Thomas Hammerberg, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, has met with Lado Vardzelashvili, the President’s Representative, and Ombudsman Sozar Subari at the Shida Kartli regional administration on August 25. As Lado Vardzelashvili stated after the meeting, he had updated the Commissioner on the current situation in the region, adding that aresting the local population, robbery and kidnapping people to Tskhinvali have become common.
Subari and Hammerberg also met with population in Gori on August 24. They visited places bombed by the Russians. “The places which have been bombed are far away from military bases. We have spoken to the population. The Commissioner needs information, which will assist him in developing a clear picture regarding the situation. He has to present a report to the Council of Europe about current events”, Subari stated.
Lado Vardzelashvili mentioned that it isn’t yet possible for either the administration or local residents to enter 31 Georgian villages. As he stressed, he “asked the Commissioner to help with the issue of exchanging captives”. According to Lado Vardzelashvili, the Russians have been asking for criminals, sentenced long ago, to be exchanged for Georgian captives. He mentioned that the Georgian side does its best to free all the captives.