One of the duties imposed to Georgia while having become a member of the Council of Europe was to move Meskhs deported from Samtkhe (southern part of Georgia) back to Georgia till the year of 2012. According to the Resonance, in case Georgia does not complete the obligation “it will have to let its 41st place to Armenia or Azerbaijan (these countries were accepted to the Council of Europe later than Georgia)”.
Parliamentary faction “the Citizens’ Union” and other members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe made an announcement concerning that part of Meskhs who were deported from Georgia in 1944 and live in Stavropol region, Russia nowadays. In the announcement it is said that large part of the population deported from Samtskhe-Javakheti during Stalin’s regime used to live in the Central Asia and later were moved to Stavropol region. Alarming information has been disseminated recently, according to which, extremist groups of Kazaks living in Stavropol force Meskhs to leave the territory. There is a danger that Meskhs will be deported for the third time.
The government of Russia does not take any measures in order to settle the problem. It suppresses the Georgian government for it to hasten the repatriation process of Meskhs. The suppression may create another conflict in Georgia and cause destabilization in the Caucasus.
Elene Tevdoradze, head of the Human Rights Defense Committee, told the Resonance that Meskhs living in Russia have no rights at all. Russian state does not give them the citizenship of Russia. According to Tevdoradze, local Kasaks sacked Meskhs in April and May. Their small business was hurt as a result.
As to the opinion of them Meskhs, according to Elene Tevdoradze, they are careful about the issue of returning to Georgia because they do not know where they are coming and whether they will be able to start a new life there. That is why “we have decided to raise the question of these people’s condition at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe”, Elene Tevdoradze said. Besides Georgia, representatives of eight more states have signed the above-mentioned announcement.