Georgian Citizen Released from Tskhinvali Custody
Georgian citizen Gela Gochoshvili, arbitrarily detained by the Russian occupying forces in Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia, was released to Georgia proper on December 19.
The State Security Service of Georgia (SSG) stated that Tbilisi had repeatedly called for the man’s immediate release at the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanisms (IPRM) meetings and the Geneva International Discussions (GID). The SSG said it had also relied on the European Union Monitoring Mission-managed hotline in the process.
The SSG stressed in its statement that “illegal detention of Georgian citizens by the Russian occupation forces violates fundamental human rights and damages the security environment on the ground.”
According to Gochoshvili’s own account, he had visited his uncle in the occupied region to bring him medicine, and was on the way back to Georgia proper when he was detained on August 14.
He said he had three packs of cigarettes with him, for which the Tskhinvali authorities had accused him of smuggling. Gochoshvili noted that he faced one-year imprisonment but the central government intervened to secure his release.
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