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Tskhinvali sentences Georgian man to 20 years in prison

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, February 7
Georgia’s Tskhinvali region, which is now occupied by Russia, has sentenced a citizen of Georgia to 20 years in prison for terrorism and related charges.

Giorgi Giunashvili , 39, was detained in June last year by South Ossetian and Russian occupant forces for allegedly illegally crossing the border.

The de facto authorities claim Giunashvili was involved in terrorist activities and was a member of an illegal armed group.

They say the man detonated a hand-grenade in 2007 and opened fire on South Ossetian soldiers in 2008 during the Russia-Georgia August 2008 war.

"These charges are absurd. My brother is innocent. We are asking the government of Georgia, the United States Ambassador to Georgia, the EU Monitoring Mission and other international organizations to take appropriate measures and to immediately release Giorgi,” Revaz Giunashvili, the brother of Giorgi Giunashvili, said.

Georgia’s State Security Service released a special statement, saying they are doing their utmost to help Giunashvili.

“The Security Service will continue to discuss the issue at the meetings of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) and the Geneva international discussions,” the agency said.

“The State Security Service has provided all details of the case to all state agencies, in order to inform the international community,” they added.

“We will intensify our work with our partners to achieve the release of Giorgi Giunashvili,” Georgia’s State Minister for Reconciliation and Civil Equality, Ketevan Tsikhelashvili, told reporters.

She stressed “it was obvious Giunashvili was detained illegally.”