On the 10th of July, 2019, Akhalgori regional court, which is under control of Tskhinvali de facto government, rejected all the allegations against Akhalgori activist Tamar Mearakishvili, that was commenced two years ago.

The second flow of proceedings on the allegations against Mearakishvili started in December 2018, after the Akhalgori de facto court returned the cases to the de facto Prosecutors office due to the lack of investigation and valid reasoning. Tamar Mearakishvili is prosecuted since August 2017 under the following articles of Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. Namely, Mearakishvili was blamed in defamation related to her critical interview in “Ekho-Kavkaza” on the members of the winning party of the de facto elections. Afterward, de-facto prosecutors office commenced an investigation under two more articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation – under article 327 and 328 which prescribed criminal responsibility for falsification of official documents and illegally receiving South Ossetian official documents. In this part of proceedings, Prosecution blamed Tamar in receiving South Ossetian local ID while having Georgian citizenship documents at the same time, which was also not approved factually. The prosecution and repression against Mearakishvili had the main aim to force ethnically Georgian activist to leave Akhalgori.

Regardless of the physical and economic isolation for 2 years, repression, restriction of freedom of movement and violation of other fundamental rights, Tamar managed for the second time to prove that the allegations were groundless. Obviously, there still exists an opportunity for the de facto prosecutor’s office to appeal the judgment in higher instances. It is yet unknown whether they will use this opportunity or not.

It is vital that Tskhinvali de facto authorities cease the practice of repressions and to fully restore her rights. Amongst, it's essential that Tamar gets back her Identity documents and her freedom of movement is restored.

EMC has published legal assessment of human rights violations against Mearakishvili[1] and this issue was raised several times before state officials of Georgian government as well as before international organizations. EMC also protects Tamar’s legal interests before investigative authorities of Georgia concerning her kidnapping case in 2017. After several statements, the Ministry of Justice of Georgia decided to include information on Tamar Mearakishili’s rights violation in Georgia’s fourth interstate application against Russia in the European Court of Human Rights.

In the conditions of informative isolation of Tskhinvali region, journalistic and activist work of Tamar Mearakishvili is vital to report local human rights situation. Tamar maintains critical positions against Russia, de facto authorities and against Georgian government, which maintains her trust in the local community and creates an interesting activist experience on a local level.