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Ergneti IPRM Meetings resumed after three-month delay


Lado Bitchashvili, Shida Kartli

After the September 14 failed meeting, the first meeting was held on December 18 in Ergneti in the frame of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism. The September 14 meeting was failed and postponed upon the request of the de-facto authority of South Ossetia, who claimed to remove the issue of Davit Basharuli and Archil Tatunashvili from the agenda. On December 18, the representatives of the Government of Georgia again raised the issue of Basharuli and Tatunashvili’s murder cases. 

“We discussed all important incidents which undermine the secure environment. We paid particular attention to the fact of ruthless murder of Archil Tatunashvili. We also discussed unanswered questions about Davit Basharuli’s death. We raised the issue of civil activist Tamar Mearakishvili from Akhalgori, who is persecuted; we called on the international organizations to get interested in this case. Besides that, we discussed the issue of illegal “borderization”, arbitrary detention of the citizens of Georgia and restricted movement of locals alongside the occupation line,” said Irakli Antadze, deputy head of the analytic department at the State Security Service. 

As for the Tatunashvili-Otkhozoria Resolution adopted by the Parliament of Georgia, Antadze said, it is a political act and considering the format of the IPRM meetings, they did not discuss the document.

“IPRM is a depoliticized format, where political issues are not discussed. The IPRM aims to improve living conditions of local population. Considering that, we did not discuss the resolution,” Antadze added. 

In his interview with the journalists, the deputy head of the analytic department mentioned one more significant issue, which was raised by the representatives of the de-facto authority of Tskhinvali. They requested to stop patrolling of civil activists near the occupation line in Atotsi village in order to avoid incidents between civil activists and representatives of the de-facto border officers.

“The representatives of the de-facto regime raised the question of Atotsi village. They claimed the civil activists with their action undermine the safety environment in the area but we clarified that civil movement members are located in the Georgia-controlled territory. The freedom of expression, movement and speech is guaranteed with the Constitution of Georgia. These people do not violate any law. So the protest of the representatives of the de-facto regime has no legal grounds,” Antadze said.

The representatives of the Tskhinvali de-facto authority left the IPRM meeting without comments. Next meeting is scheduled on February 8, 2019.  

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