MINELRES: www.HumanRights.ge: Discrimination of Kurd-Yezids in Georgia

Ucha Nanuashvili minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Sun Oct 17 18:09:01 2004


Discrimination of Kurd-Yezids in Georgia

Ethnical discrimination isn't a widespread topic in Georgia. Nobody speaks
about the problems of Kurd-Iezids; it may be surprising, but return of their
own family names needs great efforts and is rather complicated. "We have to
do with discrimination, which comes from the authorities" - stated Agit
Mirzoev, the leader of NGO - "National Congress of Kurds and Yezids."
According to statistical data, out of 1000 people, who had appealed to the
court of Justice with the same request, only eight men have been entitled to
restore their surnames, all the rest of them have been rejected to satisfy
their request. It should be noted, that such kind of discrimination
especially deals with Kurd-Iezids.

Regaining the Kurds' family names, who represent ethnical minorities living
in Georgia isn't only the case of their willingness, but a matter of
principle. Since 2001 restoration of surnames became practically impossible,
because of complicated procedures foreseen by civil law and legislative
normative acts of Georgia, which don't provide a distinct definition of what
surname regaining means and how a man can restore his primary family name.

According to the information at hand, more than 1000 men had already
submitted their documents to the ministry of Justice demanding the
restoration of surnames and only eight of them managed to regain their own
last names and this was due to their appeal against the negative answer,
they had received.

A representative of ethnical minority must undergo the following stages,
before regaining his/her family name: at first all necessary documentation
should be presented from the archive, written assertion from the Institute
of Ethnography, proving that surname, asked by the person really belongs to
him. The next step should be the transfer of definite sum of money into the
budget on the name of Ministry of Justice and writing of several
applications. All these documents are collected in the civilian registry
office, which sends them to the Ministry of Justice and the latter is
obliged to present positive or negative answer during the terms foreseen by
norms. In case of negative answer, if a citizen demands explanations, the
ministry is obliged to substantiate its decision.

Agit Mirzoev, the leader of one NGO "National Congress of Kurds/Yezids"
states: "when the Ministry of Justice denied restoring my surname and I
asked for explanations, one employee of the ministry told me that the
process of regaining family names was frozen and this had to do with Kurds
only. From the standpoint of judicial procedures, violations really took
place and I consider it personal discrimination exercised towards our
Diaspora. It is almost impossible to restore a surname in the country, which
talks of democratic values and preaches democracy."

The migration process of Kurd-Yezids to Georgia started from 1987 and has
been going on for more than 14 years. Due to extreme poverty the majority of
them have migrated to West Europe, namely to France, as the conditions which
the French government has to offer to refugees and persons asking for
political shelter are more acceptable than in other countries of Europe. At
present there are about 20 thousand Yezids living in Georgia.

See details: http://www.humanrights.ge/eng/stat40.shtml

Ucha Nanuashvili
Executive Director
The Human Rights Information and Documentation Centre (HRIDC)

89/24 Agmashenebeli Ave., 12th floor
Tbilisi, 0102 Georgia
Tel./Fax: (995 32) 95 10 03
Mobile: (995 99) 50 80 36
Email: hridc@internet.ge
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