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Georgian Police Detain Russian Reporters in S.Ossetia

Russia?s RTR television said two of its employees, sent to South Ossetia to report on the Russian peacekeepers, were detained by Georgian police in the conflict zone on July 12.

A journalist, Andrei Chistiakov, and a cameraman, Igor Sturit, who were arrested at the Georgian village of Kurta, had media accreditation from the Joint Peacekeeping Forces (JPKF), the South Ossetian Press and Information Committee reported. It said accreditation issued by JPKF was necessary to report from the conflict zone.

?What we know from eyewitnesses is that men in police uniform approached them [the reporters] and detained them and took them without giving any explanation,? Irina Gagloeva, a spokesperson of the South Ossetian secessionist government, told the Vesti news program in a phone interview.

Tbilisi-based Rustavi 2 TV said that two Russian citizens, reportedly journalists, had been arrested near the Georgian village of Kekhvi for ?unauthorized video recording.?

Georgian police officials have yet to comment.

This is not the first time Russian citizens have been arrested by Georgian police in the South Ossetian conflict zone. The normal practice for those coming from Russia is to travel through the Roki Tunnel, which links North and South Ossetia. Because there are no Georgian border guards or customs officials stationed there, taking this route effectively means entering Georgia illegally.

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)


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