ECHR hastens case of death of 19-year-old Machalikashvili during Pankisi special op
The European Court of Human Rights has hastened the consideration of the case of 19-year-old Temirlan Machalikashvili, who died during a special operation in Pankisi in December 2017.
The main demand of the Machalikashvili family is for the Georgian prosecutor’s office to resume the investigation into the death of the young man.
Death of Temirlan Machalikashvili
On December 26, 2017, an anti-terrorist operation was carried out in the Pankisi Gorge of Georgia. Special forces broke into the Machalikashvili family’s house late at night, when everyone had already gone to bed.
19-year-old Temirlan was shot dead in his bed – the family says he did not even have time to wake up.
However, the Georgian Interior Ministry claims that Temirlan was associated with terrorists and was shot at the moment when he was trying to detonate a grenade.
The family categorically denies both the existence of the grenade and the connection with terrorists.
Human rights defenders and the ombudsman also have a lot of questions for law enforcement agencies. In their opinion, the authorities have not yet provided evidence of Temirlan Machalikashvili’s connection with the terrorists.
But in January 2020, the Prosecutor General’s Office closed the investigation into a possible abuse of office and the use of violence against Temirlan Machalikashvili.
In this video, the family members of the killed Temirlan talk about how it all happened and why they believe that the special forces killed the sleeping boy for no reason.
Members of the Machalikashvili family claim in their lawsuit that several articles of the European Convention on Human Rights were violated in relation to 19-year-old Temirlan, including the right to life, the prohibition of torture and inhuman treatment and the right to legal protection.
The family is represented by the Human Rights Education and Monitoring Center in Strasbourg, and its representatives say that the murder of Temirlan Machalikashvili was formally investigated, and after the case was closed in Georgia, the European Court remains the only legal mechanism for the family.
“We expect that the European Court of Justice will oblige the Georgian government to resume the investigation, conduct it effectively and fairly and punish those responsible,” the organization said in a statement.
Now the case is entering a decisive phase. The European Court of Justice began negotiations with the Georgian government at the end of 2019, but the process was suspended due to the pandemic.
In September 2020, the Center received a written document with a fixed position of the Georgian government. On November 21, Machalikashvili’s lawyers provided the Strasbourg court with a reasoned response to the government’s position.