IDPs Waiting for Trucks
January 28, 2011
Eviction of IDPs seems to have already finished and moaning of people in the compact settlements of IDPs in Tbilisi is not heard any longer. However, another part of IDPs still lives in the expectation of disaster. They know that one day – today or tomorrow – the police officers with truncheons, trucks and yellow buses will approach their yards too.
The civil society tries to oppose the violent policy of the government and assist IDPs in their fight against it. It is another question how successful their effort will be; however, several NGOs have already joined to express their solidarity with IDPs.
On January 26, with the initiative of the Human Rights Priority and Caucasus Women’s Network, the NGOs gathered in the Tbilisi office of the Foundation Open Society – Georgia. The representatives of the NGOs working on the IDP issues attended the meeting. They decided to set up working groups to monitor the eviction process of IDPs as well as to provide them with free legal assistance and advocacy. The Human Rights Center is also involved in this process.
“This government is arguing me for living in the nursery-school building as if it was my choice to arrive in Tbilisi and live in that building; I did not go to the nursery school when I was child and I could not have similar desire at old age either?!” said an IDP from Gagra, Abkhazia at the meeting.
The IDPs discussed several interesting facts and issues which will be focused by the working groups of the NGOs.
“Where should we go after eviction?” I asked the police officers who pushed us into the buses forcibly. The only reply they could give to us was: “Go to Potskhoetseri!” However, there is no place left for IDPs in that village too and how they could take us there?!”
“Alongside the so-called old and new IDPs, they evicted the people, who were deported from Russia several years ago. Then those people had nowhere to go and sheltered wherever they could. Now, the state forced them out from the accommodations like Russia kicked them out from their country.”
“In one of the buildings, the bus was overcrowded by IDPs and those who could not get on there, travelled to the regions by trucks. Saakashvili used to complain about Russia for having sent Georgian citizens by cargo plane and now he sent his own citizens to regions by trucks?!”
“I remember two painful dates in my life – September 27, 1993 when I was displaced from my native city – Sokhumi and January 24, 2011 when I was evicted from Tbilisi for unclear reasons. I knew why I fled from Sokhumi but I cannot understand why they are sending me away from Tbilisi!”
“The state strategy it aims to integrate the IDPs with the local society. So, the eviction completely contradicts the state strategy. We were already integrated with the local society and now we are taken to a completely strange environment which we might not adopt at all.”