Man sentenced to 9 years in prison for burning flag of Russian-occupied Abkhazia region

Irakli Bebua was detained on September 30, 2020., 08 Dec 2020 - 14:50, Tbilisi,Georgia

Irakli Bebua, an ethnic Georgian man living in the Gali district of Georgia’s Russian-occupied Abkhazia region, has been sentenced to nine years in prison for burning the flag of Abkhazia and the possession of firearms. 

Bebua was detained at the end of September 2020 after burning the flag of the de facto Abkhazia region. Later, the de facto authorities stated that they had also found a hand grenade in Bebua’s house. 

Bebua set an Abkhaz flag on fire while the region was celebrating its ‘Victory Day and the Day of Independence’ on September 30.

He stated in a video released later that he burnt the flag as he wanted Georgians and Abkhaz to live together and be friendly as earlier.

Scroll down the statement of Georgia's State Security Service to read in English


The Georgian State Security Service said earlier today that the international community has been already informed regarding the ‘illegality’ and that Georgia will raise the issue during the upcoming Geneva International Discussions on December 10-11. 

Russia recognised the two Georgian regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali as independent states after the Russia-Georgia 2008 war. 

Since then only Venezuela, Nikaragua, Nauru and Syria have recognised the regions as independent republics. 

The rest of the international community say that the regions are occupied by Russia and call on the country to withdraw its forces from the Georgian territory.