Special Report of the Impact of Closure of the So-called Checkpoints in 2019-2020 on the Rights Situation of Population of the Occupied Territories

The special report reviews the restrictions on free movement of the conflict-affected population in 2019-2020 and the number of problems caused by these restrictions. The report also reviews the situation in Covid-19 in the occupied territories. Freedom of movement is vital, especially during the pandemic.

During 2019 and 2020, movement had been restricted several times for various reasons, including the artificial barriers imposed by the de facto authorities. The difficult rights situation and humanitarian crisis in occupied Akhalgori are especially worth noting. The deaths of people due to inadequate medical care as a result of the arbitrary closure of the crossing point since September 4, 2019 have further demonstrated the deplorable situation in the occupied territories.

The report also analyzes in detail the vicious practices of illegal detentions and imprisonments of residents of the Georgian-controlled and occupied territories along the occupation line, in the direction of both Abkhazia and South Ossetia, as well as beatings and ill-treatment of prisoners.

According to the Public Defender of Georgia, the formal regime established by the de facto authorities for movement across the occupation line and the establishment of various barriers, such as the unpredictable closures of the so-called checkpoints, illegal arrests, problems with de facto documentation required for movement and other obstacles restrict the freedom of movement of the residents of the occupied regions and create unjustified barriers to their access to livelihoods. Given that these restrictions are not one-time, it is important for the Georgian authorities, with the support of international community, to use all possible mechanisms to protect the rights of people living in the occupied territories.

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