Russian border guards patrolling the Administrative Boundary Line (ABL) between Georgia and the Russian-occupied region of Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) detained a Georgian man of illegally crossing the so-called border.
The Georgian citizen, Revaz Sreseli, aged 25, was detained near a small church close to Jariasheni village. Sreseli’s neighbours said the man had gone to the church to light a candle in celebration of Orthodox Christmas.
"The church is located on the occupied territory. The Georgian side has no control over this area so we don’t go to this church anymore”, said resident of Jariasheni, Nodar Sreseli.
"As far as we know, Rezo [Revaz] managed to light candles and he was detained on his way back”.
Georgian authorities have learned that Sreseli has been taken to a detention centre in Tskhinvali and charged with illegally crossing the so-called border.
The illegal detention of Georgian citizens by Russian guards is common practice near the ABL. Detainees are usually released once their family pays a fine.
Sreseli’s family has not yet been contacted and asked for a fine from the occupied side.