The death of the second Georgian citizen awaiting deportation from Russia in the past two months “is a cause for concern,” Council of Europe Secretary General Terry Davis said on December 5.
Manana Jabelia, 51, died in a detention center in Moscow on December 2, six weeks after she was arrested.
Davis said that an investigation of the circumstances leading to the death is ongoing, “and we shall be looking closely at the results, especially with regard to medical treatment provided” to Manana Jabelia.
“The surge in deportations of Georgian citizens which followed the recent deterioration of bilateral relations between the two countries is also a cause for concern. Ordinary citizens should not pay for disagreements between governments,” he added.
79 Georgians currently remain in detention centers in Russia awaiting deportation, Georgian MP Nika Gvaramia, who is a chairman of the parliamentary commission that was set up to look into cases of human rights abuses against Georgians in Russia, said on December 5.
He also told lawmakers on December 5 that over 3 000 Georgians have been deported from Russia since early October.
Terry Davis also said that while the Russian authorities are fully entitled to enforce their immigration rules, they should make sure that the laws comply with CoE standards and are not applied in an arbitrary or inhumane manner.
Tengiz Togonidze, a 48-year-old Georgian citizen, died of an asthma attack on October 17 in Domodedovo airport in Moscow before being deported to Georgia.