Democracy Research Institute (DRI) NGO has reported that 51-year-old Georgian citizen Genadi Bestaev has been illegally sentenced to two years in prison in Georgia’s Russian-occupied Tskhinvali region for ‘illegally crossing the border and possession of drugs.’
DRI says that Bestaev was illegally detained in November 2019 near the village of Zardiaantkari in Gori municipality.
Occupation forces said that Bestaev illegally crossed the border and had nine grams of marijuana on him. It was not the first time Bestaev has been abducted,” DRI says, adding that the house of Bestaev in the village of Zardiaantkari is located near the occupation line.
The NGO has called upon the Georgian government to “ show close attention to the issue” and help the man get released from illegal detention.
The illegal detention of Georgian citizens by occupation forces near the occupation line is a common issue. Detainees are usually released after their family pays a fine.
The standard fine is 2000 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.