Georgian citizen illegally detained near occupied Tskhinvali last year released

  • Russia recognised the Georgian regions of Tskhinvali and Abkhazia as independent states in the wake of the Russia-Georgia 2008 war. Photo: Nino Alavidze/, 17 Jun 2021 - 16:04, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian citizen Lasha Khetereli, who was illegally detained by the occupation forces close to the Russian-occupied Georgian region of Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) a year ago, has been released. 

Khetereli, who is the local of Liakhvi gorge is an internally displaced person (IDP), who has been detained for ‘illegally crossing’ the so-called border several times before. 

State Security Service representative Giorgi Sabedashvili said the issues of Khetereli, as well as other Georgian citizens illegally detained by the occupation forces, has been raised at the Geneva International Discussions and its Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) meetings.

All of the other Georgian citizens will be released from the illegal detention like Lasha Khetereli. The state spares no efforts to ensure timely release of every illegal detainee”, Sabedashvili said. 

He also added that the hotline managed by the European Union Monitoring mission (EUMM) has been actively used for communication with Khetereli since his detention. 

Having detained Khetereli for ‘illegally crossing’ the so-called border on June 30, 2020, the de facto Tskhinvali authorities released him after his prison term expired, based on reports from Tskhinvali.

Illegal detention of Georgian citizens by the Russian-controlled occupation forces for so-called  ‘illegally crossing the border’ is a common issue since Russia-Georgia 2008.