TBILISI, DFWatch — Three Georgian citizens have been released from prison in occupied Tskhinvali region.

The three were arrested for crossing the de facto border at the village Kirbali, near the town Gori.

Georgia’s Interior Ministry informs that Gia and Akaki Abalakes and Geronti Papitashvili were collecting firewood near the village two months ago, when they were detained.

During all this time, there have been negotiations between the parties to release them.

Georgia’s Reintegration Minister today commented that what happened is unacceptable, as Georgian peasants are regularly detained by the de facto government of so-called South Ossetia for different reasons.

Paata Zakareishvili told journalists that Georgians are detained for collecting firewood, or Staphylea colchica, a plant widely used in Georgian cuisine.

Today Tskhinvali released the three, in consideration of them not having actually committed a crime, but only crossed the de facto border. The minister says it is important to work in this direction and reduce such cases to a minimum and release detained people.

“They are illegal prisoners as they weren’t convicted under Georgian legislation. They were justified by occupying forces. They were detained due to other reasons and not for crossing the so-called state border. There is such a type of prisoners and it is necessary to take care of them.”