Internal Affairs were in Ergneti village when Giunashvili was released. 

“Giunashvili was arrested on June 8, 2016 and he was released as a result of months-long negotiations. His release is a positive fact, which will give positive impulse both to the meetings in the frame of the Ergneti IPRM and international Geneva Talks,” deputy director of the information-analytic department of the State Security Service Kakhaber Kemoklidze said. 

According to the statement disseminated by the administration of the Tskhinvali de-facto president Anatoli Bibilov, Abkhazian de-facto president Raul Khajinba addressed him with the request to free the citizen of Georgia in order to exchange him into Abkhazian prisoner placed in the Georgian prison. 

The State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality Ketevan Tsikhelashvili did not confirm this information and said nobody exchanged Giunashvili, he was just released from prison. “Giunashvili was freed as a result of long negotiations and the Abkhazian side was also actively engaged in this process.”

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