Russian guards detain Georgian man for collecting wood in occupied forest

  • The detention of Georgian citizens near the ABL is common, especially in spring and summer when local residents follow their grazing cattle or go to the forest to pick "jonjoli” (a variety of capers), mushrooms or wood., 5 Feb 2017 - 13:26, Tbilisi,Georgia

Russian border guards patrolling the Administrative Boundary Line (ABL) between the Russian-occupied region of Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) and the rest of Georgia illegally have detained a Georgian man for allegedly crossing the so-called border.

48-year-old Jimsher Tielidze was detained near Zerti village in the Gori municipality in the Shida Kartli region yesterday.

His neighbours said the man went to the nearby forest to collect wood but he never returned home.

This is the second time Tielidze has been illegally detained by Russian occupation forces.

Locals of Gori villages often go to nearby forests to gather wood for winter but have on occasion ended up kidnapped by Russian soldiers as a major part of these forests is located in the occupied area.

The illegal detention of Georgian citizens by Russian guards is a common issue near the ABL. Detainees are usually released once their family pays a fine.

Tielidze’s family says they have no money to pay for the man to be released. They have asked for help from the government.