Georgian citizen illegally detained by occupation forces released

Tamaz Glurjidze (L) was transported to the Tbilisi-controlled territory on Thursday. Photo: state security service press office, 21 Oct 2022 - 11:06, Tbilisi,Georgia

Tamaz Glurjidze, the Georgian citizen illegally detained by Russian-controlled occupation forces adjacent to central Georgia’s occupied Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) region earlier this week, has been released, the Georgian state security service said on Thursday. 

The state body said it had activated the hotline operated for information exchange on developments along the occupation line, and informed the European Union monitoring mission and co-chairs of the Geneva international discussions about the incident in the village of Bershueti in Gori municipality on Wednesday, shortly after being informed over the illegal detention.  

The man had been detained for “illegally crossing the border” while on his way home from a local villager’s house, and called his family members from Tskhinvali prison to inform them of his arrest.

The agency said Georgian authorities were using all tools at its disposal to ensure release of all illegally arrested Georgian citizens from the occupied regions. 

Four Georgian citizens remain in illegal detention in Tskhinvali, including Mamuka Chkhikvadze, a former Georgian servicemember who has been sentenced to three years and eight months in prison for “illegally crossing the border”.

Illegal arrests of Georgian nationals are a common issue near the occupation line separating the region from the rest of the country. Usually, those arrested are released once their families pay a fine.