EUMM: Restriction of freedom of movement is cause for concern

  • The Head of EUMM Erik Hoeg is also deeply concerned about continued ‘borderisation’ in Gugutiantkari. Photo: Erik Hoeg/Twitter, 18 Aug 2019 - 18:48, Tbilisi,Georgia

The European Union Monitoring mission (EUMM) told that the de facto authorities of Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) region have confirmed the detention of eight people on the evening of August 17 and morning of August 18 near the village of Akhalubani, in Gori Municipality via the mission’s hotline. 

Restriction of freedom of movement of any kind is cause for concern. At this time it is important to avoid any actions that could further increase tensions. EUMM encourages a humanitarian approach and the swift release of the detainees”, the EUMM told

The mission is also aware of the situation in the village of Gugutiantkari and has facilitated communication between the Tbilisi and Tskhinvali since August 6, when new 'borderisation' works began. Since that time, mission patrols "have maintained an intense monitoring presence in the area".

 We continue to use the hotline to provide information to all parties, and to urge restraint in order to avoid any destabilising encounters. The new fencing means that local residents may lose access to land, drinking and irrigation water”, the EUMM explained.

The EUMM further stressed that the hotline continues to be effective in communicating and exchanging information “as quickly and as efficiently as possible, assisting in clarifying the situation and also in addressing specific concerns of the relevant actors”.​

A total of eight Georgian citizens have been detained near the village of Akhalubani, in Gori Municipality, close to the occupied Tskhinvali region for “illegally crossing the border” today and yesterday. 

Moreover, occupation forces have erected artificial barriers in Gugutiantkari, another village of the Gori Municipality, leaving two residential houses beyond the so-called border.

The Georgian Foreign Ministry calls on the international community to take “effective measures to stop the illegal activities of the occupation forces” in Georgia.

It also calls on the Russian Federation “to immediately stop its illegal activities” and withdraw its forces from Georgian territory to ensure “sustainable peace and security” on the ground.