Protesters Demand Protection of Georgians in Abkhazia
Author: Zviad Adzinbaia
The Abkhaz Meeting, a union composed of more than 25 non-governmental organizations, held a protest action on April 14 demanding protection of the rights of Georgian citizens living in Gali in the occupied territory of Abkhazia.
The protest came in response to pressure exerted on almost 35,000 Georgian citizens living in Gali, who refused to accept Russian citizenship and face daily threats coming from both Russian occupation forces on the ground and the Abkhazian de-facto regime.
The main message of the peaceful gathering was “after 37 years, we still need to defend our language from the aggressor”, a reference to mass protest movements in 1978, when the Soviet center, Moscow decided to ban Georgian as the official language in the country. “This is the very continuation of what our northern neighbour started decades ago,” one of the participants told Georgia Today.
The gathering organized by the social Movement Dabruneba, involved several institutions, including the Social Movement Iveria, Movement for Freedom and Euro Integration, representatives of United National Movement, the main oppositional party in Georgia and Professors from Sokhumi State University (IDP institution from Abkhazia).