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State of Human Rights along the Dividing Lines of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, 2019


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State of Human Rights along the Dividing Lines of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, 2019 

Throughout the 2019, the representatives of the Russian Federation continued mass human rights violations along the dividing/occupation lines of the regions of Georgia - Abkhazia and South Ossetia. 

In September 2019, two crossing points which connected South Ossetia with the rest of Georgia were closed. Closure of one of them, which is located in Akhalgori district, created humanitarian crisis in Akhalgori and the situation remains alarming. Local population has limited access to medical services and medicines with rare exceptions.  

The representatives of the Russian border forces continue arbitrary detention of people along the dividing line of South Ossetia. They detain people in the areas, where local population had free access before. The detentions have arbitrary nature, do not meet the principles of legal certainty and foreseeability and violate rights of liberty and security guaranteed by the international conventions on human rights.

On November 9, 2019, the Russian border guards arrested Doctor Vazha Gaprindashvili near the Akhalgori district dividing line. He is a president of the Georgian Association of Orthopedics and Traumatology. On December 20, the Tskhinvali de-facto court found Gaprindashvili guilty “in the intentional illegal crossing of the state border” and sentenced him to imprisonment for one year and 9 months during the closed hearing. 

In 2019, with regard to the ongoing investigation into the 2008 August War by the International Criminal Court, the statement of the Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda at the Assembly of the Rome Statute Member States in The Hague, in December 2019 was significant news. The Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda noted that the investigation into the situation of Georgia is followed by numerous challenges, including the fact that long period has passed since the war as well as Russia’s refusal to cooperate with the investigation. Despite this, according to the Prosecutor, the investigation has entered active phase and there may be certain results in the nearest period. 

In 2019, HRC continued advocacy to defend the rights of the victims of 2008 August War and to continue the investigation on the domestic level. In 2019, as a result of the address of HRC, the Chief Prosecutor’s Office granted status of victim to 7 persons and passed relevant resolutions. As a result of the address of Human Rights Center, during last three years, the Chief Prosecutor’s Office granted victim status to 49 individuals victimized as a result of 2008 Augut War. 

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