Representatives of the Russian occupation forces illegally detained a Georgian citizen in the occupied territory near the village of Takhtidsziri, Kareli municipality.

According to the State Security Service, upon receiving information about the incident, the hotline operated by the EU Monitoring Mission was activated, and the co-chairs of the international discussions in Geneva and international partners were immediately informed about another instance of illegal detention.

"All existing mechanisms have been activated to release illegally detained Georgian citizens as quickly as possible. Responsibility for all destructive actions committed in the occupied territories of Georgia, as well as along the occupation line, rests with the occupying power," the State Security Service said.

As of today, 8 citizens of Georgia are already in illegal detention in the occupied Tskhinvali region. Two of them were arrested by the Russian military on February 15. According to the occupation regime, Georgian citizens "illegally moved to the territory of South Ossetia and damaged the engineering facilities used for the protection and security of the interstate dividing line."

Dimitri Korinteli and Giorgi Meladze, who were abducted by the Russian military on November 24, 2023, from the church in Adzvi village of Gori municipality, remain in Tskhinvali prison. The church is located outside the occupation line.

Lasha Khetereli and Giorgi Mosiashvili are illegally arrested. Lasha Khetereli, displaced from the Liakhvi valley, was arrested for the eighth time on July 5, 2023, near the occupied village of Disevi. Before that, Khetereli spent more than a year in illegal detention in Tskhinvali prison. He has relatives in the occupied territory. After the 2008 war, he lived in the Shaumiani IDP settlement. On October 31, 2023, Russian soldiers kidnapped Giorgi Mosiashvili, a resident of the village of Perevi, from the surrounding area of the village of Sinaguri.

In December 2021, the occupiers arrested Mamuka Chkhikvadze, a former military serviceman, in the vicinity of Nikozi village in Gori municipality. He is accused of illegal border crossing, as well as drug smuggling. In May 2022, the de facto court sentenced Chkhikvadze to 5.6 years in prison, a sentence which his local lawyer appealed, resulting in the reduction of the illegal sentence to 3.8 years.

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