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Demonstration to Protest Inaction of the Government of Georgia


Lado Bitchashvili, Shida Kartli

On October 19, representatives of the occupation regime renewed installation of the iron fences in Atotsi village, Kareli municipality, where they started installment of poles a year ago. Members of the anti-occupation movement observe the process on the place, who planned to organize peaceful demonstration against the ongoing occupation but it failed. The law enforcement officers did not allow them and journalists to approach Atotsi village. 

“Several months ago, the occupation forces started marking of the territory and we wonder what the government did to prevent the situation we face now,” Ana Dolidze, lawyer and member of the High Council of Justice, stated in Shakshaketi village, Kareli municipality. 

The members of the anti-occupation members also observed installation of the new fences by the occupation regime members alongside the division line. The police officers did not allow them to approach the territory. 

“You will allow them to fence the entire territory and it is how you solve the problem; Georgian police has turned into the Russian defense police,” Davit Katsarava of the anti-occupation movement said. 

On October 19, while the occupation regime was carrying out illegal borderization in Atotsi village, the head of the government Giorgi Gakharia visited Shida Kartli region. He followed the preliminarily agreed agenda and met teachers, then doctors, sportsmen and finally the farmers. The Prime Minister did not change the agenda and consequently did not arrive in Atotsi village; he paid attention to the ongoing occupation in the village only after journalists asked him about it. 

“We have already expressed our opinion about what is going on in Atotsi village now and we confirm that it is inadmissible. With the support of our international partners, we do everything to enable each of our citizens to have honorable life in their homeland. I am also here, in Gori, very close to the occupation line, but we are speaking about other topics. We must be aware that the future of our country is cooperation with these people and we need to work hard. Developed, economically strong and democratic state is the tool to gain our territories back,” Giorgi Gakharia said.

The opposition political parties do not see any actions of the Government of Georgia to stop occupation. Representative of the State for People Medea Abashidze said the government has already put up with the occupation and try to convince the people in the same.

“Unless the journalists asked, the Prime Minister would have finished his visit in Shida Kartli without mentioning the occupation particularly when the creeping occupation is ongoing process in three municipalities of the region: Gugutiantkari in Gori municipality, Atotsi village in Kareli municipality and Chorchana village in Khashuri municipality. During his visit in Shida Kartli, Atotsi village was the hotspot, where the occupation regime was installing fences when the PM was meeting various people in Gori. Gakharia should have stopped the meetings and arrive in Atotsi to demonstrate his solidarity with the local inhabitants,” Medea Abashidze of the State for People said. 

Not only on October 19, but the government members did not make any statements with regard to the ongoing occupation fact in Atotsi on October 20, 21 or 22 either. The State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Integrity made the statement from Tbilisi and said that the State will pay more attention to Atotsi village as well as other villages alongside the division line. However, Tsikhelashvili said the Government of Georgia will never be provoked.

“Permanent provocations and similar episodes aim to tense the situation. We must react to each of similar episodes and deescalate the situation that was our first reaction and main goal. In parallel to that, we must not hinder the development of our country and never betray democratic reforms and economic strength. Unfortunately, we have to achieve everything in parallel to occupation and therefore we must reinforce the population, who are victimized with it. The state pays attention to them and will pay even more attention to Atotsi or other villages, which are divided by the barbed wires. We will respond the occupation with the development and progress,” Tsikhelashvili said.

On October 20, restrictions were removed in Atotsi village for the journalists and upon arrival they found the territory nearby the village surrounded with green fences. The locals say they do not feel secure. 

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