TBILISI, DFWatch–2,117 Georgians have been detained by Russian border guards accused of crossing the border with Abkhazia or South Ossetia since 2009.
The new figures were presented by Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI) and are based on data from the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
From 2009 to March, 2015, 1,416 people have been detained near the breakaway region Abkhazia, while 701 have been detained at the South Ossetian border, the other of Georgia’s disputed regions that are propped up by Russia.
In 2009 and 2010, 191 people were detained, in 2011 there were 237, in 2012 there were 294 detained, while the number was almost double in 2013 with 553 detainees. 512 were detained in 2014 and 139 only in the first quarter of 2015 until March. There have been several reports of detentions near Tskhinvali these days.
116 people have already been detained near Abkhazia in the first quarter of 2015; while 23 near South Ossetia.
Most detainees are usually released after a few days against a USD 60 fine or after negotiating with Georgia’s central government and the EU Monitoring Mission. Detentions have become one of the main topics at the regular field meetings called the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanisms.
The next such meeting will take place in less than a week.