Razor wire. Photo by Nina Tumanova for the Caucasian Knot

23 August 2019, 11:00

Closure by South Ossetia of its border with Georgia actualizes bordering problem

The bans on crossing the South-Ossetian-Georgian border during holidays result in detentions in the conflict zone, activists inform.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on August 22, the State Security Committee of South Ossetia announced a work suspension of the checkpoints on the border with Georgia from the evening on August 25 till the morning of August 27 because of the celebration of the anniversary of the recognition of the republic's independence.

The ban on crossing the border will create an additional danger for Georgian citizens living in the immediate vicinity of the demarcation line, as they risk being kidnapped, David Katsarava, the head of the public movement "For De-Occupation of Georgia", believes.

Border guards "treat it as detentions, but [...] from the viewpoint of both the international law and the Georgian legislation, these are kidnappings," Mr Katsarava told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

The holidays held on both sides of the border entail an increased risk for Georgian residents, David Katsarava has added, recalling the detention of eight Georgian citizens on August 17.

On August 17, eight Georgian citizens were detained on the border with South Ossetia and placed to a detention facility in Tskhinvali. According to the South-Ossetian authorities, the people were detained in the Tskhinvali District while being in the state of alcohol intoxication.

"On that day, there was a church holiday of the Lord's Transfiguration, and seven Georgian villagers decided to visit the church located in the occupied territory. They were kidnapped there," Mr Katsarava has reported.

According to his story, kidnappings occur in those border sections, where the authorities of South Ossetia have not yet installed barbed wire. He believes that the bordering process is adversely affecting people's lives by restricting their right to travel, and by destroying families and relative ties.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on August 23, 2019 at 00:52 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Beslan Kmuzov; Source: CK correspondent

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