NGOs and journalists accused of treason in Abkhazia
photo: Sergei Demyanov, JAMnews
Abkhazia is again searching for ‘traitors’ on social media, and the accused are once again NGOs and journalists.
The scandal began after an anonymous post published under the title of ‘Business or Treason of Apsna?’ Attachments to this post included materials related to a project that began in 2016 under the name of ‘Preservation of the Abkhaz Language by Abkhazians and Georgians’.
Strangely, these materials have long been publically available on the internet.
In one of these documents a number of names are listed of people who participated in the projects, among them famous Abkhaz writers and linguists.
The budget of the project was also included along with photographs from a meeting related to the initiative.
The following conclusion was attached:
A war immediately erupted on social media: a wave of accusations of treason against national interest. The circle of the accused was then expanded to include all Abkhaz NGOs.
Most of the accusers have anonymous accounts, but some people have decided to state their opinion openly.
The retired Abkhaz general Zakan Nanba wrote:
Nanba noted the linguists participating in the project in quotations and reminded readers to ‘thoroughly’ assess the activities of the NGO.
Other participants in the online discussion actively call on the Abkhaz special services to investigate the activities of NGOs. In comments, one can see calls to implement a ‘Law on foreign agents’ – a law that is currently in place in the Russian Federation as well.
H owever, the opposing side did not remain silent – many voiced their opinions that those who had come under the target of the ‘press’, including journalists, linguists and NGOs, had done much more for Abkhazia than those who accuse them of treason.
Asila Lomia suggested that those that are frustrated by the financing of the project by the USA look at the fact that they are using an American resource, Facebook, to put forward their accusations.
T he search in Abkhazia for the ‘internal enemy’ is a well-planned movement, believes Liana Kvarchelia, an expert in one of the most influential Abkhaz NGOs, the Center for Humanitarian Programmes.
Liana Kvarchelia suggested that society think on and answer the following questions:
- Why is it that namely NGOs have been singled out as the internal enemy?
- For whom is it least beneficial that NGOs rally for the independence of Abkhazia and for its democratic development?
- Who doesn’t like that NGOs are trying to get over international isolation and expand its contacts with the outside world?
- Who doesn’t like that NGOs open possibilities for Abkhaz students to continue their education in the universities of Europe?
The attack on the writers, linguists and NGOs is being led by those who believe that Abkhazia will not survive as an independent state, believes Kvarchelia.
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