The President of the International Council of the International Society for Human Rights (ISHR), Thomas Schirrmacher, visited the President of the exile government of Abkhazia, Vakhtang Kolbaia, together with the President of the exile Parliament and individual ministers, during a visit to the Georgia Section of the ISHR. In the cabinet room, Schirrmacher was informed in detail about the human rights situation in Abkhazia and the situation faced by refugees from Abkhazia. Afterwards, the Abkhazian government in exile held a diplomatic dinner in honor of the guests.
Schirrmacher was accompanied by the President of the Georgia Section, Avtandil Davitaia, and the head of the German Professors’ Forum, who together with the Cultural Institute of the Georgian Orthodox Church maintains the Georgian-German dialogue with symposiums with Christian scholars from both countries.
Schirrmacher expressed his lack of understanding that Russia’s actions in Ukraine were of concern to the world media and that the EU and the USA had triggered sanctions, while the de facto occupation of Abkhazia had not interested the world public for 24 years although there were even clear requirements from the UN Security Council.
Likewise, Palestinian refugees have been keeping the world in suspense for decades, while the approximately 200,000 refugees from Abkhazia who have been living in Georgia since 1993 and would like to return to their homeland do not have a voice – except through the exile government. In 1993 among Georgians who had remained in Abkhazia in 1993, there were ethnic cleansings that culminated in the massacre of Sochumi, when the inhabitants of the village were tortured, raped, and set on fire. In the end about 7,000 people were cruelly murdered, including the head of the government of the country. The OSCE has officially recognized and condemned the ethnic cleansing of Georgians in Abkhazia. So far, no participant in the massacres has been brought to justice.
Abkhazia sees itself – financed and covered by Russia – as an independent state and under international law is considered to be a part of Georgia. Since 1993 Abkhazia has had its own independent state structures. Georgia no longer exercises any control over the territory. In addition to Russia, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Nauru have recognized Abkhazia as a country and have received large amounts of financial aid in return. Georgia and all other countries in the world regard Abkhazia as illegally occupied Georgian territory and regard the government of the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia in Georgia as the legitimate government in the region. This government is currently based in the Georgian capital Tbilisi and has no real influence in the region.