The South Caucasus Network of Human Rights Defenders

Georgia: Swiss Government Grants Vakhtang Komakhidze Asylum
On July 26 the Swiss government granted journalist Vakhtang Komakhidze a political asylum. Reporting to Komakhidze said thus far the aforementioned information has been confirmed by the Swiss government verbally only. The legal status of the refugee will be publicized in a few days.

Within six months in the refugee camp, the journalist said, the local government has requested him to grant an interview twice, no other procedures have been conducted.

According to the investigative journalist Georgian media overstated when disseminating the information as if he had been recognized as a political refugee by the Swiss government.

"Georgina media informed I had been recognized as a political refugee and so on. No official recognition has taken place. I just know I have been granted an asylum, I have no additional information about my official status and I wouldn't like to outrun the events. According to the official notification I have been granted the asylum, I am unaware of my official status since I haven't seen any document. As far as I am concerned when granting the asylum there is no clarification provided whether the asylum is political, humanitarian or economic. Accordingly until I am told the exact title for my status talking about details make no sense. I don't want to make any interpretations to the decision by the Swiss government."

In addition Komakhidze said it is still under question whether he will be able to take his family to Switzerland.

Six months ago during his stay in Geneva Vakhtang Komakhidze, Head of Reporter Studio has requested the Swiss authorities for political asylum.  According to the journalist health and lives of his family members and himself in person was under threat due to his journalism activities. The threats were followed after Komakhidze's initiative to make a documentary to be based on the footage filmed in December in South Ossetia and cover the August war 2008.

In the refugee camp conditions the work on the documentary has turned out impossible.

"I look forward to leaving this hell and I am ready to work. Here [in the camp] I had no working conditions," the journalist reported.


See the Statement of the South Caucasus Network of Human Rights Defenders concerning Vakhtang Komakhidze's case.

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