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Russian Peacekeepers Sell the Right of Choice of Georgian Women in the Conflict Zone

20.12.2005

Russian Peacekeepers Sell the Right of Choice of Georgian Women in the Conflict Zone

For more than 12 years, Russian peacekeepers who are stationed at the Georgian-Abkhaz border earn “extra money” by allowing individuals cross the board illegally. Most often, Abkhazians enter Georgian territory to capture Georgian girls. For this they pay 300 to 500 Rubles to the peacekeepers. The number of girls captured for forced marriages has increased to about 10 to 12 cases a month. Nevertheless, the Georgian side reacts very calmly on these facts.

Young men kidnap young women from Zugdidi and Tsalendjikha and cross the border with the help of Russian peacekeepers and hide within the de-facto Republic of Abkhazia with their new wives. Peacekeepers take 300 to 500 Rubles for this “service”, which is equivalent to about 30 to 50 GEL.

On the 17th of December 2005, a group of unknown persons kidnapped 22 year-old Nana G. from Zugdidi. They put a bag over her head, tied her and put the girl in the car. The kidnappers, together with the victim, reached the block post of Russian soldiers (the 203 Saberio Post). It was this place, where the victim was able to run away. Nana G. begged Russian peacekeepers for help, but she only received a “warm” smile from them. Then she managed to call home. Her family members involved the Gali Police Department in this case. They only found a trace of Nana on the second day. The kidnappers only freed her, after Nana’s family threatened to sue against them in court.

According to the victim, the “groom” and his relatives tried to persuade her to marry Dato K. for two days. They used everything from psychological pressure to threats.

The deputy of Tsalendjikha Police Department Gulordava says that such cases occur quite often: “It is a pity that we cannot operate on Abkhaz controlled territory. Our department can do nothing in such cases.”

It is worth mentioning that the criminals involved in such cases are often not taken before justice. Moreover, none of these facts were discussed during the traditional Tchuburkhindji meeting, where the Georgian, Abkhazian and Russian sides and representatives of the United Nations participate. Meanwhile, the statistics are becoming more threatening – the number of kidnapped girls taken to Abkhazia reaches 10 to 12 a month. An investigation process has only started on three of the cases.

Maya Gubeladze from Zugdidi

 

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