Public Defender’s Issue Brief about the Detentions on the Administrative Boundary Lines and Conditions of Prisoners

The Public Defender of Georgia has published a special issues brief about the detentions along the dividing line of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and conditions of prisoners. The issue brief outlines statistics of detainees and recommendations worked out by the PDO (Public Defender’s Office).

A year ago, the Public Defender has raised the issue of prisoners and spoke in favour of their release on both sides. This initiative was met with the positive response not only from the family members of prisoners, but also from different civil society organizations working on both side of conflict divide. The release of several Georgian and Ossetian prisoners in 2012-2013 was a step forwarded, but the process has stopped since then.

As of 31 May 2014, 70 people were detained on South Ossetian ABL and 107 people on Abkhazian ABL.

As of today, 3 Georgian prisoners remain in Tskhinvali prison. There are 11 inmates in Georgian prisons, who live on both sides of the dividing line. The members of the families of Ossetian and Georgian prisoners regularly appeal to the Public Defender of Georgia and request the pardon and release of prisoners upon the mutual agreement between the parties.

The results of unresolved conflicts negatively affect the human rights situation of residents of Gali District as well. There are several residents from this region who serve the sentence both in Sokhumi and Tbilisi prisons.

In parallel to the release of prisoners, parties should agree on the mechanisms to avoid the vicious practice of detentions on the dividing lines. Specifically, they should:

- ensure the freedom of movement of local residents of both sides. Detentions at the dividing line should stop and parties should agree on such a response mechanisms that does not violate human rights and freedoms of local population;

- ensure the release of prisoners. This can be a release on both sides with the principle “all for all”, by amnesty, pardon or early release.

- take effective measures to restore IPRM meetings in Gali;

- give access to international human rights organizations to observe and study the cases of human rights violations in conflict affected regions.

Please see an electronic version of the issue brief

Woking Hours: Monday–Friday 9:00–18:00
Hot line: 1481 (24/7)