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The Human Rights Center Calls Upon the Government of Georgia To Apologize to Abkhaz and Ossetian Peoples in the Name of Georgian State

Human Rights Center, Georgia

On May 21, Abkhaz and other Caucasian nations, who became victims of the cruel Russian Imperialist Policy in the 19th Century, the Muhajirs Day. Last year the Human Rights Center celebrated the Day first time in Georgia.

May 21 will be politically hot day in Tbilisi this year too – radical part of the opposition parties plan large-scaled protest demonstrations in front of the Parliament building in the Rustaveli Avenue. The government is inadequately silent and trains army for the May 26 Military Parade at night.

During night rehearsals for the Military Parade, the noise of the military vehicles will again remind the society of the militarist atmosphere about the government. Unfortunately, the militarism has become a chronic disease of the government with its side-effects and deplorable results. Despite the lessons from the recent history, neither president, nor government and the parliamentary majority have introduced any taken any measures to ethno-conflicts in the Georgian territory.

The government intends to celebrate the Muhajirs Day with the resolution. According to the news agencies, the initiator of the resolution is chairman of the Parliamentary Committee for Diaspora and Caucasian Issues Nugzar Tsiklauri. He wants to coincide the adoption of the document with May 20 because he said May 21 is a tragic day when Genocide of Cherkessk People occurred in the Caucasus.

The Human Rights Center thinks the parliamentary resolution about acknowledgement the Genocide of Cherkessk People is a next example of the awkward political controversy between Georgian and Russian governments. If the initiator of the resolution – the Parliamentary Committee for Diaspora and Caucasian Issues – had been really concerned about the fate of the Caucasian Nations, they would have first of all thought over the responsibilities of the Georgian state in this direction and waste its precious time on the research of the historical fate, current life and aspiration of Abkhaz Muhajirs. Logically, the problems of several thousands of Abkhaz muhajirs, residing in various countries, should be more important for the committee. Unfortunately, throughout the 20-year-long Georgian-Abkhaz conflict nothing has been done in this direction.

The Human Rights Center reminds the government of Georgia that it is high time for the Georgian state to share the responsibility for ethno-conflicts launched on its own territories; it is high time for the government of Georgia to apologize to Abkhaz and Ossetian peoples in the name of the Georgian state, because:

1. Georgian state has failed several times to prevent both large-scaled and local armed ethno-conflicts on its territory;

2. could not protect Abkhaz and Ossetian citizens from violence; moreover, Georgian military units actively participated in the bloodshed inspired by Russia in Abkhazia and South Ossetia;

3. Instead peacebuilding initiatives and reconciliation policy, the government of Georgia permanently used the unjustified method of conflict escalation, militarism, instillation of hatred and xenophobia.

The Human Rights Center launched “Sorry” Campaign in 2007. The Campaign unites the people, who apologize to Abkhaz people, for not having opposed the violence and for not having prevented the fratricidal war. These people do not apologize in the name of the Georgian state; they acknowledge their own individual responsibility for the results of the Georgian-Abkhaz Conflict, regardless the fact they participated in the armed conflict or not.

The Human Rights Center believes it is high time for the Georgian State to realize its own responsibility for both historical and current situation; not to take politically motivated and show-off steps but launch reasonable, peacebuilding policy which will lead Georgian, Abkhaz and Ossetian peoples to reconciliation and will again bring them together like it was in our past before ethno-conflicts.

The Human Rights Center
20.05.11

Source: The Human Rights Center, Georgia

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