Public Defender Responds to the Restrictions Imposed at Crossing Points

Restrictions were imposed at the crossing points of Abkhazia on 10 January and Tskhinvali on January 11. Reportedly, Abkhazia imposed restrictions for everybody except for patients who have a document of the local medical facility certifying their medical needs, while the crossing point of Akhalgori was completely closed.

It should be noted that locals had been actively using the crossing points. The situation of patients, college students and school children requires special attention. The Public Defender was informed of two cases, when patients had been unable to move for several days across the Enguri Bridge despite the fact that they had local medical documents. In addition, the students, who traveled to Abkhazia and the Tskhinvali region on holidays, are unable to return to the Georgian controlled territory for their exams.

According to the Public Defender, restriction of movement and temporary closure of crossing points violates the freedom of movement of people living on the occupied territories, creates obstacles to their access to health care services and education.

The Public Defender urges the de-facto authorities and the Russian Federation to lift artificial barriers that restrict the freedom of movement of the locals, as well as their right to education and health.

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