96-year-old man, reportedly abducted by occupation forces, back on Tbilisi-controlled territory

The Georgian State Security Service has confirmed that Gora Garibashvili was on Russian-controlled territory. However, the agency did not confirm the abduction. Photo: Nino Alavidze/Agenda.ge. 

Agenda.ge, 17 Dec 2019 - 15:19, Tbilisi,Georgia

96-year-old Gora Garibashvili, who was abducted by occupation forces several times over the past several years, is now on Tbilisi-controlled territory, the Georgian State Security Service has told the Georgian Public Broadcaster earlier today. 

The man, who was reportedly detained yesterday by Russian-controlled occupation forces for ‘illegally crossing the border’ to breakaway Tskhinvali, was on the Russian-controlled territory, the agency said yesterday. 

However, the State Security Service did not confirm the illegal detention. 

The family says that Garibashvili, who is a local of a Kvemo Tchala village of Kaspi municipality, was going to the cemetery of his ancestors which is now under the Russian control. 

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

Only Venezuela, Nikaragua, Nauru and Syria have recognised the Georgian regions as independent countries since the war, while the rest of the international community says the territories are occupied by Russia. 

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.