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Victim of Trafficking Can Not Return to Uzbekistan from Georgia

ruka1.gifTwenty-four-year-old mother with two children from Uzbekistan has been in Georgia for five months and can not return to her country because of prolonged court process. She is the only witness who can retell how Marina Chkhikvadze-Oganesian sold her in Dubai; how was she forced to work in sex business and then got into a prison.

The victim of trafficking is in a special shelter and Non-governmental Organizations, dealing with problem, take care of her. The story is the following: Marina Chkhikvadze-Oganesian met her in Uzbekistan three years ago. She made friends with her and as the girl was poor, Chkhikvadze-Oganesian offered her a well-paid job in Dubai in a beauty saloon.

Initially she took the girl to Georgia, made Georgian passport for her and then she sold her to traffickers in Dubai. Traffickers made the girl work in sex business. Some time later she managed to escape but the police detained her and she was sent to prison. Finally the girl was deported to Georgia [as she had Georgian passport].

Though Marina Chkhikvadze-Oganesian has already been detained, the court hearing has not been held yet.

According to the victim, she has been in Georgia since May 26, 2006. The young woman demands to return home having not seen her children for three years already.  She stated that she had urged law enforcers several times to hold trial as soon as possible, but in vain. "Two children are waiting for me at home. Please help me to go back home. When I arrived in Dubai, they ordered me to serve men [sexually]. I resisted but traffickers said my resistance was too late."
The case should be discussed by the Tbilisi City Court. The judge for the case is Tariel Tabatadze. Though we could not get in touch with him, Shorena Guntsadze, another Judge [speaker] for the case commented the fact. She stated that the reason for prolonged process was large number of cases [waiting for hearing at the court].

Shorena Guntsadze stated the following: "The number of cases gathered in Tbilisi District Court amounts to 3500. The statement made by the victim, as if the process is premeditatedly prolonged is not right. The court has right not to discuss a case within six months; this particular case was brought to the court in August 4. Thus we still have time. The court has already scheduled the case and it will be discussed on November 2. If the accused is found guilty she faces from eight to fifteen years imprisonment."

Public Defender got involved the case together with other Non-Governmental Organizations. The representative of the “People’s Harmonious Development Association” Nana Nazarova stated: "Governmental Bodies do not take care of the victim. They do not allocate any finances for her. If the government had to keep her, the court would have been held in a week. The girl was so weak, she could not even walk."

They know about this story in Uzbekistan too. However they refrain to talk about the details on the fact for the safety of the victim. According to Valentina Chupik, the representative of Uzbek NGO 'Tong', “I know her history very well. Unfortunately I cannot speak since it is secret information. I can only say that at first, the victim was brought to Georgia in 2004. Having made false documents she was sold in Emirates. She worked there for half a year and finally she came back to Georgia again."

As for the accused Oganesian she was suspected for similar activities and was tried before too. One of her crimes deals with other Uzbek girls as well. More precisely, it is a story of twelve Uzbek girls who she brought to Tbilisi in 2003 and locked them in a flat. She intended to sell them in Dubai but one of them managed to escape and applied to the police.

Criminal Case was launched regarding the fact. Those girls were sent back to their country and accused Oganesian was bailed and then released. Now she is in pre-trial detention.

The Interior Ministry of Turkey and Azerbaijan Legal Aid Centre for Migrants informed 'Human Rights Information and Documentation Centre' about the statistics. According to Ramazan Daisal, Inspector for Illegal Migration and Anti Trafficking Department within Turkish Police Department, twenty-nine Ukrainians, sixty-nine Moldavians, thirty-eight Russians, twenty-four Kyrgyz, eighteen Azerbaijan, fourteen Uzbeks, one Kazakh, six Georgians, one Belarusian, four Turkish, one Armenian, two Iranians and two Bulgarians became victims of trafficking this year.

As for Azerbaijan data, according to Alovsat Aliev, Director of Legal Aid Centre for Migrants, 231 cases of trafficking was discovered in 2005 in Azerbaijan. In 2006 fifty-one victims were found during nine months. Among them, there were two Uzbeks, two Russians, one Ukrainian, and one Kyrgyz. Destination countries where those girls were transported are Emirates, Iran, Turkey and America. Fifty-eight traffickers are detained; eleven men and forty-seven women are among them.

Eka Gulua

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