UPDATED: the body of a fourth individual found on the banks of Enguri River

  • The bodies were found in the Enguri River in the village of Shamgona, in Zugdidi municipality of Georgia. Photo: IPN.

Agenda.ge, 7 Apr 2021 - 17:56, Tbilisi,Georgia

Updated: 17:51
Rescuers have found a body of a fourth individual who was trying to cross onto territory controlled by the central government of Georgia from Russian-occupied Gali through the Enguri River. 

The body was found on the banks of the river Enguri, in the village of Orsantia of Zugdidi Municipality. 

Earlier:13:32

Georgian rescuers have found the bodies of three individuals who were trying to cross onto territory controlled by the central government of Georgia from Russian-occupied Gali through the Enguri River.

A fourth person has been reported missing. 

The bodies of two relatives and one guide were found in the Enguri River in the village of Shamgona, in Zugdidi municipality of Georgia, while rescuers  are still searching for the husband of one of the dead women.

Two of the victims are women, 30 and 38 years old. The third one was a 65-year-old man.

One of the members of the family, who lives in Zugdidi, said that his family members were going to visit him. 

Three citizens of Georgia, residents of the occupied Gali region were trying to cross the occupation line near the village Shamgona and the village Tagiloni through the river Enguri into the territory controlled by the central government of Georgia in order to avoid unlawful detentions established by the Russian occupation regime.  All three of them died while crossing the river Enguri", reads the statement published by the State Security Service of Georgia.

The statement reads that this is a result of restrictions 'unlawfully imposed by the occupation regime over free movement and damaging practice of unlawful detentions'.

The occurrance is another demonstration of the anti-human and criminal essence of accompanying processes of occupation, for which the Russian Federation is held fully responsible. Over the years, illegally imposed so-called regulations and restrictions over free movement have significantly complicated everyday lives of the local residents and many lost their lives due to them", reads the statement.

The central government of Georgia has activated the hot line regarding the mentioned fact.

The EU Monitoring mission (EUMM), as well as co-chairs of Geneva International Discussions have been informed about it.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs has already launched an investigation.

In order to move from the Gali district of Russia-occupied Abkhazia to the rest of Georgia, its residents have to cross the Enguri Bridge crossing point, which connects the occupied region with the rest of Georgia.

The de facto officials of Abkhazia closed the Enguri Bridge crossing point on March 14, 2020 to allegedly prevent the spread of the coronavirus, while it was opened on February 11, 2021 for retirees and people with health problems.

The de facto government of occupied Abkhazia allows residents of the region, mainly in the Gali district, to cross onto the territory controlled by the central government of Georgia with a special ‘pass’, which costs 45 GEL ($13.14/€11/05) and must be received in Sokhumi.

Another obstacle for people living in Abkhazia is that they have to go into five-days quarantine when coming onto the territory controlled by the central government of Georgia. 

For this reason they refuse to use the bridge and cross the border through the Enguri River instead to avoid the quarantine.

Most often people come from Abkhazia to the rest of Georgia for food, medical services, medicines and to visit their relatives.

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