A Georgian man was shot four times and killed by Russia border guards on Thursday along the border between Georgia and the breakaway region of Abkhazia, Georgian sources are reporting.
According to eyewitnesses, villager Khurcha Gigi Othozoriya, 31 was shot after a dispute with the border guards, and died later in the day in Zugdidi hospital. Georgian media is reporting that the dispute happened when Othozoriya was trying to transport food into Abkhazia for a neighbour's funeral.
"I believe those who committed this horrible crime will be very strictly punished," said Georgian prime minister Georgi Kvirikashvili. "We will involve all our foreign partners in the issue to ensure the offenders are adequate punished."Presdient Giorgi Margvelashvili also condemned the murder and said he would raise it at a human rights forum at the United Nations later this month.
The Georgian Foreign Ministry has notified the EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM), as well as the co-chairs of the Geneva talks from the EU, UN and OSCE, demanding a response. The EUMM confirmed the shooting took place at the Khurcha-Nabakevi crossing point. David Dondua, head of the Georgian Delegation at the Geneva talks, also had a phone conversation with Grigori Karasin, head of the Russian Delegation.
"This criminal act once again demonstrates the highly alarming situation in the occupied region of Abkhazia, Georgia and the full responsibility of [this crime] lies with the Russian Federation and the power in effective control of the occupied region,” said the Georgian Foreign Ministry in a statement.
Source: commonspace.eu materials mfa.gov.ge
In this op-ed Dennis Sammut discusses two competing narratives emerging in Brussels and Ankara. Often blurred and episodical, they need to be challenged where necessary