Georgian citizens Nika Bejitashvili and Kviria Elisbarashvili illegally arrested by Russian occupation forces near Gremiskhevi village in Dusheti municipality yesterday have been released today, the Georgian State Security Service (SSS) reports.
De facto officials handed Bejitashvili and Elisbarashvili over to Georgian law enforcement officers at the Ergneti checkpoint and currently, they are on Tbilisi-controlled territory.
The emergency hotline was activated by the SSS and used throughout the process of securing the release of the illegally detained individuals. Co-chairs of the Geneva discussions and other international partners were also informed of developments, the state body says.
The Russian occupation forces are fully responsible for the destructive actions carried out in the occupied regions and along the occupation line,” the SSS states.
The illegal arrest of Georgian citizens is a common issue near the occupation line. Usually, those arrested are released once their families pay a fine. However, there have been several cases of Georgian citizens dying while in arrest.
Russia declared 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 states that the regions are occupied by Russia.