The messenger logo

Ombudsman: No tangible mechanism to protect human rights in de-facto regions

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, May 5
Georgia’s Public Defender Ucha Nanuashvili has revealed the 2015 parliamentary report of human rights that covers a range of issues, including the situation in Georgia’s two breakaway regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia).

The report read that people living in the occupied regions are deprived of a range of opportunities and such fundamental rights are regularly violated, including the rights to health, education and free movement.

Nanuashvili stressed that ethnic discrimination and depriving people of basic freedoms had a ‘permanent nature’.

The Public Defender focused on the problem of education in the Gali area of de-facto Abkhazia, where in 11 Georgian schools, the Russian language was introduced as the major language for 1-4 graders and Georgian language hours were decreased for other classes.

The Ombudsman said that due to the change, a number of parents were forced to leave the area and brought their children to schools on Georgian-controlled territory.

Nanuashvili added that the forcible amendments to the curriculum ‘deteriorated the education level’ for Georgian students.

Nanuashvili addressed the participants of the international Geneva Talks dealing with conflicts in Georgia and the Parliament of Georgia to use all political, legal and diplomatic efforts to protect the education rights of Gali residents.

The Public Defender also highlighted the issue of domestic violence in Gali. He said there was no statistics depicting the situation in this regard but his body managed to collect some information.

He said that 129 cases of family violence were reported in Gali in 2015; five of them ended with murder while one victim disappeared.

Meanwhile, in 2015, the de-facto Parliament of Abkhazia adopted a law that ‘completely prohibited’ abortion on the territory of Abkhazia, even when pregnancy was risky for a woman’s health.

The Ombudsman said the full ban on abortion created an increased number of illegal abortions that in many cases led to fatalities.

Herewith, rejecting abortion in all cases was a violation of a woman’s health rights.

Nanuashvili stressed he was aware of many other violations locals were afraid to speak of openly.

The Ombudsman believes that the international community must increase efforts to persuade Russia to allow international monitors into the occupied regions.