MINELRES: Parliament Amends Law on Meskhetian Repatriation

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Fri Dec 26 16:43:01 2008

Original sender: Emil Adelkhanov <emil-ade@cipdd.org>

Parliament Amends Law on Meskhetian Repatriation

Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 24 Dec.'08 / 15:23                      

The Georgian parliament approved on December 23 with its second hearing
amendment to the law on repatriation of Meskhetians envisaging the
extension of deadline for submitting applications from potential
returnees from January 1, 2009 to July 1, 2009.

MP Akaki Minashvili, the deputy chairman of the parliamentary committee
for legal issues, told lawmakers during the discussions of the amendment
that the major reason behind prolonging deadline was "politically
overloaded year" - with two elections and then the August war - which,
he said, failed to pay due attention to the repatriation procedures.

Gia Arsenishvili, the chairman of the parliamentary committee for human
rights, specified that the process of submitting applications to the
Georgian consulate in Russia by potential returnees could have been
hindered with cutting of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Law on repatriation of Meskhetians - survivors or descendants of Muslim
population who were deported by Joseph Stalin from southern Georgia in
1944. was approved by the Georgian Parliament in 2007.

According to the original law, potential returnees must apply at the
nearest Georgian consulate or at the Georgian Ministry of Refugees and
Accommodation some time between January 1 and December 31, 2008.

MP Minashivli said that only 900 applications have been submitted so

The Parliament is expected to approve the amendment to the law with its
third final hearing on December

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