MINELRES: HRIDC Statement: Pressure on Meskhetian Turks in Georgia

minelres@lists.microlink.lv minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Sat Jan 9 09:25:03 2010

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

On December 24 of 2009 at the Custom's House of the so-called Red Bridge
in Kvemo Kartli region, Georgia officers of the Special Operative
Department of the MIA detained Arif Tashtanov and seized his car. Arif
Tashtanov is a citizen of Azerbaijan; he was transporting the furniture
of repatriate family of Meskhetian-Turks Memed Raymov. They sealed up
the car together with the furniture items. The family was going to
settle in Akhaltsikhe district. 

Initially the car was examined by custom officers who inquired about the
destination of the family. Having learned the family was going to settle
in Akhaltsikhe district, the custom officers did not allow them to
continue their way and called for the Special Operative Department. 
Besides the repatriate family more 14 people were crossing the border to
visit Georgia for various purposes. But they were also detained and
stayed at the custom's house until 12:00 am. After that they were taken
to the SOD building where they stayed for one night. At the SOD
everybody was interrogated and later released at 5:00 pm next day
without any explanations. During the detention they were not allowed to
go vent to the toilet. They were asked to sign the document on not
leaving Georgia for three days.  The motive for their detention was
unidentified substance discovered in the car. During the interrogation
nobody inquired about the unidentified substance; law enforcement
officers only inquired why they had arrived in Georgia and what their
purpose of settlement in our country was. They also inquired who was
funding them to purchase houses. The officers of the SOD asked the
repatriates about the chairperson of Society of Meskhetians-Turks in
Georgia "Vatan" Ismail (Iso) Molidze; they requested information about
his trips abroad, which international organizations he was meeting
there, with which non-governmental and governmental organizations he was
collaborating in Georgia. They asked why Molidze visited Turkey and
about the purpose of his frequent visits in Akhaltsikhe district.  

Law enforcement officers did not allow only those people to continue
their way in Georgia who were traveling to Akhaltsikhe district; but
those who were going to other districts were allowed to go.  

Now, the repatriate family members are in Georgia; the driver, who was
not going to stay in Georgia, cannot return back Azerbaijan because his
car is arrested. 

The Human Rights Center (HRIDC) condemns the fact of oppression on
Meskhstian-Turks who return to Georgia and on the chairperson of the
Society "Vatan". 

The Human Rights Center calls upon the government of Georgia to
implement its responsibilities assumed before the Council of Europe to
promote the repatriation of Meskhstian-Turks. 

The Human Rights Center calls upon the international organization to
monitor the repatriation process of Meskhstian-Turks and particularly of
this incident in order to prevent similar facts in future.

Society "Vatan" has working on the issues related with repatriation of
Meskhstian-Turks since 1997 in Georgia. The aim of the Society is to
promote repatriation of Meskhetian-Turks in Georgia and protection of
their rights. 

Best wishes,

Ucha Nanuashvili

Executive Director

Human Rights Center (HRIDC)
3-A, Kazbegi Ave., Entrance 2, 4th Floor, Apt. 22
Tbilisi, 0160 Georgia
Tel: (+995 32) 37 69 50
Fax: (+995 32) 38 46 50
Cell: (+995 99) 50 80 36
Email: hridc@hridc.org
Web-Site: http://www.hridc.org

VISIT OUR ONLINE MAGAZINE AT: http://www.humanrights.ge
A SORRY CAMPAIGN: http://www.apsni.org
Video Portal on Human Rights: http://www.hridc.tv 
The South Caucasus Network of HR defenders:

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