A complaint against the Russian Federation has been lodged with the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights (ECHR)
The Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA) and the European Human Rights Advocacy Center (EHRAC) have appealed to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on behalf of the family of Giga Otkhozoria who was murdered on the Georgian-Abkhaz administrative border.
As is pointed out in a document filed with the ECHR against the Russian Federation, Russia violated Article 2 (Right to life) and Article 13 (Right to an effective remedy) of the European Convention on Human Rights.
In the applicants’ assessment, the Russian Federation, which occupies Abkhazia and effectively controls the area, is responsible for any human rights violations that occur in this region, as well as for the de-facto Abkhaz government’s actions.
Giga Otkhozoria, 30, was killed by Abkhaz border guard officers in Khurcha village (a territory under Georgia’s control), in the vicinity of the Georgian-Abkhaz administrative border, on 19 May 2016. Rashid Kanji-ogli, an Abkhaz border guard officer, shot Otkhozoria six times. His murder was captured by a CCTV camera which was installed near the Georgian border checkpoint. The video footage showed the so-called Abkhaz officer and Otkhozoria having a heated argument after the latter had attempted to get a foodstuffs package shipped across the border to the Gali district. After the quarrel Kanji-ogli left the control checkpoint, crossed over to Khurcha village and repeatedly shot at Otkhozoria who was unarmed.
The Georgian court sentenced Kanji-ogli in absentia to 14 years in prison.
The Abkhaz military prosecutor’s office also launched an investigation into Otkhozoria’s murder case. The Abkhaz de-facto republican court ordered Kanji-ogli to be placed under house arrest. However, on 21 April 2017, the criminal charges against Kanji-Ogli were dropped and the case was closed. According to Abkhazia’s military prosecutor Adgun Agrba, no concrete evidence of a crime has been revealed in the case, as the Georgian side failed to provide Sukhumi with the necessary materials related to the investigation.