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The News in Brief

Monday, September 19
Tskhinvali Releases 17-Year-Old Detained for Allegedly Crossing Administrative Border

A 17-year-old local Georgian resident, who had to spend a day in detention in breakaway South Ossetia, was released on Saturday.

Joni Gogichaishvili was detained close to the villages of Bershueti and Gduleti on Friday afternoon for what Tskhinvali and Russian troops called a “violation of South Ossetia’s state border”.

The EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia (EUMM), which has unarmed monitors on the ground without being able to access the breakaway region, welcomed the “swift release” of the underage detainee and said that it had facilitated the release through an “exchange of information and dialogue between security actors” on both sides of the administrative boundary line.

Cases of local residents being detained along the administrative boundary by the Russian border guard troops for “violating the state border” occur frequently; in most cases detainees are released few days later after being fined.

A total of 109 people were detained this year – two of them still remain in detention in Tskhinvali, according to the Georgian State Security Service.

A total of 163 people were detained by Russian border guard troops at the breakaway South Ossetia’s administrative boundary in 2015, according to the Georgian State Security Service.

Representatives from Tbilisi and Tskhinvali regularly discuss cases of detention and freedom of movement at meetings of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) in the village of Ergneti on the administrative boundary, close to Tskhinvali, which are held with the facilitation of EUMM and OSCE special representative. The next IPRM meeting in Ergneti is scheduled for September 28.

Georgia defeats Montenegro: ends Eurobasket qualifiers as Group F leader

Georgian basketball fans are celebrating after the national team decisively won its final match in the Eurobasket 2017 European Basketball Championship qualifiers, and now automatically qualifies to compete in next year's major European competition.

Georgia defeated Montenegro in an away game last night. This result saw Georgia end the qualifying tournament as Group F leaders.

The result means Georgia will compete in next year's Eurobasket competition. It will be the fourth consecutive time Georgia will play in the prestigious championship.

September 17 night’s game ended with a score 90-84. Georgia needed to win by at least three points to guarantee themselves first place in Group F.

The game was extremely close; Georgia worked hard to defeat their opponent after an earlier qualification game saw Montenegro defeat Georgia 74-76 in a home game in Tbilisi on September 7.

“[I'm] proud of my guys and glad to be part of this team,” Georgia's team captain and NBA star Zaza Pachulia wrote on Facebook after the match.

The most valuable player of the match was Georgia’s Michael Dixon, who scored 31 points for his side.

Pachulia also played well; he contributed 21 points and 13 rebounds.

Meanwhile Georgia’s Viktor Sanikidze scored 14 points and Giorgi Tsintsadze scored 13 points.

The Eurobasket 2017 qualifying stage began on August 31 and ended on September 17. The competition revealed 11 top national teams who will now proceeded to the Eurobasket tournament, hosted in Israel, Finland, Romania and Turkey next year.

Russian citizens living in Georgia to be allowed to vote in Armenia for Duma elections As Russia’s CEC member Vasil Likhachov has told reporters, citizens of Russia living in Georgia will be able to participate in Russia’s Duma elections in the town of Gyumri, Armenia.

According to him, it is impossible to organize the process in the Embassy of Switzerland in Tbilisi which hosts the Russian consulate.

“All you have been informed that we have diplomatic and general relationships via the Swiss Embassy in Tbilisi. It is impossible to organize a polling station there due to the political situation. The Russian citizens living in Georgia will be able to vote in Gyumri, Armenia,” Likhachov has said.

Elections are currently underway in Russia.