Law Enforcement or Lawlessness? Examining Temur Karbaia's Fatal Arrest

SUKHUM / AQW'A ―  In a disturbing incident on 9 December, Temur Karbaia, a resident of Gal (Abkhazia), tragically lost his life, allegedly at the hands of local police officers. The 40-year-old man succumbed to his injuries while being conveyed to a local hospital. This event has ignited widespread concern and calls for accountability, accentuating the critical need for responsible policing and justice.

For two days following the incident, there was a noticeable silence from Abkhazian officials. It was only recently that the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Abkhazia broke this silence with a statement. However, the Ministry's commentary, as relayed by the Aiashara Agency, notably omits any mention of the alleged beating of Georgian citizen Karbaia. The statement simply indicates that an investigation into Karbaia's death is in progress.

Meanwhile, Anas Kishmaria, the Commissioner for Human Rights in the Republic of Abkhazia, published a statement on the Ombudsman's website regarding the death of Citizen Vitaly Karbaia.

The full statement reads as follows:

On 10 December 2023, the media reported the death of V. I. Karbaia, a resident of the Republic of Abkhazia, allegedly due to violent actions by police officers in the Gal District. In response to this information, the Human Rights Ombudsman, Anas Kishmaria, has issued appeals to the General Prosecutor of the Republic of Abkhazia, the Minister of Internal Affairs, the prosecutor of the Gal District, and the chief of the Regional Department of Internal Affairs for the Gal District. These appeals request speedy examinations be carried out based on the reported information and that the findings be submitted to the Ombudsman's office without delay.

The Ombudsman further highlights the unacceptable nature of employing disproportionate physical force and acts of violence against detained individuals. Anas Kishmaria urges law enforcement officers to adhere to the rights and freedoms of individuals as enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of Abkhazia, emphasising the importance of maintaining human rights’ standards in all law enforcement practices.

In light of these developments, the outcome of the investigations is eagerly awaited, with hopes for justice and a renewed commitment to human rights and accountability within the law enforcement system.




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