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Joint meeting of Temporary Commission on Territorial Integrity Issues, the Foreign Relations and the Diaspora and Caucasus Issues Committee and Education, Science and Culture Committee held at Georgian Parliament

Today, at the joint sitting the Deputy of Chairman of the Supreme Council of the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia, Jemal Gamakharia, spoke about the situation in the education system on the territory of occupied Abkhazia, highlighted the legal status of Georgian language and presented the report on concerning the Issues of the Joint Meeting of the Parliamentary Committees and the Temporary Commission on Territorial Integrity Issues on April 19, 2016.

According to him human rights are openly violated in the occupied territories. In recent years the occupation regime is particularly violating to Georgians have the right to get education in their native language. "In the Occupied territory all human rights norms are violated, which are formulated in the Universal Declaration of the United Nations, and European Convention on the Protection of Human Rights and Freedoms, In the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as well as Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and in other international organizations' documents".

The speaker in detail spoke about conditions of 31 schools restored in the pre-war borders of the Gali district, almost all of these schools are forced teaching into Russian language. "The Abkhazian occupation regime, despite the wishes of the remaining and returned population, is trying to expel the Georgian language from its region with its unique script. The Georgian language and people speaking of Georgian native language remain unlawful in the Abkhazian territory.

It is purposely changing joint ethno-linguistic Georgian and Abkhazian peoples' spiritual or material values of centuries old.

At present teaching in Georgian language is completely banned in the territory of Abkhazia.

Georgian schools, Georgian books and documents are totally destroyed.

Correspondence, conversation, live performance of the song is also prohibited in Georgian language; Abkhazians are trying to erase Georgian traces by all means, destroying Georgian epigraphic culture monuments.

The educational policy in Abkhazia represents the part of the Kremlin's annexes' policy. This aims destroying the bridge built for centuries between Georgians and Abkhazians. Discrimination of the population of the Gali region and gradually overhauling the entire population or gradual expulsion from the territory of Abkhazia is the aim as well.

Russification process in education field can be assessed as an attempt to extend genocide and other forms of ethnic cleansing. As a result of the reforms of the so-called occupation administration there is no Georgian school in the pre-war borders of the Gali district."- stated Jemal Gamakharia.

According to him, despite such pressure and discrimination, students of Gali district are distinguished with good results in the unified national exams.

"Last year, 347 pupils graduated from the schools of occupied territory, out of them 204 pupils took participation in the unified national exams and 84 young people enrolled in different higher education institutions. The school graduates from the Gali district, despite their condition, speak a good Georgian language, successfully participate in the Olympiads and get the medals and this is the result patriotism, and high professionalism of teachers of Gali district and equals to heroism. Ministry of Education and Culture of the A/R of Abkhazia, Gali District Resource Center under the Ministry, as well as Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia keeps attention to everyday problems of Gali district".

Speaker stated about the fulfillment of the recommendations of the Joint Meeting of the Parliamentary Committees on April 19, 2016, of Parliamentary Committees on Territorial Integrity Issues, that part of the recommendations is fulfilled but there is a part of the recommendations remaining, and without the implementation the main goal of the document adopted on April 19, 2016 cannot be achieved. The speaker addressed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to pay more attention to unfulfilled international recommendations first of all, on the recommendation - the gross violation of the right to education in native language and raise the issue in the Council of Europe, UN human rights bodies. "It is good when the Council of Europe will discuss the issue of" conflict in Georgia" and there will be other result and resonance in the Council of Europe if at the Session of the Committee of Ministers or the Committee of Ministers or Parliamentary Assembly, the issue of human rights, or specifically the education and native language status on the territory of occupied Abkhazia, will be raised. The Parliament should also pay attention to this when accepting the resolution. This will have great political significance. This will not only hit the occupants but also encourage local people and give them hope". - stated Jemal Gamakharia.

He reviewed the issue of implementing recommendations on ministries and departments and said that it is still difficult situation in the Gali district for population of Internet access.

The MPs asked questions after hearing the report.

Some of the MPs demanded the session to be closed, as it would not be appropriate to talk about some of the issues raised here. Despite the divergence and controversy, the joint sitting continued in closed regime.

The sitting was attended by the Acting Chair of Government of the A/R of Abkhazia, Vkhtang Kolbaia, members of government of the A/R of Abkhazia and Deputies of the Supreme Council of the A/R of Abkhazia.

Temporary Commission on Territorial Integrity Issues, the Foreign Relations and the Diaspora and Caucasus Issues Committee and Education, Science and Culture Committee took the heard report into consideration and it was decided that the issue will be discussed in the future as well.

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