Georgian State Ministry for Reintegration said on July 26 that assault and beating up of Tskhinvali-based activist and journalist, Timur Tskhovrebov, was demonstration of violence and persecution for dissent opinion “reigning in occupied region of South Ossetia/Tskhinvali.”
Tskhovrebov was attacked in the center of Tskhinvali on July 24 by a group of about ten men, which reportedly included members from an organization supporting South Ossetian leader, Eduard Kokoity. At least three attackers were reportedly members of the breakaway region’s parliament.
Tskhovrebov was hospitalized with serious injuries to local hospital and latter sent to the hospital in Vladikavkaz in Russia’s North Ossetian Republic.
Tskhovrebov, who fought against the Georgian forces in the August 2008 war, was a participant of Georgian-Ossetian Civil Forum, a platform for keeping contacts between Georgian and Ossetian civil society representatives. The group met in Leiden, Netherlands in mid-July and made a joint appeal to negotiators in Geneva talks calling them to immediately address humanitarian problems on the ground.
Few days before the assault on Tskhovrebov, South Ossetian leader’s envoy for post-conflict resolution issues, Boris Chochiev, strongly criticized Ossetian participants of the meeting, in particular Tskhovrebov.
“The Georgian government condemns any form of violence and demands from the international organizations and institutions to make more efforts to increase international community’s awareness about real situation on the ground in occupied territory,” the Georgian State Ministry for Reintegration said.
Human Rights Watch called on Russia and the international community to press the breakaway region’s authorities to bring those responsible for the attack to justice and to foster a normal working climate for civil and political activists in the region.
"We are appalled by the attack on Tskhovrebov and deeply concerned about the safety of activists in South Ossetia," Holly Cartner, Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch, said. "A prompt, thorough, and impartial investigation is needed to bring the assailants to justice."