Red Cross allowed in to see Georgian woman abducted by Russia-controlled forces

  • Russia-controlled Tskhinvali leadership has not yet released Georgian citizen Maia Otinashvili from prison, who was illegally detained on 29 September. Photo: N.Alavidze/, 4 Oct 2018 - 13:11, Tbilisi,Georgia

Representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) were allowed late yesterday to see Maia Otinashvili in a prison in occupied Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) - the woman who was abducted by Russia-controlled forces on 29 September.

The ICRC did not tell the media about Otinashvili’s health condition, as their guidelines prohibit them from sharing such information with the media.

We will provide the information in a closed format with the responsible state bodies,” ICRC representatives said.

The ICRC was permitted into the prison after Otinashvili’s family said that she had been beaten, citing an unnamed but ‘reliable’ source.

However, the family requested the government’s aid to verify the information.

Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze made two statements about the abduction yesterday and tasked the foreign minister to meet with the representatives of the diplomatic corps and foreign organisations regarding the “very grave issue.”

He said that the government is doing its utmost to achieve the release of the woman in the shortest time possible.

  • Otinashvili has three young children and she was abducted from her own garden located in the village of Khurvaleti, near the occupation line with Tskhinvali.
  • She has been sentenced to 10-day pretrial detention for illegally crossing the border and aiding others to do the same.
  • Locals and Otinashvili’s husband say that Russia-controlled so-called border guards ambushed and kidnaped the woman from Tbilisi-administered territory.
  • They also say that the Russia-controlled individuals receive bonuses if they abduct Georgian citizens and the bonus amounts to 152 USD.
  • The fine Georgian citizens have to pay for the release from illegal detention is about 30-32 USD.