The Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association responds to the eviction of internally displaced persons from building formerly housing the customs department located at 4 Abzianidze Str. in Tbilisi on January 20, 2011. GYLA’s representative has observed the process from the very beginning.
Eviction on January 20, 2011 started at 7:00 am. Dozens of police officers were mobilized at the location. They hindered journalists and observers to enter the building and monitor the developments inside.
Furthermore, GYLA categorically condemns the fact that displaced persons were transported by trucks in a dishonoring and derogatory manner, as the vehicles were intended for cargo transportation and placing people together with cargos in them was unaccaptable and insulting.
Based on the conversation with some displaced persons, it was found out that the police notified IDPs about forthcoming eviction at night on January 20, 2011, i.e. couple of hours before the eviction. The notification did not include any information about the date of eviction. Furthermore, the displaced persons were particularly displeased by the fact that families that had submitted individual notifications for compensation had not received the subsidy by the time of eviction.
Hereby, we would like to note that provision of compensation is an obligation of the State. Specifically, under the Ordinances of the Government of Georgia N915 (dated December 25, 2008) and N856 (dated July 3, 2010), the State shall ensure provision of compensation for families displaced following the August 2008 War, who have turned down the offer to receive living spaces procured, rehabilitated or newly built by the State and filed applications for USD 10 000 compensation instead.
As under the Ordinance of the Minister of Interior Affairs of Georgia N747, a written consent of the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees of Georgia is required for eviction of persons displaced from the occupied territories of Georgia, we believe that the Ministry failed to secure protection of the rights of displaced persons and issued a written consent when IDPs had not yet received compensation - a substitute for living spaces procured, rehabilitated or newly built by the State. Thus, the Ministry violated paragraph 6.9.1 of Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for vacating buildings for the purpose of providing IDPs with long-term accommodation/relocating displaced persons. The noted paragraph stipulates that the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees of Georgia shall defer transmission of a letter of consent to the police, if by the scheduled day of eviction all individuals that are eligible for financial assistance have not physically received the assistance at least 10 days prior to vacating the building.