A priest was detained by Russia-controlled guards of the occupying forces near the Administrative Boundary Line (ABL) in Georgia’s Tskhinvali region (South Ossetia) early morning today.
Ioane Okhanashvili is the pastor of Saint Georgia’s Church in the village Dirbi, located a few kilometres away from the South Ossetian ABL.
The news about the other detention came from the village of Tsitelubani. The shepherd Teimuraz Dudashvili was taken by force to Tskhinvali by Russian border guards, according to his neighbours.
Georgia’s State Security Service confirmed the kidnapping and stated that the European Union Monitoring mission (EUMM) has been informed about the cases and the hot line has been activated.
The EUMM enacts the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism telephone hotline in such cases in order to gather information from its patrols along the Administrative Boundary Lines of occupied Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
Russian occupation forces detained 126 Georgian citizens for "illegally crossing” the so-called border in occupied Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) last year, while there were 52 detentions in the Abkhazia region.