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Two Peacekeepers Sent to Custody over ‘Illegal Detentions’

Two servicemen from Russia’s North Ossetian peacekeeping battalion in the South Ossetian conflict zone were sentenced to pre-trial custody for two months by a court in Mtskheta, a town close to the capital, Tbilisi, on August 30.

Georgian police arrested Tariel Khachirov and Vitaly Valiev in the South Ossetian conflict zone on August 29 and charged them with the illegal detention of four Georgian journalists from Rustavi 2 and Mze television stations and three other people, including a 13-year-old boy, on August 27 and 26, respectively. All were released on August 27.

Secessionist authorities in Tskhinvali, as well as the Russian command of the joint peacekeeping troops in the conflict zone, have demanded their immediate release.

Shota Khizanishvili, a Georgian Interior Ministry spokesman, however, on August 31, ruled out the possibility of release. “The detainees have already been charged and their release is impossible,” he told Civil.Ge.

The Russian command of the Joint Peacekeeping Forces stationed in the conflict zone, involving battalions from the Georgian, Russian and Russia’s North Ossetian sides, said that arrest of peacekeeper was illegal and violation of existing agreements.

The Georgian state ministry for conflict resolution issues, however, dismissed the allegation as groundless. It said on August 31, that two arrested persons were not from North Ossetia, but were residents of South Ossetia, while existing agreements ban recruitment of the local residents for serving in the peacekeeping forces.

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


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