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Victims without status

26.06.2019

 
Lado Bitchashvili, Shida Kartli 

After the 2008 Russia-Georgian war, several houses turned up in the occupied territory in Nikozi village, alongside the occupation line in Shida Kartli. The victims have been requesting the compensation for the lost houses and agricultural plots for 11th year already. 

“My son was building a house there; the ground floor was almost finished. We appealed the prosecutor’s office, government but they answered our houses and plots are now in the occupied territory and compensation for those properties is not under consideration yet,” Tamar Tchulukhadze said. 

The locals had their lands in the part of the village, which is now occupied by Russia. 

“After the 2008 war, they brought tractor and moved the so-called division line inside our controlled territory and occupied our plots. Before the war, we, Ossetians and Georgians had the plots next to each other,” Apolon Mtchedlishvili said.

Nobody reimbursed the damage incurred by the locals in Nikozi village. The villagers said only those families received compensations, whose houses were bombed. The people, whose houses were robbed, still urge for the compensation but in vain. Regardless huge loss, part of them has not yet received victim status. 

HRC monitoring group visited Nikozi village and studied the situation on the ground. HRC representative Ucha Nanuashvili called on the investigative bodies to inform the local population about their status and update their data on the victims. 

“It is a fact that many people still do not have status. There are cases, when people, who received the victim status, passed away or resettled. In similar situation, it is important that the investigative bodies updated the information. If the International Criminal Court rules payment of compensations to the victims, the local investigative bodies shall be ready for that. However, many people in Nikozi village do not have information about their status that demonstrates the ineffectiveness of the work of local law enforcement bodies. With the ongoing investigation by the ICC, it is necessary that the Government of Georgia also intensified its work and updated all information about the victims of the 2008 Russia-Georgia war,” Ucha Nanuashvili said.

HRC lawyer Dimitri Nozadze said they will appeal the prosecutor’s office to find out the status of the victimized people, and request to update the information about them. 

“More than half of the population does not have victim status. They were questioned in law enforcement institutions but nobody was informed about their status; neither prosecutor’s office has notified them about it. We will once again check the information in the prosecutor’s office, why these people still do not hold the victim status,” Dimitri Nozadze said. 

HRC representatives monitored the situation in the villages alongside the division line in the frame of the project implemented with the financial assistance of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, which aims to promote the ICC investigation into the alleged war crimes committed during the Russia-Georgia war.


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