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Kidnapped Ossetian Adults Were Tortured

23.12.2009

  There is a video-recording which proves torture of the detainees but offenders are not found yet.
 Alan Khachirov
Mari Otarashvili

Fate of Alan Khugaev, Alan Khachirov and Soltan Pliev is still unclear. De-facto government of South Ossetia blames Georgian law enforcement structures in their disappearance and provides several grounded evidence to prove it – they have video-recording and photo-materials purchased for 500 USD at Georgian prison.

Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia categorically denies detention of Khugaev, Khachirov and Pliev in Georgia. However, the case has not been investigated yet and it reinforces the doubt of the de-facto authority of South Ossetia. According to businessman Gocha Dzasokhov, and assumption of conflict scientist Paata Zakareishvili Khugaev, Khachirov and Pliev might have already died.

Alan Khachirov (born in 1992), Alan Khugaev (born in 1989) Soltan Pliev (born in 1983) disappeared in October of 2008 – two months after the August war.

On October 13, the adults met each other near the Tskhinvali School. The youngest among them Alan Khugaev said he was going to his grandfather in the village of Bikari to take products. The three boys were friends and used to go everywhere together. Thus, they decided to go to Alan’s grandfather together. Since then nobody has seen them. According to the de-facto militia of South Ossetia, the adults were attacked by people dressed in the uniforms of Georgian policemen when they were at the entrance of the village of Disevi. The police stopped their car, dragged the boys out of the car and took them somewhere.

“A person is not a needle to disappear. People, living close to Georgia-South Ossetia border disappear very often,” said the mother of one of the missing boy – Alan Khachirov – Venera Khachirova. She said they explain the disappearance of Khugaev, Khachirov and Pliev by their kidnapping and it might be truth.

At least, the video and photo materials prove it which was obtained by the relatives of the missing adults.

The mother of Alan Khachirov was given photo-materials where her son is together with his friends. She also got hold of the video-recording where Ossetian adults are being beaten and tortured. However, Venera Khachirova does not say who had given this evidence to her. She is afraid to lose this recording though it is terrible to see. The mother of the missing boy said that relatives somehow found unofficial people who sold the video-recording of the torture of Khugaev, Khachirov and Pliev. The relatives paid 500 USD for it. She managed to see the horrible scene for 500 USD: she saw how interrogation of Alan Khachirov and his friends started in Georgian and finished in beating.

According to Veneral Khachirova, missing adults were detained in Tbilisi. The court judgments on the detainees were changed permanently but the mother does not want to speak about it. However, in her interview with Russian correspondent, the woman said she has to pay money for the release of the boys; otherwise the detainees might be killed.

Today, Georgian law enforcement officers do not speak even about the detention of the three Ossetian adults not to speak about their release.

It must be noted that Alan Khachirov’s father Iuri Khachirov was kidnapped by Georgian people from the field in 2006. At the trial he was wearing the trousers which had on during mowing in the field. Nevertheless, he was sentenced to 15-year-imprisonment for illegal possession of weapon. Today he is still in custody.

Alan Khachirov has won the championship of Europe among sportsmen with the weight under 120 kilos. This competition was organized in Tbilisi and he defeated Georgian Giorgi Sakandelidze.

Representative of Kokoyty in post-conflict situations Boris Chochiev said that when Russian army left Gori, Georgian law enforcement officers started kidnapping of Ossetian citizens who lived close to the so-called border.

“Among them were three boys: Alan Khugaev, Alan Khachirov and Soltan Pliev. One of them is 16-year-old. Georgian side excludes possibility of their detention at every level; furthermore, they even exclude their presence in Georgia. We consider these people are missing and try to convince every participant of Geneva Conferences (among them Georgian participants too) that these adults were detained by Georgian special forces. They denied our statement. I wrote to the head of Georgian delegation Giga Bokeria about it twice but he replied both times: “They are not detained in Georgia and you should look for them in South Ossetia,” said Boris Chochiev.

According to Chochiev, human rights defender of South Ossetia Davit Sanakoev and a governmental official of Russian Federation Vladimer Lukin, as well as the EU and Human Rights Commissionaire of CoE Thomas Hammarberg are informed about the missing young men.

Although Georgian side denies the existence of Ossetian hostages, there is a video-recording which exposes that Alan Khachirov, Alan Khugaev and Soltan Pliev were tortured. The amateur video-recording lasts 1 minute and 37 seconds; it shows three scared Ossetian boys who are insulted, scolded and beaten by Georgian-speaking men; the violators are not seen in the recording so it is difficult to speak about their personality.

You can see the video-recording on the video-portal www.hridc.tv 
 http://hridc.tv/index.php?a=view&id=53&lang=geo

Reportedly, former public defender of Georgia Sozar Subari was concerned about the fate of three Ossetian adults; though he could not estimate anything.

Sozar Subari, former Public Defender: “Georgian NGOs sent those video-recordings to me and they received the materials from Ossetian side. I appealed to the MIA of Georgia and they replied to me that the fate of Pliev, Khugaev and Khachirov is not known to them. I had some doubts but could not estimate the truth. I guess from the video-recording who are those Georgian people (from governmental and non-governmental organizations), who are beating and insulting the three Ossetian boys in the video. It is difficult to estimate the truth because Georgians are not seen. Of course, Ossetian side had some doubts and they have enough ground for that. But I cannot make any conclusion. You know that the MIA denied the fact but even if Georgian side has detained those Ossetian people, nobody will admit it.”

Paata Zakareishvili was informed by the MIA that those Ossetian people in the video-recording were looters. However, since the Merabishvili’s ministry has not investigated the fact, this information is doubtful.

Paata Zakareishvili, conflict scientist: “Pliev, Khugaev and Khachirov disappeared after the war. I have seen the video-recording. Georgian side denies this fact but Ossetian side claims Georgian law enforcement bodies have done it because they saw Georgian policemen detain the Ossetian adults. Of course, the MIA had to investigate who are those Georgians in the video. If those Ossetian detainees were looters, what was the source of their information? If the MIA claims they were looters, it means they have some information and should prove it. The MIA shall investigate the fact and should not deny they have arrested those people. I doubt these boys are already dead. And if Georgian side has done it, they should give at least bodies of the boys to the families.”

Thomas Hammarberg intends to set up an independent commission to find Ossetian citizens disappeared during/after the Russia-Georgian War (he spoke about it when adults from Tirdznisi village were released); the commission will start working in January of 2010. We hope, the problem of missing Ossetian citizens will be resolved by this commission.

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