S. Ossetia: 28-year-old thought involved in attempt on interior minister likely tortured to death
A 28-year-old resident of South Ossetia, Inal Dzhabiev, has died in a detention center in Tskhinval, allegedly as a result of torture.
He was detained on suspicion of involvement in the shelling of the car of Interior Minister Igor Naniev on August 18, 2020.
Nobody was hurt in the incident.
The authorities have not yet confirmed the account of torture, but the South Ossetian Minister of Internal Affairs has been dismissed and the president promised to personally oversee the investigation.
In total, about a hundred people, including Inal Dzhabiev and his twin brother Atsamaz, who is still under arrest, were detained as part of an investigation into the shelling of the minister.
In the city hospital, where Dzhabiev was taken, his relatives, neighbors and friends gathered. The body has not yet been given to relatives, and photographs from the morgue with traces of torture and bruises have been published on social media.
Inal Dzhabiev had three children.
Opposition groups on Facebook called on the population to come out to Theater Square and press for the resignation of President Anatoly Bibilov and the government. By evening, several thousand people had already gathered there.
Interior Minister Igor Naniev has repeatedly been the cause of public outrage in South Ossetia. Many said the shooting at his car was revenge for the violence against prisoners: in early June 2020, an outrageous incident took place in a Tskhinval prison, when 20 prisoners cut themselves in protest against what they said was aggressive treatment. Nobody died then.
A few days later, the parliament convened a meeting to discuss the incident – about 200 security forces, including special forces, in full camouflage and with weapons, appeared in parliament.
Opposition MPs, supported by many in society, said at the time that the authorities used the security forces to force parliament to refuse to investigate multiple cases of illegal violence against prisoners in the local prison.
Then President Anatoly Bibilov refused to fire Minister Naniev. However, this time Bibilov went out to the people and announced the removal of the head of the South Ossetian Ministry of Internal Affairs.
Bibilov said that a criminal case has been opened, an inspection is being carried out, and all those responsible will be punished.
“This case will be brought to an end, the perpetrators will be punished, I am taking this under my personal control,” Bibilov said.
The materials of the case have been sent for examination to the city of Rostov in Russia – “so that there were no doubts about the reliability and no one could influence the investigation,” the president said.
On the central square, among the protesters are MPs and heads of various departments. People demand an investigation of what happened, the resignation of the entire government and the convocation of an emergency session of parliament.
Prosecutor General Uruzmag Dzhagaev said that the arrested Dzhabiev was taken to the hospital unconscious with bodily injuries and died without regaining consciousness.
The prosecutor said that “the conclusions, taking into account the medical examination, will be reported in the near future.”
On the evening of August 28, the South Ossetian parliament called an extraordinary session.
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