Human Rights in Abkhazia and Villages along the Dividing Line
On September 29, the Democracy Research Institute held a presentation of the report "Human Rights in Abkhazia and Villages along the Dividing Line".

The report reviews the situation of human rights in occupied Abkhazia. It brings together the materials published by the Democracy Research Institute regarding the occupied region of Abkhazia from March to September 2023.

It should be noted at the very beginning that it is difficult to objectively and comprehensively analyze the current human rights situation in Abkhazia, especially considering that the operation of international organizations is extremely limited in the region due to occupation. The lack of opportunity to assess the rights situation of the population on the ground emphasizes the extreme vulnerability of people living under occupation, especially ethnic Georgians, and the difficulties associated with the protection of their rights.

Given the above-mentioned limitations, the present report does not review in detail several issues that are of constant concern to the Democracy Research Institute. Among them are: improper response to the cases of gross violation of human rights in occupied Abkhazia; the rights situation of ethnically Georgian prisoners in the penitentiary institutions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali; illegal detentions along the occupation line; and what is most alarming, the inefficient policy of the Georgian Government to achieve the release of illegally detained Georgian citizens, including Irakli Bebua. The main part of the report is based on the analysis of information provided to the Democracy Research Institute by contact persons living in occupied Gali, Sokhumi, and Akhalgori, and is therefore limited to the most pressing issues identified during the observation period. During the research, we used mixed methods of collecting information - including desk research, fieldwork, interviews, and information from public sources. For the purposes of the research, we used the acts issued by the central authorities of Georgia, the documents obtained as public information and the so-called legal documentsof Abkhazia; During the visit to the villages located near the occupation line, we interviewed the local population.

Based on the information provided by contact persons, the materials prepared by the Democracy Research Institute on physical integrity, education and freedom of movement were grouped in the first chapters of the report. The report reviews problems related to gender equality in Abkhazia, frequent cases of femicide and the experiences of LGBTQI+ people. The document also analyzes the recently intensified Russian soft power in Abkhazia, the strengthening of Russian influence and control, and the social problems of people living in the villages located alongthe occupation line.

Human Rights in Abkhazia and Villages along the Dividing Line