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REFUGEES/IDPS

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2008-12-22
IDP Children Freezing in the Forest
Officially approximately 200 people from Shida Kartli and Tskhinvali Regions remain in Kakheti Region as IDPs. More than 120 out of this amount are warehoused in former educational institutions of Lagodekhi, Telavi and Sagarejo districts. Only those IDPs that live in so called IDP Centers are able to receive a small amount of aid within the framework of the UN Food Programme. However, those IDPs that live with their relatives and in abandoned houses often do not have even bread to eat.

2008-12-05
IDPs from Abkhazia vs. “Energy-Pro Georgia”
IDPs compactly residing in Zugdidi Nursery School # 10, House of Railway Workers and so-called Do-Restaurant have not been supplied with electricity for 6 months already. The main reason for the cutoff is said to be unpaid arrears on their electricity bills.  However it is unclear why the “Energy-Pro Georgia” is expecting IDPs to pay the debts because the Ministry of Refugees and Accommodation pay the electricity bills for them. Regional service center of IDPs states that electricity supply was cut of because the IDPs had changed their place of accommodation. If not, these people would have otherwise had no debts. 

2008-11-21
Social Assistance: More Needed for Socially Excluded or for the Police?!
Aleksandre Kobalia, the Zugdidi District Governor may be facing impeachment due to marked gaps in how money from the budge of the Zugdidi District was spent. This will happen if the intention of Zugdidi body of Self-governance - Sakrebuli is accompanied by an order of the president of Georgia who had promised guarantees of immunity to the close ranks of the “political family” of Kobalias a long time ago. Sadly, the socially excluded people suffer from secret conflict between Zugdidi Sakrebulo and District Governor’s Office. The low-level of funding had been expected in the local budget for them. 

2008-11-17
Poor Living Conditions Force People from Conflict Zone
The inhabitants of Zemo Nikozi, Kvemo Nikozi, Kvemo Khviti and Ergneti villages, Gori District are asking for help as nobody can provide security guarantees for the locals. The inhabitants of these villages also say that they have neither food, heating nor drinking water. The population is also demanded to have to pay for electricity bill for the months that they did not live in the villages at all (during the August war and afterwards).

2008-11-17
IDPs Are Forced To Return Home
“How can I, a pregnant woman, protect the village?”

IDPs who returned to the village of Knolevi are not safely living there. Despite the danger, they are not being allowed to continue living in a safe place. Officials from the Ministry of the Refugees and Accommodation offered a choice to the IDPs: either they will return home or they will not be provided with  humanitarian aid at the buildings were they have been warehoused in the aftermath of the August Georgian-Russian war. 

2008-11-14
Shida Kartli Regional Governor prevents Journalists from entering Regional Administration Office
Journalists were insulted at Shida Kartli Regional administrative office because they asked the administrative office security police: “why are people deprived of the opportunity to enter the Shida Kartli regional Governor’s office and Gori District Governor’s office without a special warrant.” “Son of a bitch, mother f…ers”- these were the insulting words the security police used against inquiring journalists. One of the police officers was so angry that he even tried to physically assault the journalists. This outspoken police officer explained that the security police were instructed by Shida Kartli Regional and Gori District government leaders to remove such kinds of journalists from the governmental office.

2008-11-12
Georgian Ministry of Refugees and Accommodation Refuses IDPs Status
Internally displayed persons from Shida Kartli and Tskhinhvali region, who escaped with their lives as a result of the August war, have to live under the most unbearable of conditions in Gori, Tbilisi and other Georgian cities; they are compactly warehoused in various institutions. The Ministry of Refugees and Accommodation has not yet granted these people the status of IDPs. People, who are seeking for IDP status, are being ill-treated when they apply to the Ministry and related structures, and they are sometimes even being verbally abused.  The applications they fill out are refused to be registered. Consequently, the victims of the war cannot receive the social benefits and other allowances that are envisaged under acting Georgian legislation.

2008-11-10
Dangerous Return
The village of Knolevi in the Kareli district borders the Znauri district, which is now under the controlled of South Ossetians militiamen and their Russian backers. The Russian checkpoint is located a mere 70 meters from the end of the village. Ossetian paramilitary militia is deployed just on the other side of the uneasy divide; they can be found in the forests and nearby Ossetian villages.

2008-11-05
Forcible Return of IDPs to Villages Regardless of Safety Concerns
Internally Displaced People residing in the building of the Rustavi Vocational Institute # 17 has been forced to vacate the building prior to November 10. However, those who fled from the village of Knolevi in the Kareli district are still afraid of returning to their village. They state it is dangerous to go home because de-mining process has not been completed as yet and there is still unexploded ordnance. In addition, the village of Knolevi borders with Znauri district that is controlled by Ossetians.

2008-11-04
Dagestanian Lezghins Now Refugees in Georgia
Tens of Lezghins have come from Dagestan to Kakheti District, Georgia in the last few days. They are being sheltered with their relatives and acquaintances in Lezghian settlements (three villages in the Kvareli district). The North Caucasian refugees state that the situation in Makhachkala District and all of Dagestan has become tensed. The local law enforcers under the military government instruction are under duress recruiting young men between the ages of 18-38 years old into army and those who resist serving are arrested.

2008-10-31
Security of Returnees to Conflict Zone NOT Guaranteed
Forced Return or by “Free Will”?

Despite looting, beatings, torturing, planted landmines and unexploded ordnance in the yards and gardens, a total of 38 thousand IDPs have returned to their villages in the conflict zone since the end of the August Georgian-August war.  Most of them have no place to live and have found shelters in livestock sheds or find temporary housing with their neighbors. They have no alternative as their houses have been burned to the ground. Governmental officials claim that IDPs have returned to their villages based on to their own free will. Moreover, those who are afraid to return or have their houses burnt down, are offered alternative places to live. However, experts who personally work with IDPs speak of other reasons as to why IDPs had no choice but to return.

2008-10-20
“Evicted”, “Demoralized” and “Greedy as Pigs” IDPs
People – “The Russians have departed and now I will take care of you,” these are the words of Lado Vardzelashvili, Shida Kartli Regional Governor who repeated these fine and supportive words front of TV cameras on two occasions. Later, you pigs - have you not had enough care and assistance,” this is what he said to the IDPs from the villages of Avnevi and Nuli when the cameras were not rolling. However, his insulting words were recorded by a recorder of Roman Kevkhishvili, a journalist of radio Hereti. This was spotted by Regional Governor and he took the recorder away from the journalist. However, Lado Vardzelashvili returned the recorder when the Public Defender of Georgia intervened. Vardzelashvili’s angry shouting can be distinctly heard from the tape.

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