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Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia


Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia on the kidnapping of ten residents from the village of Ghari, Oni district


On the evening of 18 June 2011, Russian occupants kidnapped, from the territory adjacent to St. George Church across the occupation line, 10 residents of the village of Ghari, Oni district - namely, Lasha Markoishvili, David Jeladze, Vitali Samkharadze, Tornike Jeladze, Beso Jeladze, Dito Markoishvili, Giorgi Markoishvili, Giorgi Metreveli, Vaso Markoishvili and Gia Kakrashvili. The kidnapped citizens were transferred to the occupied Tskhinvali.

Of particular concern is the fact that the Russian occupants committed this criminal act against the peaceful citizens, who had assembled to celebrate "Sajvareoba" - the religious festival, which Georgians and Ossetians had been celebrating together for centuries.

It is not the first incident when the Russian occupants kidnap peaceful citizens. They continue to defiantly neglect the norms and principles of international law, which results in a complete chaos ensuing on the occupied territories, as well as gross violations of human rights on a massive scale.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia demands from Russia the unconditional and immediate release of the detained Georgian citizens.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia also calls on the international community to exert maximum efforts to compel the Russian Federation to provide access to international monitoring missions to Georgia's occupied territories, and to commit to the non-use of force, as well as to the full and immediate de-occupation of the Georgian territory.


Tbilisi, 20 June 2011


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