TBILISI, DFWatch–Russian soldiers Monday detained two more Georgians on the border with South Ossetia.
The incident took place in the village Kldistskharo, and on the same day as a meeting of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism, that are used to solve exactly such situations.
According to a reporter for Interpressnews, the detainees, Besik Gelashvili and Giorgi Kharazishvili, were collecting a plant called Staphylea colchica or Jonjoli which is used for food in Georgia, in the village Torchana.
According to villagers, they were on Georgia-controlled territory when the Russians detained them.
At the moment, there are five Georgians being held in Tskhinvali cells.
During the 44th meeting of the IPRM, held at Ergneti, Georgia protested against the detention of three journalists, which took place on April 15 in the village Adzvi.
The parties also discussed the issue of Georgians who are in detention, as well as the installation of barbed wire in the village Ghogheti, which has prevented villagers from using their own agricultural lands.
In an interview with the newspaper Kviris Palitra, Minister of Reconciliation and Civic Equality Paata Zakareihvili said the de facto government wants to exchange five Georgian detainees for persons detained after being charged with a terrorist attack in Gori.
He said the de facto government asks to release Ossetian prisoners in a exchange, which is not easy because they are sentenced to life imprisonment.
The terrorist attack took place at the Shida Kartli police station in Gori on February 1, 2005. Three policemen died as a result. The Ossetians were detained and sentenced to life.
“We managed to release the prisoner Jerapov from Tskinvali prison. He had the longest sentence of 13 years, but Georgian media didn’t responded to this,” Zakareishvili said.
The de facto president of South Ossetia pardoned Teimuraz Jerapov on December 31.
Zakareishvili said the government is constantly negotiating about the five Georgian detainees and international organizations have been made aware.
Other topics were the livelihood of local communities, such as access to agricultural land, according to EUMM.
“Discussions continued about the co-facilitators proposal on common practices when security actors encounter each other while patrolling.”
Next IPRM meeting will be held on June 3.