“The Co-Chairs of the Geneva International Discussions have taken note with strong concern of reports of the death in custody in Tskhinvali on February 22 of Mr Archil Tatunashvili, and express their condolences to the family of the deceased,” reads the February 26 statement of the representatives of the OSCE, the European Union and the United Nations.
They Co-Chairs also noted that, “according to reports, a post-mortem examination has already taken place, and therefore call on the authorities in control in Tskhinvali to hand over the body of Mr Tatunashvili to his family without delay.”
The Co-Chairs also appealed that Levan Kutashvili and Ioseb Pavliashvili, who were apprehended at the same time as Tatunashvili, “be permitted to cross to Tbilisi-administered territory immediately.”
The Co-Chairs then expressed their “hope and expectation” that the forthcoming Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) meeting in Ergneti on March 1 would “be an occasion to provide further information on the circumstances surrounding the detention of Mr Tatunashvili, Mr Kutashvili and Mr Pavliashvili and the subsequent death in custody of Mr Tatunashvili.”
The Geneva International Discussions (GID), the multilateral mediation forum to address security and humanitarian consequences of the Russo-Georgian War of August 2008, are co-chaired by the representatives of the OSCE, the European Union and the United Nations, and involve representatives from Georgia, Russia and the United States, as well as members of both the Georgian exiled administrations of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia and the two regions’ Russian-backed authorities.