Georgian citizen Mamuka Chkhikvadze, illegally detained by the Russian occupation forces near the central Georgian village of Upper Nikozi on December 12, has been illegally sentenced for five years and six months in detention in the occupied Tskhinvali region, the State Security Service of Georgia said on Thursday.
The Service said “fabricated charges” were used to sentence Chkhikvadze to prison time, demonstrating the “inhuman and criminal” nature of the occupation. The body placed “full responsibility” for the development on the Russian Federation as the force exercising control over the occupied territories of Georgia.
Following the Georgian citizen’s illegal arrest by the occupation forces in the Gori municipality village, the hotline of the European Union Monitoring mission in Georgia was activated, the Service said, adding the issue of his unconditional release was then raised at meetings of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism - the platform facilitating talks between Georgian agencies and de facto authorities in the occupied regions.
The central Government of Georgia was “using all available mechanisms” for an “immediate release” of Chkhikvadze and other Georgian citizens illegally arrested by Russian occupation forces, the SSS said.
Georgian citizens have been regularly detained by occupation forces along the administrative boundary separating the occupied Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) region from the Government-controlled territory since the 2008 war between Russia and Georgia. Charged with “illegal border crossing”, they are often sentenced to prison time in the regional capital of Tskhinvali.