Abkhaz officials eliminate right to mother-tongue

The Georgian Messenger
19 March 2004

Abkhaz authorities
eliminate right to mother-tongue

Regretting the fact that the local de facto government has repeatedly
refused to open a branch of the UN Human Rights office in Gali, the
head of the UN Human Rights Office in Abkhazia, Ivar Vikki, said
there many other barriers to human rights protection in the breakaway
republic. “The situation is precarious,” he said on Thursday,
explaining that the lack of effective law enforcement, the
infiltration of criminal groups, the lack of a mechanism to file
complaints and the recent reform of language curriculum all impede
human rights.

Currently the United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia operates a
human rights office in Sukhumi where locals can come and state

“And they do have complaints,” noted MR. Vikki.

Most issued relate to property disputes within the region.

The UN office also conducts regular visits to pretrial detention
centers. Speaking with the Deputy Special Representative of the
Secretary-General for Georgia Roza Otunbayeva, Mr. Vikki also
criticized the de facto authorities for language reform that
eliminates the right to study in the mother tongue.

Currently there are 41 official Armenian schools and 10 unofficial
Georgian schools in the region.