Russian military arrest Georgian citizen in conflict zone
Georgian citizen arrested in Gali
According to the State Security Service of Georgia, Russian soldiers have arrested a Georgian citizen in Gali, who was returning from there to Zugdidi at the time.
As the service explains, the Russian military claims that the man had a bag of narcotics on his person.
“Regarding the illegal arrest, a hotline was immediately activated. The co-chairs of the international discussions in Geneva and our international partners have been informed of another serious incident perpetrated by the occupying forces.
Active efforts are being made to release all Georgian citizens illegally arrested in the occupied territories, using all mechanisms at the disposal of the central government. The occupying forces bear full responsibility for the illegal arrest of Georgian citizens,” the State Security Service said in a statement.
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There are often reports from the conflict zone about arrest of Georgian citizens by the Russian military. They may be grazing cattle in their own village or walking through the woods close to their home, but the Russian military accuses them of “crossing the state border.”
As a rule, citizens arrested on charges of “crossing the state border” are sentenced to pay a fine and soon released.
Movement near the “state border” is strictly controlled by the Russian military. They arrest people even where there is no barbed wire or appropriate signs.
In addition to the Russian military, since the end of the war in August 2008 representatives of the EU monitoring mission have been present in the conflict zone, patrolling the side controlled by Tbilisi.