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Abkhaz Ombudsperson Speaks of Rights Abuses of Gali Georgians

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On June 29, Abkhaz ombudsperson Asida Shakryl presented a human rights report to the deputies of the Abkhaz “assembly,” documenting rights abuses in Georgia’s Russian-occupied region.

In her report, which takes stock of the last two years, Shakryl highlighted practices employed by Kremlin-backed authorities to discriminate against ethnic Georgian residents of the Gali district, the southeastern part of Abkhazia.

The ombudsperson raised concern that Gali residents experience problems with obtaining Abkhaz ‘passports’ due to various hurdles created by local authorities.

Shakryl stressed that freedom of movement is also limited due to the frequent closures of Enguri bridge crossing point by Abkhaz authorities, who bar locals entering from Georgia proper.

The local population is not notified beforehand about the timing and duration of the closures, Shakryl noted.

The ombudsperson stressed that traveling to Georgia proper is essential for the livelihoods of most locals, as they are only able to receive treatment and various social allowances on Tbilisi-controlled territory.

According to the report, residents of the Gali district pay property taxes that are considerably higher than in other parts of the occupied region.

The Human Rights commissioner also pointed to problems with access to education in one’s native language, as classes at primary schools are conducted in Russian, while most ethnic Georgian students have poor knowledge of the language.

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This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)

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