Mearakashvili still has one criminal case against her " />

South Ossetian court acquits civil activist Tamara Mearakashvili

Mearakashvili still has one criminal case against her

Tamara Mearakashvili. Photo from personal Facebook page

Civil activist Tamara Mearakashvili from Akhalgori (Ossetian name – Leningor) has been acquitted by a Tskhinvali court in South Ossetia.

Mearakishvili filed a suit against the prosecutor general of South Ossetia who had filed an ‘illegal and groundless’ case against her.

The court verdict means that the criminal case of slander that was opened against her must be re-examined. The verdict was handed down by Tskhinvali district court judge Fatima Parastayeva.

Akhalgori/Leningor. Photo from Mearakishvili’s personal Facebook page

Mearakishvili has two criminal cases against her

Over the past few months, law enforcement agencies in South Ossetia have been treating Mearakishvili unfairly: she has been detained and questioned on numerous occasions, while her home was searched for ‘extremist’ literature. During the search, personal items and documents were seized from her home without which she cannot leave South Ossetia.

The first case against Mearakishvili was connected to her journalistic activities. In August 2017, the prosecutor general accused her of slander in an article that was published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s service for the Caucasus, Ekho Kavkaza, in which she criticised Spartak Dryaev, a member of the ruling United Ossetia party.

That same month Mearakishvili filed a case against the prosecutor and accused the body of illegally persecuting her.

The second case against her was filed in March 2018, when she was accused of falsifying documents and illegally receiving South Ossetian citizenship. Law enforcement officers claim that she had two passports – one South Ossetian and one Georgian, which is forbidden by law in South Ossetia.

On 3 May, public defender Nino Lomjaria nominated Tamara Mearakishvili for two international awards: one UN award for defending human rights and the Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize.

Lomjaria thanked Mearakishvili for her attempts to defend people who have suffered as a result of conflict.

“Activist and blogger Tamara Mearakishvili, risking her life, health and safety, has made the public aware of the severe situation concerning human rights in occupied Akhalgori and the violation of rights of local residents by the de facto authorities,” Lomjaria’s statement reads.

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