De Facto Abkhazia to Deprive Georgians of Right to Inherit Property

The de facto authorities of Georgia’s Russian-occupied region of Abkhazia are to deprive Georgians of the right to inherit property.

The relevant “law” was adopted by the so-called parliament of occupied Abkhazia at the first reading.

The initiative belongs to “MP” Raul Lolua, who said, "the ban at the first stage concerns citizens who participated in the war against Abkhazia or helped Georgians."

“We were addressed by the veterans and citizens who told us that the Georgian nationals who lived in Abkhazia before the war and left the country, are returning and asking for property...Therefore, we initiated a change to the law and deprive the members of families who fought against the sovereignty of Abkhazia, participated in hostilities against Abkhazia or assisted occupational forces, from the right of inheritance," said Lolua.

The “MP” said that in future they will make changes that will affect even Georgians whose family members did not participate in the hostilities.

"We will definitely raise this issue," he noted.

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia David Zalkaliani says that the decision of the so-called parliament of Abkhazia is a direct manifestation of discrimination on ethnic grounds and is nothing new.

“This has no legal basis and the international community will not consider it or accept it. But we should appeal to all international organizations,” he said.

Zalkaliani stated that the Co-Chairs of the Geneva Discussions have already been informed about the issue.

“We will raise all these issues with all international organizations, in all formats directly related to human rights and their violation. We will work to get a reaction from the international community," the Minister added.

State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality Ketevan Tsikhelashvili states that the steps of the so-called parliament of Abkhazia are not surprising. She noted that human rights and the property rights of the local population of breakaway Abkhazia had already been violated, with 300 thousand people still unable to return to their homes.

“This ‘decision’ can be considered a continuation of the occupation policy…Any decision about property in the occupied territories is invalid according to Georgian law. This decision cannot have a legal basis and cannot be reviewed in future,” stressed the Minister.

Breakaway Abkhazia and another region of Georgia, Tskhinvali (“South Ossetia”) were occupied by the Russian Federation in the wake of the August 2008 war, which turned thousands of locals into internally displaced persons.

By Thea Morrison

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11 April 2019 15:50