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Sunday, 22 April 2018


Children Are Children Even in Ossetia

2009-11-19 18:44

4620.jpegSome Georgian teenagers will have to celebrate New Year's Eve in Ossetian prison. Unless the international community that has stood up staunchly for them will receive a rebate. The unfairness of foreign politicians rouses indignation in Ossetian mothers. The youngest of the children kidnapped by Georgians a year ago was just 15 years old, but that crime did not draw any response of the UN, PACE and other structures of the kind. It seems that Western compassion is somewhat selective.


Four Georgian teenagers will celebrate New Year's Eve in the a Tskhinvali detention facility. Such a conclusion can be made from yesterday's statement of the Vice Ambassador of South Ossetia for Post-Conflict Settlement Merab Chigoev. He explained that the boys were charged 10 days later than the day of their arrest. Thus, the two months under custodial control as a punishment will on 4 January.

The fourteen-year-old Georgy Romelashvili and Aleko Sabadze, sixteen-year-old Viktor Buchukuri and seventeen-year-old Levan Khmiadashvili were arrested by the South Ossetian police on 4 November.

First the young pilgrims from the Georgian village of Tirdznisi confessed all their sins. For the illegal border crossing they could just be deported or fined, as it happened to the woodcutters taken by border guards in the Leningor District. But they have good chances for a more serious punishment: for storing and carrying explosives. One of them also confessed a rifle theft.

Later, in the presence of Red Cross representatives, the boys retracted their initial testimony.

Chigoev says that the investigation is going on, and every week the Ministry of Internal Affairs has to report on it to the Post-Conflict Settlement Office.

Georgians are worried about the state of the young prisoners. From time to time politicians say that the children's health has worsened, and Tskhinvali disproves these declarations whipping up the atmosphere. Two days ago some employees of the Red Cross delivered the teenagers' letters to to their parents.

Georgian politicians are using every possible mechanism of pressure on Tskhinvali and Moscow in order to achieve the liberation of the detained schoolboys. They even filed a petition to the Court of Strasbourg.

Many international organizations have already signed the demand to release the Georgian children. As ever, the West has believed the assertions of Tbilisi that the children are held hostages exclusively for political purposes.

The Deputy State Secretary of the US for Issues of Democracy, Human Rights and Labour Michael Pozner who has recently visited Georgia showed his concern over the matter and said he found no grounds for it.

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe also thrust in its weighty utterance in favour of the boys. The PACE site displays a demand to Tskhinvali asking to release them immediately: «The arrest and long detention of these youngsters will just increase the tension in this uneasy region».

The Georgian authorities promise that the «kidnapping» (as they interpret the arrest) of the Tirdznisi teenagers «will cost much to the Russian occupants» (another expression from the propaganda vocabulary of the current Georgian regime).

And they have really achieved international condemnation. While the Georgian police also merit serious censure. They have not said yet where are the Ossetian children kidnapped by them, the youngest of whom was just 15 years old.

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