TBILISI, DFWatch–A resident of Gali who is accused by the breakaway authorities of Abkhazia of vandalism and dishonoring the flag, has been sentenced to 9 years in prison. The Georgian side protests the decision and demands his immediate release.
The Georgian government says that the co-chairs of the Geneva talks were immediately informed about this fact, that all existing mechanisms have been put in place and that they are actively working with international partners to protect the detained person.
Irakli Bebua, a resident of the predominantly ethnic Georgian district Gali, was detained on September 30, about an hour after he reportedly burned a piece of textile painted in the colors of the flag of Abkhazia. The incident occurred on “independence day”, the day when the regime celebrates “victory in the Patriotic War”, referring to the Abkhazia War in 1992-93.
The textile, which Irakli Bebua tried to burn, was hung at the main entrance of the Gali Palace of Culture. After setting fire to it, Bebua fled the scene. He was arrested within an hour of the incident.
A video of the interrogation of Irakli Bebua was also released, in which he confirms the burning of the textile and explains that he has nothing against Abkhazians, on the contrary, in his opinion, “the date of separation of Georgians and Abkhazians should not be mentioned and he is still in favor of friendly relations.”