Updated: Georgian cleric detained by occupation forces near Tskhinvali released

Locals says that the cleric was detained on territory which is under the control of the central Georgian government. Photo: Nino Alavidze/Agenda.ge.

Agenda.ge, 05 Feb 2019 - 20:08, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian Cleric Father David Durglishvili, detained near the village of Nikozi, next to the occupied Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) region by occupying forces yesterday has been released, the State Security Service confirmed.

De-facto Tskhinvali officials handed over the detained cleric to Georgian law enforcers in Ergneti village today.

Earlier: 11:08

Occupying forces have detained a cleric, Father David Durglishvili, near the village of Nikozi, next to the occupied Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) region of Georgia.

The illegal detention took place yesterday evening, when occupying forces claim the cleric “illegally crossed the [so-called] border”.

Durglishvili was on his own agricultural farm land on territory under the control of the central Georgian government, witnesses say.

The European Union Monitoring Mission was immediately informed regarding the detention and the hot line has been activated,” the Georgian State Security Service says.

The Georgian media says that the cleric has been transported to Tskhinvali prison.

Governor of Shida Kartli region Giorgi Khojevanishvili says that several other people were with the cleric when he was abducted.

However, the others managed to escape,” he said.

The cleric has not yet contacted anyone.

Detainees are generally released after paying a fine, which amounts to about 30 USD.

However, the de facto leadership have announced plans to increase the fine to 300 USD.

The money the occupied Tskhinvali budget received due to the detentions amounted to more than 116,000 GEL [more than 42,000 USD] between 2008 and 2017.