The Parliament Speaker Meets the Head of the Russian Office of "Amnesty International"

Thu, 09/07/2009 - 13:16

The RSO Parliament Speaker Stanislav Kochiev received the Head of the Russian office of "Amnesty International" (AI) Sergey Nikitin. The meeting focused on human right situation in South Ossetia and Georgia during and after the war in August 2008. According to Nikitin, the AI issued a report "Peaceful population on the front-line: Russian-Georgian conflict". "My colleagues in London are planning to issue a sequel report to survey the current human rights situation. I am staying in Tskhinval today and tomorrow, my colleagues are in Georgia. The are also having meetings with officials. Today I had a meeting with the Minister of Press and the Tskhinval city Mayor. I am planning to meet the Prosecutor General and the Interior Minister. For tomorrow, meetings with Murat Djioev, the Foreign Minister and the Human Rights Commissioner to the President of South Ossetia David Sanakoev have been scheduled", said Nikitin.

He explained that the purpose of his mission was to give a true, unbiased picture of current human rights situation in South Ossetia. "I would like to ask you a couple of questions, which I've sent to all above-mentioned officials to ensure that South Ossetia could express its viewpoint which then would be incorporated into the AI report. Similar questions will be asked on the other side to the conflict. Our organization does not take sides, we are outside politics. We are interested in human rights and in what is happening to the civilian population a year after the conflict. We have certain questions, including that of investigation of international law violations recorded on both sides, the problems related to compensations to civilians. Besides, an important set of questions is related to displaced persons, including the precise figures of people displaced from South Ossetia, both ethnic Georgians and Ossetians", said Nikitin.
In response, Stanislav Kochiev stated that the number of refugees counted tens of thousands. Resulting from the aggression, several villages in South Ossetia are desolated.
"The return of refugees is complicated due to the fact the reconstruction of housing is not conducted, not . much funds are provided to the population. There are people who could have received compensations, there are those who could not. Many citizens are staying in Vladikavkaz, or farther in Russia. As to Georgian population, and their number if over 20 thousand, they were provided with a corridor during the hostilities and they could easily leave the war scene. Corpses of civilians were not found there, and it means that they safely left the enclave. This refers to the Georgian population of the villages in the territory adjacent to Georgia.
As to financial assistance to displaced persons, our Parliament lacks information on its scope and format, because the Government had not yet presented the draft budget for this year, and thus, the Parliament did not approve it. The new Parliament has just started its work and hence, we have no precise information on the issues you are interested in", noted Kochiev.
He underlined that there were cases of looting on the territory of South Ossetia, but they were not of a mass character and they were suppressed with all means available- сказал Кочиев.
"It is extremely difficult to keep control over embittered people. Nevertheless, I know that the Prosecutor General's Office had initiated criminal cases", said Kochiev.

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