'Abolish quarantine for visitors from Abkhazia' – detentions at rally in Tbilisi
Tbilisi demands to abolish quarantine for Georgians from Abkhazia
Six people were detained in Tbilisi due to a scuffle with the police during a rally in front of the building of the Abkhaz government acting in exile.
The protesters demanded the mandatory five-day quarantine imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic for Georgian citizens living in Abkhazia, as this requirement forces people to look for workarounds and leads to tragic conclusions.
The last one happened on April 7, when four residents of Abkhazia tried to cross the Enguri River and drowned.
“Isn’t Abkhazia Georgia? If residents of Tbilisi or Poti should not be in quarantine for five days when moving to each other, why does this rule apply to residents of Abkhazia?” one protester told reporters.
The Georgian government previously explained the adoption of the quarantine decision by the fact that it cannot control the epidemiological situation on the “other” side.
By the beginning of 2017, the number of checkpoints on the Georgian-Abkhaz administrative border (the state border in the version of the Abkhaz side) was reduced from six to one. This significantly complicated the already very difficult situation of tens of thousands of ethnic Georgians living in Abkhazia.
They maintain close contacts with the Georgian side. Many people buy food here, study and receive treatment. Many elderly people receive Georgian pensions – but they can take money only by crossing the Enguri bridge, which serves as the only way to officially cross in both directions.