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Father Keeps Wife and 8 children at Home, Police Launches Investigation

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, January 30
(SVANETI, Georgia) Georgia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs announced they have launched the investigation of the case concerning alleged hostage of wife and eight children by a Georgian man in the country’s eastern, mountainous Svaneti area.

Georgia’s private broadcaster Rustavi 2 has offered the media coverage of the story, in which Svaneti resident Amiran Devnozashvili refuses to allow his wife and eight children to leave home, get education, communicate with others and etc.

The eldest “child” is 21-year-old girl and the youngest-7-year-old boy.

The children have never had the possibility to play with other kids or speak with them, neighbors say.

“We have never seen anything similar in the region,” locals told the media.

Amiran Devnozashvili told the Rustavi 2 that he aims to “avoid negative influence of the modern world” for his kids.

He assured that he was capable to educate his children better than the current educational institutions.

The man admitted that he had problems with the local police because of his intentions to his family, but he could do what he wanted.

Social service employees and the school leadership also stated that they “had done their utmost” to persuade Devnozashvili change his mind, but all their attempts turned fruitless.

Local NGOs have condemned the fact, and stated that Devnozashvili’s action was obviously unlawful.

“The Svanetian issues are quite complicated [as the territory has its customs and traditions] and the topic is very sensitive. We have already launched investigation over the issue, but only the law enforcers’ involvement will not be right,” Natia Mezvrishvili, deputy interior minister stated.

She said that the ministry will deal with the case under the newly established Human Rights Department, with the participation of social workers and others interested in the issue.