UPDATED: Georgian citizen detained by occupants released

Agenda.ge, 18 Apr 2018 - 16:42, Tbilisi,Georgia

Updated: 16:42

Georgian citizen Tamaz Iluridze, who was detained by Russian-controlled border guards earlier today, has been released, Georgia’s State Security Service has confirmed. 

Earlier: 13:18 

Georgian citizen Tamaz Iluridze has been detained by Russia-controlled border guards near the Plavismani village in Gori municipality. According to Georgia’s State Security Service, Iluridze is accused of illegally crossing the so-called border. 

The EU monitoring mission has already been informed about the incident.

Locals say that Iluridze were herding cattle with his neighbor Gela Giunashvili when armed individuals detained him while Giunashvili managed to escape and inform the police.

According to the residents of the village, the incident took place while the two were on Georgia-controlled territory.

According to official data, Russian occupation forces detained 126 Georgian citizens in 2017 for "illegally crossing” the so-called border in occupied Tskinvali region while there were 52 illegal detentions in occupied Abkhazia in the same year.

Russian-backed breakaway Tskhinvali calls the occupation line between Tskhinvali region and the rest of Georgia "the state border” and treats any cases of line crossing by locals as cases of "illegal border crossing” even though the line is not well differentiated in some areas. Detainees are usually released once their family pays a fine.