Guram Gabiskiria

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Guram Gabiskiria
Guram gabiskiria.jpg
Mayor of Sukhumi
In office
15 January 1992 – 27 September 1993
Personal details
Born 2 March 1947
Sukhumi, Abkhazian ASSR, Georgian SSR, USSR
Died 27 September 1993(1993-09-27) (aged 46)

Guram Gabiskiria (Georgian: გურამ გაბესკირია) (2 March 1947 – 27 September 1993) was a Mayor of Sukhumi who was murdered by Abkhaz separatists during the ethnic cleansing of Georgians in Abkhazia in 1993.

Guram Gabiskiria was born on 2 March 1947 in Sukhumi, Georgia. Gabiskia graduated from the State University of M. Gorki with a degree in history but excelled as a soccer player. He played for the Dinamo Sukhumi in the late 1960s and later continued his career in Stavropol, Minsk and Kislovodsk before joining CSKA (Tbilisi). In 1972, he became a soccer referee of republican level and two years later upgraded himself to the union level soccer referee. As a result of political tensions in the USSR in 1989 all the Georgian teams except for Dinamo Sukhumi left the Soviet championship. Gabiskiria helped to create Sukhumi-based Tskhumi soccer club (which played in the newly formed Georgian football league) where he served as a president. In 1990 He was a candidate in the elections for the parliament of Abkhazian Autonomous Republic but gave up his claims in favour of Tamaz Nadareishvili.

Gabiskiria became a mayor of Sukhumi in 1992 and joined the legitimate Council of Ministers and the Council of Self-Defense of Abkhazian Autonomous Republic during the Georgian-Abkhazian War in 1993. When the city of Sukhumi fell to the Russian-supported separatists on 27 September 1993, Gabiskiria along with other authorities from the legitimate Government of Abkhazian Autonomous Republic (Zhiuli Shartava, Raul Eshba, Mamia Alasania, and others) refused to leave the besieged city and was captured by Abkhaz militants and North Caucasian mercenaries. Based on video materials, Human rights documents and witness accounts[1] of the event, G. Gabiskiria, Z. Shartava, R. Eshba and other members of the government were dragged outside of the parliament building and forced to knee by the Abkhaz/North Caucasian militants. Gabiskiria refused to do so by replying in Russian: “Never in my life!” ("Никогда в жизни!")

Malcolm Lintons Photo gallery in Tbilisi where Gabiskiria's body was identified among the piles of corpses on the photograph.

All captured members of the government including Gabiskiria were murdered by the Abkhaz militants. They were all executed without trial. In 2005, American journalist Malcolm Linton displayed his photo materials taken during the war in Abkhazia at the art gallery in Tbilisi, where Gabiskiria's son Vladimir Gabiskiria identified his father among the pile of corpses (along with Zhiuli Shartava and other members of the government), clearly visible on one of the photographs.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ US State Department, Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1993, February 1994, pp. 80

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