The International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances was marked in Georgia yesterday. The day has been marked in the country since August 30, 2011.
Investigating cases of people disappearing in war is crucial
By Mariam Chanishvili
Wednesday, August 31
The Public Defender of Georgia, Ucha Nanuashvil,m made a statement regarding the date.
The Ombudsman said about 2,000 people were still listed as missing in Georgia because of the armed conflicts on the country’s territory.
Of this number, about 1500 people were ethnic Georgians, 200 ethnic Abkhazians and about 100 ethnic Ossetians.
Currently, Georgia’s regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) are under Russian occupation, which is equal to 20 percent of Georgia’s territory.
“In order to avoid this practice, the Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance was signed in 2006,” stated the Public Defender.
The International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (ICPPED) is an international human rights instrument of the United Nation, which intended to prevent forced disappearance defined in international law, crimes against humanity.
The Ombudsman offered his sympathies to the family members and the relatives of the missing people and honored their memory.
He also noted that cooperation between Tbilisi and Sokhumi (Abkhazia) over a certain topic has been prolific.
Through mutual cooperation, several graves in Abkhazia were opened in 2013-2015, people were identified and their bodies were transferred.
The issue is still on the agenda.
Nanuashvili highlighted that it is very important to investigate the cases of the disappeared people during the Russia-Georgia war of 2008 “in a timely manner.”
“I believe that the ratification of the Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance will be an important step from Georgia,” said Nanuashvili.
In 2013, the Public Defender of Georgia addressed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia for the first time with the recommendation of bringing Georgian legislation in accordance with international standards concerning the ratification of 2006 the UN Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance. The Parliament of Georgia shared this recommendation under the resolutions of 2014-2015. However, the ratification process has not started yet.