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Illegal Detention of Georgians in and Near Occupied Regions Continue

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, March 15
The Russia-controlled occupant forces have detained Georgian citizen Giorgi Zarandia for “illegal crossing of border” between Georgia and its occupied region of Abkhazia on March 14.

The de facto leadership of Abkhazia announces that Zarandia, 34, was detained by so-called Russian and Abkhazian border guards in the region of Gali.

The occupation forces often detain those who intentionally or unintentionally cross the so-called border at locations that do not have barbed-wire fencing.

Detainees are then released after their families pay a fine.

The fine usually amounts to 2,000 rubles each, which equals 34 USD.

The detentions are condemned by the government of Georgia and the international community.

Official figures released by local non-governmental organization Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI) revealed more than 2,000 Georgian citizens have been detained by Russian border guards between 2009 -2015.

IDFI stated that 2,117 Georgian citizens had been kidnapped at the occupation line near Georgia’s occupied Tskhinvali and Abkhazia regions.

The data, based on statistics provided by Georgia’s Interior Ministry, claimed every single detention had been charged with illegally crossing the so-called border.

IDFI said: "1,416 have been detained at the occupation line with Abkhazia while 701 at the Tskhinvali Administrative Boundary Line.”

“In 2014 from both ABL’s 512 individuals were kidnapped while in the first quarter of 2015 139 individuals have been detained for alleged illegal crossing of the boundary,” IDFI said.

Russia recognized Tskhinvali and Abkhazia as independent countries in the wake of the Rusia-Georgia 2008 war.

Only Russia, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Nauru recognize the Georgian regions as independent republics.