Law against Abkhazians and Ossetians12.02.2013 | 15:21
On February 7, Georgian State Minister for Reintegration Paata Zakareishvili said that the government intended to soften the law on occupied territories. This statement caused little enthusiasm among the expert and journalist community of South Ossetia.
Zakareishvili stressed that the new version of law provided the administrative punishment for violators committing the entry to the "occupied territories" without consent with the central authorities of Georgia for the first time. If the "violation repeats, the offender would be prosecuted".
Conflict expert Alan Parastaev responded Zakareishvili in his blog: he stressed that this case proved once again that neither until August 8, 2008, nor after that Georgia had had no real intention to live in peace with South Ossetia.
According to the journalist Timur Tskhurbati, the change of the severity of punishment in the law in no way changes the situation.
"We need fundamental solutions, not cosmetic. Crossing the border should not be a crime. It is not the fault of an ordinary citizen, if he freely crosses the Roki tunnel. Unwilling to accept the existing realities, Georgia's policy makes a good face on a bad game. These administrative and criminal articles (according to the law "On occupied territories") of Georgia can be applied to thousands of people who have visited South Ossetia in recent years. Imagine if they suddenly decide to surrender to the Georgian authorities. What would they do with them in this case?"
Human rights activist Vissarion Aseev sees nothing unexpected in these initiatives.
"On the one hand, the discriminatory attitude of the Georgian state to the neighbors, whom they consider their brothers, is upsetting. Everybody understands that these laws are not against Russia or against the type of occupation, but to isolate the Abkhazians and Ossetians from the outer world and not give them opportunity to grow economically, culturally, in no way! This is one of the "genocidal" laws designed to create conditions for the physical disappearance of the Abkhazians and Ossetians, at least in those areas. On the other hand, the existence of this law is also a guarantee of our independence: it shows the true attitude of Georgia to Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Therefore, the Abkhaz and Ossetian "patriots" should not be filled with indignation at its existence, but to enjoy it as evidence of Georgia's aggressive attitude to them", Aseev said.
At the same time, human rights activist Vissarion Aseev stressed that in any case he was a supporter of using any opportunity for the development of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
"I support the idea that these new republics should develop economically. Only economic development can provide true independent. Moreover, there are loopholes in this law, which can intensify economic activity of the population. Governments of Abkhazia and South Ossetia should not prevent people from using such loopholes, for example related to trade and barter. We must determine what we want: to contribute to own destruction and to support the law, not using those formal opportunities that we have for ideological reasons? Or we are seeking prosperity, and we are ready to turn any chance into the benefit contrary to the ideological posturing?"
In general, they do not especially discuss this law on the Internet, and it is little known even in the Georgian information field. It seems that the Georgian government has passed this law in order to cater to its European and American partners, and this, as always happens in such cases, has worked against their interests. Life does not teach them anything.