Georgian in Abkhazia receives 9 years in prison for burning Abkhaz flag
A resident of the Gali region of Abkhazia, Georgian citizen Irakli Bebua, has been sentenced to nine years in prison for deliberately burning the Abkhaz flag.
In addition, the court found him guilty of the ‘illegal acquisition and storage of ammunition.’
The incident occurred back on September 30 – that is, the Abkhaz ‘Victory and Independence Day.’ Bebua doused gasoline over and set fire to the flag erected at the local house of culture.
After being detained, an RG-42 hand grenade was found in his house.
Bebua admitted that he had burned the flag and said that “it was a protest against the celebration of independence in the occupied area.” However, he did not admit to the illegal possession and acquisition of a grenade.
In a video that was circulated on social media at the time, Bebua explains his protest and says that he respects the Abkhaz people and wants Georgians and Abkhaz to live in the same state again.
The Georgian security service reported that they had informed the co-chairs of the Geneva International Discussions about this verdict.
“The issue of Irakli Bebua, as well as the unconditional release of Georgian citizens illegally detained in the occupied territories, will be seriously raised during the next round of international discussions in Geneva, scheduled for December 10-11 this year,” the security service said.