Georgian Interior Ministry called on the authorities in breakaway South Ossetia to immediately release a Georgian man, who was arrested after accidentally crossing the region’s administrative border.
42-year-old Malkhaz Akhvlediani was detained on January 31, the Georgian Interior Ministry said.
The authorities in breakaway region said criminal charges were initiated against Akhvlediani over “illegal crossing of the South Ossetian state border.”
The Georgian Interior Ministry said that by arresting Akhvlediani, authorities in the breakaway region ignored “the agreement reached within the framework of Geneva talks on incident prevention and response mechanisms which implies immediate release of citizens in case of accidental crossing of the administrative border.”
This arrest is the recent one in series of detentions of citizens by the both sides across the administrative border line.
The Georgian police detained on January 4 Genady Pliev, a security guard officer with the breakaway region’s leadership. The Georgian side claimed that he was carrying a firearm and hand-grenades.
But EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia (EUMM), which investigated the case, expressed “serious doubt” that Pliev was carrying weapon at the time of his arrest.
“The EUMM has repeatedly expressed the view that people who cross the administrative boundary lines should be dealt with by administrative, not judicial actions,” EUMM said on January 25.