Occupation forces abduct three Georgian citizens

Locals say that the individuals were abducted on December 7. Photo: Nino Alavidze/Agenda.ge.

Agenda.ge, 10 Dec 2019 - 09:26, Tbilisi,Georgia

Russian-controlled occupation forces have abducted three Georgian citizens in the Kaspi municipality of Georgia and transported them to Tskhinvali prison for “illegally crossing the border.” 

Locals say that the occupation forces initially detained four individuals. However, they released 15-year-old Avtandil Gamkhitashvili shortly after detaining him.

The three who are now in illegal detention are Emzar and Merab Gamkhitashvili and Giorgi Zaridze, the residents of the villages Bozhami and Lamiskana, near the occupation line.

Locals say that the men were collecting wood on Tbilisi-administered territory when armed people appeared and abducted them.

The Georgian State Security Service has confirmed the illegal detention, saying that the European Union Monitoring has been informed regarding the incident and the hot line has been activated. 

The illegal detention of Georgian citizens by Russian occupation forces near the occupation line is a common issue. Detainees are usually released after their families pay a fine.

The standard fine is 2,000 Russian rubles (about €28 / $31 USD).

Russia recognised the Georgian regions of Tskhinvali and Abkhazia as independent states in the wake of the Russia-Georgia 2008 war.

 The occupying forces in the two Russia-controlled Georgian regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) have detained 327 Georgian citizens for “illegally crossing the border” between 2017 and 2019, the Georgian State Security Service says.