Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism Restored in Gali District
The Public Defender welcomes the agreement reached at the 35th round of Geneva talks – the restoration of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism, which had been suspended for the last 4 years.
The Public Defender had repeatedly addressed the delegations participating in the Geneva international discussions with a recommendation to show more flexibility and to take more effective steps for restoration of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism in Gali district.
The Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism meetings create important space for consideration of local security issues with the engagement of all parties. It is important the mechanism to be used for the protection of the rights of local residents and to avoid politicization of the issues.
The monitoring carried out by the Public Defender on both sides of the dividing line throughout the year revealed problems, such as restriction of movement of patients, school students and ambulances, constant detention of local residents and improper conditions in the detention facilities (Russian military bases). Getting education in the mother language also is problematic in the occupied territory. In addition, the Gali population has problems in defending their rights.
At the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism meeting the parties should consider the abovementioned issues in depth and should take immediate and appropriate steps to improve the protection of the rights of local population.
The Public Defender hopes that the recent positive cooperation will continue and decisions necessary for the protection of human rights, peace and stability will be achieved within the framework of the Geneva discussions.