The authorities’ ineffective response to another victim of the Russian occupation is striking
The Russian occupation has another victim - representatives of the Russian occupation forces shot dead Tamaz Ginturi, a resident of the  village of Kirbali. Tamaz Ginturi was killed by the representatives of the occupation forces in the vicinity of the Lomisi Church, while another resident of Kirbali, Levan Dotiashvili was abducted.

According to the relative of the killed man: "He was at his father's grave... he was told that he was not allowed to be there and was shot. He was killed. The car is still there. He has three bullets in his body [in the back], he died on the car seat, he was killed inside the car. He was shot from behind, the car is all fired...".

In August 2023, in the village of Kirbali, Gori municipality, Russian soldiers nailed the door of a Georgian shrine shut. This fact was followed by the protest of the population. However, the State did not properly assess the escalation of the situation in August and did not take sufficient preventive measures. On November 7, 2023, the Tskhinvali TV channel spread footage showing Tamaz Ginturi and Levan Dotiashvili opening the locked door of the church and entering it.[1]

The Democracy Research Institute, in its reports, has repeatedly referred to the insufficient preventive measures along the occupation line. As a rule, the law enforcement officers control not the representatives of the occupation regime, but locals and their visitors. Presumably, this approach is caused by the recent "concession" policy.

Victims of the Russian occupation

Since 2014, five killings have been committed by the Russian occupation forces with extreme cruelty: Davit Basharuli, Giga Otkhozoria, Archil Tatunashvili, Irakli Kvaratskhelia, Tamaz Ginturi; The immediate participants in all five killings were representatives of the occupation regimes. The ineffective response by the State incites each subsequent killing.

The occupation line and control

In the August 2023 report, the Democracy Research Institute emphasized that, compared to previous years, security and control measures by the Georgian checkpoints had been drastically reduced along the so-called dividing line. Unlike the practice of the past years, only one person was on duty in the sections of the checkpoints visited by the DRI representatives. In addition, checkpoints in the villages along the occupation line are located not at the end of the settlement or village, but at the entrance, which increases the vulnerability of the population and leaves them face to face with the occupiers. One gets the impression that the law enforcement officers stationed at the entrance to the village only control the entry of the media and representatives of the civil sector, while the illegal actions of the occupation regime remain outside their attention; and that the checkpoints have actually been abolished and are only formal.

The death of Tamaz Ginturi was officially made public through a statement posted on the website of the State Security Service; On the official website of the Government of Georgia, information about the incident was posted in the name of Irakli Gharibashvili. High political officials did not consider it necessary to inform the public personally, through a briefing, about the killing of the Georgian citizen by the occupation regime or the measures planned by the State.

Two days have passed after the killing of the citizen of Georgia by the Russian occupation regime, and until today, the public has been informed about the incident only through the media, by the low-level managers of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the State Security Service.

The Democracy Research Institute calls on:

  • The Prime Minister of Georgia, the Head of the State Security Service, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality and the Minister of Internal Affairs - to inform the public timely, personally and proactivelly regarding the case of Tamaz Ginturi;
  • The authorities - to use all the necessary diplomatic mechanisms in order to release Levan Dotiashvili, the only witness to the murder of Tamaz Ginturi, who was detained illegally;
  • to put the issue of international responsibility of the party exercising effective control over the occupied territories (the Russian Federation), including through the use of international sanctions, on the agenda of international negotiations;
  • to strengthen security measures in the villages located along the occupied territories in order to prevent the illegal abduction of Georgian citizens, violation of the right to life and health;
  • to develop a strategic action plan in response to the risks existing along the occupied territories;
  • to additionally create special support mechanisms (permanent police patrolling and provision of special medical services on the spot) in order to help the population living in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia and along the dividing line;
  • to expand the Tatunashvili-Otkhozoria list and activate it at the international level.