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Problems of the people living alongside the occupation line


Lado Bitchashvili, Shida Kartli

On April 25, Human Rights Center organized discussion about the problems of the citizens living alongside the occupation line in Gori. Representatives of the nongovernmental organizations and local government attended the discussion. HRC executive director Aleko Tskitishvili opened the meeting and spoke about the human rights violation of the citizens living near the ABL. He said the occupation regime systematically kidnaps the people living in the villages alongside the occupation line and the state response to these facts is weak and ineffective. 

“The meeting was dedicated to discuss grave human rights state of the citizens of Georgia who live alongside the division line. They are subjects of illegal detention and kidnappings that is common problem in Shida Kartli region. We should always try to find the ways to eradicate this problem. HRC recently published the special report “Zone of Barbed Wires,” which presents the facts of mass violation of human rights and the activities of the occupant regime alongside the ABL. The occupation line is moving inside the Georgia-controlled territory, which results into the seizure of the properties of local inhabitants and deterioration of their social-economic rights. As a result of barbed-wires, the locals have limited access to agricultural plots, pastures and irrigation water that is the source of main income for the local population. There are incidents when the houses of the locals turn up in the Russia-occupied territory after the wire-fences are installed in the villages,” HRC executive director Aleko Tskitishvili said. 

“We do our best to assist the people living in the villages alongside the occupation line; we supplied all families with gas free of charge,” the Gori municipality mayor Konstantine Tavzarashvili started his speech and spoke about the situation in the conflict affected villages. He mostly spoke about the planned and implemented infrastructural projects in the zone. 

“As for the infrastructure, we have resolved problems almost in all villages: internal roads were repaired, street illuminations were installed, the problem of the drinking water was significantly resolved and whatever left unresolved, we will address them too. As for the safety of locals, the Government of Georgia does its best to mitigate this problem too,” the municipality mayor said. 

Representative of the State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality Zviad Zviadadze was one of the speakers during the meeting and spoke about the state policy with regard to the villages alongside the occupation line, the residents of the occupied Tskhinvali region and their rights. 

“The major problems in the villages alongside the occupation line are created by the illegal activities of the occupant regime – installment of barbed wires, illegal detentions and kidnapping of locals and the state responds to them. As for the other problems in these villages, the State does its best to tackle them. The state commission is working on the needs of the ABL villages for years; much was already done: gasification, drinking and irrigation water supply, heating vouchers in winters, financing of students but we all must work together to address their problems. Many important issues were raised during this meeting, which will be considered by the inter-agency commission and the State Minister’s office,” Zviad Zviadadze said. 

Human Rights Center organized the meeting in the frame of the project “Legal Aid and Human Rights Monitoring,” which is implemented with the financial support of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). 

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