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Audi alteram partem

The Occupation of Abkhazia and its consequences, by Natella Akaba

There is every evidence to maintain that ethnic cleansing was being carried out on the territory of Abkhazia occupied by the Georgian troops, i.e. the town of Sukhum, Gulriphsh and Ochamchira regions. 

1) Abkhaz and Armenian villages - Tamish, Ardzinba, Beslkhuba, Markula, Labra, Atara-Armianskaya and others have been destroyed. The inhabitants of these villages had to seek refuge in more remote villages or in the blockaded mountain miners' town of Tkuarchal.

2) Thousands of Abkhaz, Russians, Armenians, Greeks, Turks and people of other nationalities have been taken hostage and put to prison without any official charges. Some of them were shot down, others were exchanged or released under the pressure of public opinion.

3) From the first days of aggression the miners' town Tkuarchal situated high in the mountains has been blockaded by the Georgian troops. The Georgian authorities cut off the electricity there. The residents of the town, especially children have been suffering from food and medical shortages. The Georgian side is preventing the delivery of food by air. There are thousands of exhausted people and many cases of starvation have been registered there.

4) There are a lot of documented evidence of atrocities committed by Georgian troops against the hostages. The Abkhaz fighters who were taken prisoners since the beginning of the war have been put to even more cruel torture by the Georgian military leadership, which is a gross violation of the Geneva Convention. Thus, on January 9-10, 1993, 12 Abkhaz and Russian fighters had been executed by their Georgian captors just before a prisoner exchange. The experts confirmed that they all had been brutally tortured.

5) On December 14, 1992 the Georgian militarists committed another crime: a helicopter evacuating refugees from Tkuarchal was shot down in the Georgian-controlled zone. 36 children, 32 women, among them 8 pregnant, were burnt alive. Officials in Tbilisi did not even find it necessary to express their condolence on the occasion.

6) From the first days of occupation the Georgian authorities have been encouraging their soldiers to large-scale gangsterism and looting of Abkhaz, Armenians, Greeks, Russians, Turks and (other) residents of other nationalities on the territory under their control. Not a single fact of marauding, extortion or encroachment on the property and pride of civilians has been denounced by them, no criminals have been punished. Thousands of people are deprived of their property and dwellings.

All the above mentioned facts and many others give rise to maintain that gross and systematic violations of the fundamental human rights against mankind, against the property of civilians occured in Georgia and the occupied territory of Abkhazia.

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