08TBILISI658, GEORGIANS EXPRESS CONCERN OVER EXPULSION OF PRIEST

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08TBILISI658 2008-04-17 14:14 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO0776
OO RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLN
RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHSI #0658 1081414
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 171414Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9290
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS TBILISI 000658 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR EUR DAS BRYZA & EUR/CARC 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PHUM PGOV PREL KIRF GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIANS EXPRESS CONCERN OVER EXPULSION OF PRIEST 
FROM ABKHAZIA 
 
1. (SBU) The Ambassador received the following letter, dated 
April 11, from Deputy Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze, 
drawing attention to the apprehension of an ethnic Georgian 
priest by "Abkhazian military intelligence" and his expulsion 
from Abkhazia.  Vashadze describes this case as a violation 
of several specific provisions of international human rights 
instruments, and as one in a series of continuing human 
rights violations committed by the Abkhaz de facto 
authorities against ethnic Georgian residents of the Gali 
district.  Post will continue to monitor this case. 
 
2. (SBU) Begin text of letter: 
 
Excellency, 
 
I am writing to you to express my deep concern over the 
latest developments in Abkhazia, Georgia, where, despite the 
permanent presence of the CIS peacekeepers and the 
international team of UN observers, violations of basic human 
rights and fundamental freedoms by the separatist regime 
occur on an everyday basis. 
 
In this context, I would like to draw your attention to the 
recent case that happened on 10 April 2008, in the Gali 
district of Abkhazia, Georgia: a rapid reaction group of 
so-called "Abkhazian military intelligence" apprehended at 
his private house priest of the Saint Trinity Cathedral 
Pimeni (Roman Kardava).  Later he was expelled and moved by 
force over the Samegrelo-Abkhazia administrative border. 
 
The main reason of this arrest and then expulsion is the fact 
that Father Pimeni was practicing and teaching Christian 
religion in Georgian language and was trying to renovate 
previously damaged Georgian churches in the Gali district. 
It is noteworthy that Father Pimeni is an ethnic Georgian, 
and he and his family reside permanently in Gali. 
 
It should be stressed that this illegal action undertaken by 
the representatives of the separatist regime constitutes a 
violation of a series of widely recognized human rights and 
freedoms. 
 
In particular, provisions of the following international and 
regional human rights instruments have been violated: Article 
9 (the right to liberty and security of person, prohibiting 
arbitrary arrest or detention); Article 18 (freedom of 
thought, conscience and religion that, inter alia, includes 
the freedom to maintain one's religion or belief in worship, 
observance and practice); Article 26 (prohibition of 
discrimination, inter alia, based on language and religion) 
of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 
as well as Article 9 (freedom of religion); Article 5 (right 
to liberty and security prohibiting arbitrary arrest or 
detention); Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination, inter 
alia, based on language and religion) of the European 
Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental 
Freedoms. 
 
Taking into consideration all the aforementioned and previous 
cases of gross and mass human rights violations of the ethnic 
Georgians in Abkhazia, Georgia, it is more than obvious now 
that repeated demands of the Georgian side to establish an 
independent and effective UN/OSCE Human Rights Office in the 
Gali district, in conformity with a number of the UN Security 
Council resolutions on the situation in Abkhazia, Georgia, 
are completely justified and there is a strong need to 
translate these provisions into practice. 
 
We call upon you to give due consideration and assessment to 
the fact under review and to make use of all leverages 
available to address this problem and prevent such violations 
from happening in the future. 
 
Respectfully yours, 
Grigol Vashadze 
Deputy Minister 
 
TEFFT

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