Another Georgian citizen sentenced in South Ossetia
A court in Tskhinvali has sentenced yet another Georgian citizen, Ramaz Begeluri, to two months of preliminary detention on charges of “illegal crossing of the state border of South Ossetia.”
This is the second verdict on a Georgian citizen in South Ossetia over the past week. On February 8, a court in Tskhinvali sentenced Zaza Gakheladze to 12.5 years in prison. He is charged not only with “illegal border crossing” during the mushroom picking in July 2020. According to Tskhinvali, Gakheladze resisted the military during his arrest and fired from a shotgun
According to Ramaz Begeluri’s father, his son was detained by Russian and Ossetian servicemen for the second time.
“The last time he was taken away when he was working in the field at our site. I don’t know what happened this time, and I don’t know where they took them from,” he told qartli.ge.
“Illegal detentions significantly worsen the security situation along the line of occupation, as well as in the occupied territories, and complicate the daily life of the local population. Active work is underway for the immediate release of the illegally detained,” the Georgian State Security Service said in a statement.
From the zone of the Georgian-Ossetian conflict, there are regular reports of the detention of Georgian citizens by the Russian military on charges of “crossing the state border.” These are usually locals who either graze livestock or collect the edible jonjoli herb in the nearby forest.
According to Tbilisi, in January 2021 alone, a total of 13 local residents were detained. Three received warnings and were released, nine were fined.