Detained Georgian doctor to file lawsuit against Russia in ECHR
Dr. Vazha Gaprindashvili, who was detained in November 2019 at the border of South Ossetia, will file a lawsuit against Russia in the European Court of Human Rights.
Gaprindashvili was detained by Ossetian and Russian servicemen on charges of “illegal border crossing”.
He spent over a month in a Tskhinvali prison.
Arrest and release of doctor Vazha Gaprindashvili
President of the Georgian Orthopedic Association Vazha Gaprindashvili was detained on November 9 in the conflict zone near Akhalgori. Tskhinvali said that he had crossed the state border and crossed over to the Ossetian side. He was charged with deliberate encroachment on territory and on 15 November was sentenced to two months in pre-trial detention.
After the arrest, Gaprindashvili pleaded not guilty and declared during his stay in the Tskhinvali prison that the state border and South Ossetia are the territory of Georgia.
Tskhinvali called this step by Gaprindashvili a provocation and a well-planned action.
Starting November 9, the doctor was in the Tskhinvali isolation ward. On December 20, the Tskhinvali court sentenced him to one year and nine months in prison.
The international community actively participated in the release of the doctor, together with the Georgian authorities.
In Tbilisi, rallies were constantly held in support of Gaprindashvili, demanding the unconditional release of the doctor. According to activists, the Georgian government did not do enough to free the doctor from prison.
On December 28, Gaprindashvili was suddenly released. According to Ossetian state media, the doctor was pardoned by the president of the de facto republic, Anatoly Bibilov.
According to him, as a citizen of Georgia, he was subjected to violence by the Russian state, because Russia controls the Tskhinvali region.
“All suits with the Russian Federation have already been passed on. All questions submitted received a negative answer, as if it did not concern them. I will definitely appeal to the Strasbourg court, because this is not only my personal interest, it is the interest of Georgia. As a citizen of Georgia, I was subjected to violence by the Russian state,” Vazha Gaprindashvili said.
The public organization Empathy will provide legal assistance to Gaprindashvili.