Special Report of the Public Defender of Georgia “On the Impacts of the Closure of Crossing Points on the Rights of the Population Living Along Abkhazia’s Administrative Boundary Line”
Report discusses the problems that the closure of crossing points created for the local residents on both the sides of the Administrative Boundary Line with Abkhazia, and it presents recommendations for the improvement of the local residents’ situation.
During 2016, Abkhazia’s de facto authorities made numerous statements that they were planning to close the existing crossing points, except for the crossing point on the Enguri River. Of the five crossing points, one – Shamgona-Tagiloni – was closed in April 2016. On 4 March 2017, the crossing points of Khurcha-Nabakevi and Orsantia-Otobaia also ceased operating. As a result, there are only wo crossing points left – Enguri and Saberio-Tskoushi.
It is the assessment of the Public Defender of Georgia that the closure of the crossing points and intensifying sanctions are another step backwards in terms of respect and protection of the local residents’ rights. The closure of the crossing points restricts local residents’ freedom of movement and creates unjustified impediments in terms of receiving healthcare services and education, maintaining trade, family ties, etc.