Some 56 Russian citizens imprisoned in Georgia

Photo: Some 56 Russian citizens imprisoned in Georgia / Georgia

Georgia, Tbilisi, Dec. 6 / Trend N.Kirtskhalia /

Some 56 Russian citizens are currently in Georgian prisons, the head of RIA News in Georgia Besik Pipia said.

"According to information received by the Tbilisi bureau of RIA News, the current number of Russian citizens in Georgian prisons amounts to 56 people, including 10 women," Pipia said.

He said that according to various human rights organisations, at least six Russian citizens imprisoned in Georgia are political prisoners

The new government of Georgia intends to release jailed political prisoners. The relevant law is being developed by the Georgian parliament.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Russia expects that its citizens sentenced in Georgia for unfair accusations, will be released.

Besik Pipia announced the names of the Russians who are believed to be political prisoners, according to human rights activists.

"Retired representatives of the Russian Armed Forces and Russian Interior Ministry Yuriy Marchuk, Pavel Bliadze Paul Siukayev Yuriy Skrylnikov Vano Gudushauri are among the prisoners. They were accused of carrying fake dollars, unregistered weapons, drugs and were also charged for espionage. However, human rights activists believe that in fact these people are in jail because of their refusal to work in the Georgian special services, "Pipia said.

He also noted that shortly before his retirement, the former Georgian Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze said in an interview with the radio station 'Echo of Moscow' that in Georgia one is not put in jail for breaking the law 'On occupation'. According to Vashadze, trespassers are given a liberal penalty of a 2000 lari fine which is equivalent to $1200.

"However, according to information received, to date at least two people are in jail for breaking the law 'On occupation': Ansar Askarov and Bela Vekua who were sentenced to two and two and a half years in jail for having an Abkhazian stamp in their passports," Besik Pipia said.

An amnesty which is planned to be announced by the Georgian parliament will also cover foreign citizens serving sentences in Georgian prisons on various charges, the chairman of the Committee for Human Rights Protection and Civil Integration of Georgian Parliament Eka Beselia said.

The draft law 'On amnesty' will be presented to parliament in the near future. The law will take effect two months after its approval.

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