TBILISI, DFWatch–The Interior Ministry has confirmed that 8 more Georgians have been detained today on the disputed South Ossetia border.
Russian soldiers arrested 7 persons from the village Korbouli and one from the village Chala in the Imereti region, in western Georgia.
The detainees were collecting jonjoli, a plant that is used for food and harvested by villagers for sale, when the Russians detained them and took them to Tskhinvali, the administrative center of South Ossetia.
This is not the first time Russian soldiers arrest Georgian citizens and accuse them of illegally crossing the border while the detainees themselves claim they were on Georgian-controlled territory. Only during the last month, the same has happened to about 20 people.
In April, three journalists from TV3, two villagers collecting jonjoli and one old man who was trying to get back his cattle to Georgian territory were arrested, and on May 6, Russians detained three more Georgians. They were all accused of violating the disputed border which is only recognized as such by a handful of countries in the world, but unilaterally enforced by Russia since the 2008 war.
A few days ago, three persons were released from Tskhinvali cells, which left 10 people still in detention till today. Now, the number has risen to 18 Georgian citizens, who are all awaiting trial.
“The fate of 10 detainees is still unknown and 8 more have been arrested. Their trial will probably be held in Tskhinvali and then it will become clear what will happen to them,” said Inga Zabakhidze, head of Sachkhere Council.