Tamara Mearakishvili. Photo: screenshot of the video by the "Echo of the Caucasus" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XaQJd_2Ly9A

11 July 2019, 20:45

In South Ossetia, court acquits activist Tamara Mearakishvili

The court found no violation of the law in the actions of Tamara Mearakishvili and found her not guilty of slander, forgery of documents, and illegal acquisition of citizenship of South Ossetia.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on August 17, 2017, Tamara Mearakishvili reported that the Prosecutor's Office of South Ossetia accused her of slandering Spartak Dryaev, a member of the "United Ossetia" Party. In March 2018, the authorities of South Ossetia opened another criminal case against the activist and charged her of falsifying documents and obtaining the citizenship of South Ossetia illegally. In connection with the criminal prosecution, Tamara Mearakishvili held a week-long hunger strike in July 2018.

Spartak Dryaev filed a complaint against Tamara Mearakishvili because of her interview in which the activist criticized supporters of the president of the republic and noted that they were striving to occupy attractive positions. The human rights organization "Amnesty International" (AI) considered the persecution of Tamara Mearakishvili a flagrant violation of the right to freedom of expression.

"It took two years of hard work, physical and psychological breakdowns, but finally, the law triumphed," stated Ikramzhan Ramatov, an advocate of the activist, as quoted by the "Echo of the Caucasus".

For two years, Tamara Mearakishvili could not leave South Ossetia, since the law enforcement bodies seized all her documents. The activist was supported by her friends, who raised money to cover the costs of legal proceedings. They raised several thousand US dollars in total, Tamara Mearakishvili said.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on July 11, 2019 at 12:01 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

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