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Police Kept Arbitrarily Detained Ossetian Citizens in Gori Detention Setting

10.12.2009
Mari Otarashvili

As a result of mediation of the Human Rights Commissionaire of CoE Thomas Hammarberg Ossetian detainees were released; the former detainees recall the hard time they had spent in Gori detention settings in their interviews with Tskhinvali media sources. According to them, Georgian police arbitrarily detained them. The imprisonment, because of poor conditions and cruel treatment, was so hard for them that they did not hope to survive not to speak about freedom.

According to Pavle Tekhov, Georgian policemen detained him in the village of Disevi without any explanations and pushed him into the car.

“Initially, our trial was held on March 24-25, 2009. We were judged for illegal storage of weapon and sentenced us to 5-year-imprisonment. On August 4, the upper instance of court found us not guilty but despite that we spent 4 months in Gori detention setting in unbearable situation. They did not accuse us in anything. We were in unbearable conditions - during 4 months we could not wash, they gave food only once a day,” said Tekhov.

Former prisoner Ibragim Laliev said the Georgian police detained him without any grounds because they had no weapon.

“We did not have any weapon. I was transporting wheat flour to my relative in Artsevi village and they detained me on my way to them. They held three trials on me; final was in August. We endured hard time,” said Laliev who spent one year and 2 months in Georgian prison.

Ibragim Laliev said they did not hope to be released. His mother Tina Kazieva said she had prayed for the freedom of the son.

Tina Kazieva: “My son was born in Tskhinvali. When he was 6, we moved to Tajikistan where we lived before 1996. Since 1996 we have been registered in Vladikavkaz as internally displaced people. Afterwards my husband decided to live in South Ossetia. All my three children stayed in Vladikavkaz. When Ibragim learned that Russian army started deployment here on August 10, 2008 he arrived here. He often visited us. Since October, he decided to assist relatives with products who lived in Artsevi. I told him not to go there but he replied to me: “First I will help them and then I will go to Vladikavkaz. Since then I have not seen him. On October 10 we learned he was detained on his way to Artsevi village and he was in Gori.”

Ibragim Laliev tells the story in details. “We were arrested on October 8, 2008 in the village of Ditsi – on that day Russian army left the village. There were five detainees in Georgian police car. We were taken to Gori. They were beating me for 4 days without saying anything about our crimes; they even did not ask us anything. Then they said we had to be tried for illegal storage of weapon. They took us to a burnt house by car near Tirdznisi village. Georgian police wanted to stage an incident when both sides had to open fire and they would have killed us. But they asked whether we had relatives and friends among Georgians and when we said we had, they understood our relatives would start to look for us. So they changed the idea and took us back to Gori and then to Tbilisi. I was in jail hospital for 3 months. I had brain concussion because of beating. I could not even raise a head. I should note that we all 5 were sitting together in Gori, but in Tbilisi we were in separate cells. I spent 7 months in Tbilisi and then sent us to Rustavi. We spent final 4 months in Gori detention setting.”

According to Laliev, his first trial was in January of 2008; the court imposed suspended sentence on him but police did not release him.

“After trial I spent one month and 10 days in the detention setting. Later I learned they had to change me into a hostage and took me to the Georgian village of Plavismani. Then they arrested me again for illegal storage of weapon,” said Ibragim Lalie.
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