Georgian citizen claimed to have been ‘hunting bats’ released after 86 days of imprisonment in S. Ossetia
After 86 days of imprisonment, Khvicha Mgebrishvili, who was detained by the security forces of South Ossetia and accused of ‘hunting bats’, has been released.
Khvicha Mgebrishvili was detained on July 3 on charges of violating the so-called borders of South Ossetia. During the investigation, he was also accused of attempting to illegally catch bats on the occupied territory.
After his arrest, a ‘video confession’ from Mgebrishvili circulated online, in which he said that some US citizens had offered him 5,000 dollars for a bat nest.
After his release, Mgebrishvili claimed that he was forced to record this testimony.
“The story with bats is nonsense, I don’t even speak English, to say nothing about conspiring with Americans,” Mgebrishvili told Georgian journalists.
According to him, in the Tskhinvali prison he saw two more detained citizens of Georgia – Zaza Gakheladze and Gennady Bestaev.
“I saw the Georgians, they are fine, waiting for release,” Khvicha Mgebrishvili said.
The planned release of Mgebrishvili became known on September 24 after a meeting of the working groups of the Ergneti Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism.
At the same time, the Georgian side demanded an end to pressure on Tamara Mearakishvili, a civil activist from the Akhalgori settlement, who has been persecuted by the de facto authorities of South Ossetia for several years – she is threatened and criminal proceedings have been initiated against her.
There is no information about when two more Georgian citizens will be released from the Tskhinvali prison.