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Abkhazia Denies Ethnic Georgian Killed For Refusing To Serve In Army

(RFE/RL) 7 November 2005 -- The breakaway Georgian region of Abkhazia today denied Tbilisi's charges that an ethnic Georgian was killed last week for refusing to serve in the separatist armed forces.

Abkhazia's Defense Minister Sultan Sosnaliyev said Daniel Tsurtsumia was seriously injured while assaulting an Abkhaz police officer in the southern Gali region, home to a sizeable Georgian community. Sosnaliyev said Tsurtsumia died of his wounds in hospital. He gave no further details.

Georgia, however, says Tsurtsumia was tortured to death after he refused to be drafted into the Abkhaz army.

Tbilisi has criticized the Russian peacekeepers deployed in Abkhazia for allegedly condoning the incident. It has also called upon the UN and the OSCE to protect the rights of Gali's ethnic Georgians.


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