A blogger in Georgia's breakaway region of Abkhazia has been attacked over his critical comments about the lavish wedding of a local businessman's son.
Abkhazia's de facto Interior Ministry said on October 23 that Beslan Khvartskia had been hospitalized with a concussion, broken nose, head injuries, and numerous cuts and bruises on his body on October 21 after unidentified individuals had kidnapped him from his home and severely beaten him.
On October 22, photos appeared on Facebook showing a man looking like Khvartskia being beaten by men with sticks.
Khvartskia's beating took place after he posted critical comments on Facebook about a wedding party of the son of a local businessman, Beslan Abkhazava, that was held on October 19.
Photos from the wedding showing rows of tables adorned with roasted goats sparked condemnation, with some suggesting that several of the goats were a rare wild breed that are not allowed to be hunted.
It was not clear if the de facto authorities of the breakaway region will investigate the case, but Abkhazia's de facto ombudswoman, Asida Shakryl, condemned the authorities' reluctance to launch a probe into the beating.
Russia-backed Abkhazia declared independence from Georgia in the early 1990s amid a conflict between separatists and Georgian government forces.
After the five-day Georgia-Russia War in August 2008, Moscow recognized the independence of Abkhazia, and another breakaway Georgian region, South Ossetia.
Georgia and most of the international community consider both regions as territories that are occupied by Russia.