US Department of State publishes report on human rights in Georgia’s occupied regions
US Department of State publishes report on human rights in Georgia’s occupied regions

The US Department of State published the 2020 country reports on human rights. The document describes and evaluates difficult situation across the occupied Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions of Georgia.

“Significant human rights issues in the regions included: unlawful killing, including in South Ossetia; unlawful detentions; restrictions on movement, especially of ethnic Georgians; restrictions on voting or otherwise participating in the political process; and restrictions on the ability of ethnic Georgians to own property or register businesses. While there was little official information on the human rights and humanitarian situation in South Ossetia, de facto authorities refused to permit most ethnic Georgians driven out by the 2008 conflict to return to their homes in South Ossetia.

De facto authorities did not allow most international organizations regular access to South Ossetia to provide humanitarian assistance. Russian “borderization” of the administrative boundary lines increased, further restricting movement and separating residents from their communities and livelihoods. Russian and de facto authorities in both regions committed abuses with impunity,” the report reads.

According to the report, de facto authorities and Russian occupying forces limited freedom of movement in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. “De-facto authorities and Russian forces in the Russia-occupied territories restricted the movement of the local population across the administrative boundary lines. Although they showed some flexibility for travel for medical care, pension services, religious services, and education, in several instances during the year, de facto authorities hindered access to medical care in Tbilisi-administered territory for residents in the occupied territories,” reads the document.

The report says that the international organizations are limited to the ability to operate in the occupied regions. Georgian Orthodox Church clergy is prohibited from entering the occupied territory of Abkhazia.

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