Statement on the detention of Roman Shitikov
During the monitoring of the villages along the administrative boundary line, representatives of the Public Defender’s Office met a citizen G.A in village Sakorintlo, who informed that he spent several days in Tskhinavli prison in the same cell with Roman Shitikov. According to him, Shitikov, who was detained in the village of Karapila of Kaspi Municipality by Russian border guards, has been threatened to be executed for the participation in 2008 war. Shitikov claimed that he did not participate in the war due to health reasons and asked G.A to publicize his case.
Whereabouts of Roman Shitikov was raised at the Incidents Preventions and Response Mechanism meeting on 28 April 2014. But, Ossetian representatives do not confirm his detention. Noteworthy, that according to the Georgian Ministry of Interior, Ossetian representative initially confirmed Shitikovs detention on 13 April, but rejected on 23 April.
As of today, whereabouts of Roman Shitikov remains unknown. We are concerned that his life and health might be under threat.
We call on Georgian and Russia governments, de facto South Ossetian authorities, co-chairs of Geneva talks, European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM), International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and other international human rights organizations to undertake immediate steps to ensure the immediate release of Roman Shitikov.