Malkhaz Janelidze, a Georgian citizen arbitrarily detained by the Russian occupying forces in Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia was released to Georgia proper on December 3.
The State Security Service of Georgia (SSG) stated on December 3 that it had involved the Co-Chairs of Geneva International Discussions and activated the European Union Monitoring Mission-managed hotline to secure the man’s release.
Occupying forces detained Janelidze on December 1, nearby Vaneli village, located in Java district, deep inside the region and adjacent to the Tskhinvali-controlled section of Georgia’s border with Russia.
Speaking with reporters on December 3 to detail his path from Georgia proper to the Java, Janelidze said he climbed over two fences on the occupation line and walked by foot to Tskhinvali town, from where he traveled by car to Java district and then walked again for about five hours by foot.
He said he was trying to cross from Java into Russia, where he was going for work and medical treatment. RFE/RL’s Georgian service cited Janelidze as saying that he tried to cross into Russia with this route because he had been deported and would not get through the Tbilisi-controlled border.
Janelidze told reporters he was physically abused during his detention, being hit in the back of the head.