Ten days imprisonment in Tskhinvali and ten years of Geneva talks

One year in prison for entering your own garden

The authorities of the self-proclaimed Republic of South Ossetia released Georgian citizen Maya Otinashvili on  October 9, 2018, following ten days of detention in Tskhinvali Prison. Another citizen of Georgia was also released with her. The release of the woman, a mother of three minor children, took place before the beginning of the coming 45th round of Geneva talks. This unique international format of negotiations between Georgia and Russia was created 10 years ago, following the war in August of 2008 .

Maya was arrested on September 29 by South Ossetian security forces near the border and sent to Tskhinvali. She was accused of illegally crossing the so-called border, as well as helping others to do so. Then interrogations took place while she was in custody and in prison in Tskhinvali:

“When they forcibly took me away, they blindfolded me, they wore masks themselves. First, they took me to the police station and then to Tskhinvali. I was not interrogated much; they brought some papers in Russian, which I do not understand well, and I signed them. At the trial, they believed those who had caught me sentenced me for a month, and today they brought me back to court, sentencing me to one year of probation”. This means if she repeats the same offense, she will be imprisoned for one year. “I was in my own garden and they say that I committed a crime,” Maya Otinashvili stated.