U.S. Embassy Statement on the sentencing of Dr. Vazha Gaprindashivili (December 20)
The government of the United States does not recognize as legitimate the de facto authorities in the occupied region of South Ossetia, nor does it recognize as legitimate today’s sentencing of Dr. Vazha Gaprindashivili. We again call on the de facto authorities, and those in the Russian Federation who have influence on them, to allow for the immediate release of Dr. Gaprindashvili. The United States sees this unfortunate case as a symptom of the much bigger problem of occupation and aggression. We note that this case has developed in the context of other detentions, of a worsening humanitarian situation that endangers lives when people cannot receive appropriate medical care, and of a worsening situation along the administrative boundary line (ABL) which unnecessarily affects the lives and livelihoods of people on both sides of the ABL. We are using all the tools available to us, including the Geneva International Discussions, where we raise this case and these broader issues with all relevant parties.