South Ossetia Civil Society Activist Beaten

For Immediate Release

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South Ossetia Civil Society Activist Beaten

LONDON - Amnesty International is calling on the de facto authorities in South
Ossetia to conduct a full, prompt and impartial investigation into an
attack on a prominent journalist and civil society activist.

Timur
Tskhovrebov told Amnesty International that on 24 July, he was attacked
in the centre of Tskhinvali by a group of up to 10 people, leaving him
with a knife wound to the neck, a broken finger and injuries from
punches to his face and body. He is still in hospital recovering from
his injuries.

He said one of his attackers threatened him with a
gun and that he was also knocked down by a car accidentally as he tried
to escape.

The activist said he recognised his three main
attackers, all of them members of the South Ossetian parliament, and
that he believed he was targeted because of his journalistic work,
dissenting political views and civic activism.

"The de facto
authorities must carry out a prompt and impartial investigation and
bring the perpetrators to justice irrespective of the identity of the
attackers. The authorities need to demonstrate that such acts will not
be tolerated," said Nicola Duckworth, Europe and Central Asia Programme
Director.

In June Timur Tskhovrebov attended the
Georgian-Ossetian Civic Forum in the Netherlands and co-signed a
document which calls the parties of the Geneva talks on Georgia to
ensure that the humanitarian needs of those affected by the 2008
Georgian-Ossetian conflict are addressed and, as a matter of priority,
enable free movement of people in the region.

On 22 July, Boris
Chochiev, a senior South Ossetian official , condemned the forum as
traitorous and harmful to the position of the South Ossetian delegation
at the Geneva talks.

The official specifically singled out Timur
Tskhovrebov among the forum participants.

South Ossetia, a
breakaway territory from Georgia, was at the centre of an eight-day war
between Georgia and Russia in August 2008. Following the conflict,
severe mutual travel restrictions were introduced by Tbilisi and
Tskhinvali.

As part of the truce established in September 2008
between Georgia and Russia, delegations of the two countries meet in
Geneva to discuss post-crisis management.

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