The United States Department of State has released its 2021 Country Report on Human Rights Practices in Georgia. The section on the occupied territories highlights the problems raised by the Democracy Research Institute (DRI).
On May 31, the Democracy Research Institute released a statement about 30-year-old Inal Jabiev, who was arrested on charges of assaulting the car of the de facto South Ossetian interior minister. Inal Jabiev died in the Tskhinvali pre-trial detention center on August 28, 2020, after several days of interrogation. Jabiev allegedly fell victim to torture and inhuman treatment, which led to his death. His case exposed serious systemic problems in South Ossetia/Tskhinvali. In particular, the case contains a whole chain of human rights violations: violation of the right to life, torture, deprivation of the right to a fair trial, restriction of freedom of assembly and association, restriction on access to a lawyer, etc.
The report of the Department of State also focuses on the "family reunification" programme used by the de facto South Ossetian authorities as a tool to exert pressure on locals. The programme was aimed at sending residents of Akhalgori to live in an area controlled by the Georgian central authorities. Those wishing to leave had to get documents proving that their family was really waiting for them on the other side of the so-called border. The most important and dangerous thing in this programme was the content of the "exit document", which deprived the person leaving the district of the opportunity to return and claim the property. The Democracy Research Institute expressed particular concern about the long-term consequences of the programme, calling it a "legal" way to evacuate the ethnic Georgian population from Akhalgori.