Georgian man illegally imprisoned by occupation forces in coma after stroke

Georgian citizen Genadi Bestaev, 51, was illegally detained and convicted by de facto authorities of Tskhinvali back in 2019. Photo: Nino Alavidze/, 17 Nov 2021 - 11:19, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian citizen Genadi Bestaev, 51, who was illegally detained and then convicted by Russian-controlled occupation forces near his home back in 2019, is now in coma after having a stroke in Tskhinvali prison on November 15 and only after the de facto government of Tskhinvali accepted his transportation to the Tbilisi-controlled territory. 

Bestaev, who is undergoing treatment in Georgian-Dutch hospital in Tbilisi now, is in critical condition. 

The central Georgian government has been demanding his release since the day of his illegal detention. 

However, along with ‘illegally crossing the border,’ the de facto government of Tskhinvali also charged him with drug trafficking and sentenced Bestaev to three years in prison. 

Radio Liberty says that doctor Vazha Gaprindashvili, who was also illegally detained by the occupation forces back in 2019, was the first who received the information on Bestaev’s health via a message from Tskhinvali prison. 

The Georgian State Security Service says that they have used all measures to ensure Bestaev’s transportation to Tbilisi, noting that the illegal detention of Georgian citizens by the occupation forces not only violates their rights, but also creates threats to their life and health. 

The agency stated that Russia ‘is fully responsible’ for all human rights violations in Georgia’s currently occupied Tskhinvali and Abkhazia regions. 

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.

However, there have been several cases when Georgian citizens died in unclear circumstances while in Tskhinvali prison or were murdered there. 

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.

Since then only Venezuela, Nicaragua, Nauru and Syria have recognised the regions as independent states. 

The rest of the international community is unanimous that the regions are an integral part of Georgia.