UPDATE: Illegally detained Georgian citizen Malkhaz Janelidze released

  • The de facto Tskhinvali government announced on December 1 that the ‘detainee’ was a 47-year-old man ‘who illegally crossed the border’ in the village of Ergneti. Photo: 1TV

Agenda.ge, 4 Dec 2021 - 09:56, Tbilisi,Georgia

Updated on December 4:

Georgian citizen Malkhaz Janelidze who was illegally arrested by the Russian-controlled occupation forces on December 1 near the village of Vaneli in Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) region was released late yesterday.

Janelidze said following his release that he was travelling to Russia for work and treatment when he was detained. 

I arrived in Tskhivali through a forest, walking. First I was kept in prison in Java… Police and border guards beat me”, he said adding that he neither had a court hearing nor paid the fine. 

Janelidze is from the eastern town of Telavi, and lives in the capital city of Tbilisi.

Earlier on December 3

The Georgian State Security Service reported yesterday that the hotline of the European Union monitoring mission in Georgia (EUMM) has been ‘actively used’ for the release of the Georgian citizen, while the co-chairs of the Geneva International Discussions were also involved in the process.

The Russian Federation is responsible for illegal detentions and all other destructive actions carried out by the occupation forces along the occupation line and in the occupied regions,” the State Security Service reports.

The de facto Tskhinvali government announced on December 1 that the ‘detainee’ was a 47-year-old man ‘who illegally crossed the border’ in the village of Ergneti.

The illegal detention of Georgian citizens is a common issue near the occupation line. Usually, citizens of Georgia are released after their families pay a fine of ​​2,000 Russian rubles ($27 USD).

Russia recognised the independence of Georgia’s occupied Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) region on August 26, 2008, following the Russia-Georgia war.

However, only four other countries – Venezuela, Nicaragua, Nauru and Syria – share Russia’s position regarding the occupied Georgian territories’ status, while the whole international community state that the regions are occupied by Russia.

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