Three members of a Tbilisi-based television station crew were detained at breakaway South Ossetian administrative boundary line on April 15.
TV3 said that its reporter Bela Zakaidze, cameraman Vakhtang Lekiashvili and a broadcast technician Mikheil Mikhoev were detained by Russian forces close to the village of Adzvi, south-east from Tskhinvali, late on Tuesday afternoon. It said that the TV crew was working on a report about so called borderisation and shifting boundary line by the Russian forces deeper into the Georgian-controlled areas; a boundary marker was recently placed close to the village of Adzvi cutting farmlands of local Georgian population; an Orthodox church close to the village also falls beyond the newly placed boundary marker.
Authorities in Tskhinvali have confirmed detention of three Georgian journalists. Breakaway region’s official news agency, RES, reported citing South Ossetian leader’s special envoy for post-conflict resolution issues, Murat Jioev, that “three Georgian citizens were detained on the territory of South Ossetia… for violating the state border” close to the village of Adzvi; no other details were reported.
Detentions, mainly of locals, along the administrative boundary line for, what Tskhinvali and Russian troops on the ground say is, “violation of the border”, are not rare; usually detained persons are released after being fined.
Head of EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia, Toivo Klaar, tweeted: “Very concerned about detention of Georgian journalists by Russian border guards in South Ossetia. Freedom of the press crucial right.”