Security Service confirms illegal arrest of Georgian citizen by occupation forces ahead of meeting with de facto authorities

Irakli Antadze, the Deputy Head of the Analytical Department of the Georgian State Security Service, represents the central Georgian Government at IPRM talks. Photo:, 17 Jan 2023 - 12:33, Tbilisi,Georgia

Irakli Antadze, the Deputy Head of the Analytical Department of the Georgian State Security Service, on Tuesday said occupation forces in central Georgia’s Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) region had illegally detained a Georgian citizen near the administrative line ahead of a meeting of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism, a platform facilitating talks between the Georgian Government and de facto authorities of the occupied region.

Antadze said his agency had received the information over the arrest late on Monday, through the hotline operated by the European Union Monitoring Mission, with details of the incident still being specified. 

He said the arrest meant seven Georgian citizens remained in illegal detention in the Tskhinvali region, adding the Government would demand their release as well as suspension of the installation of illegal barriers along the administrative line by occupation forces, of which 70 cases had been recorded last year.

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.Photo: Nino Alavidze/

At the meeting, set to be held in the village of Ergneti on Tuesday, the Government is also expected to hear about the de facto authorities’ position going forward on opening crossing points over the administrative boundary to allow movement by local residents.

Two crossing points previously closed for almost three years were opened in August last year, with de facto officials saying the practice would be repeated between the 20th and the final day of every month through 2022, to allow locals of the occupied Akhalgori and Java municipalities to cross the line.  

Russia recognised the two Georgian regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali as independent states following its 2008 conflict with Georgia, with only Venezuela, Nicaragua, Nauru and Syria joining the illegal move so far. The rest of the international community is unanimous in its recognition that the regions are occupied by Russia, with responsibility for violations involving the territories placed on the country.