DECREE ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENT OF GEORGIA on Legislative Practice of Apartheid and Racism in the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia

The Abkhaz separatists, acting in alliance with external reactionary and mercenaries, having seized the part of the territory of Georgia in the region of Abkhazia by violent means, continues the unprecedented for modern civilized world the policy of ethnic cleansing, extermination of civilian Georgian population. The process of turning hundreds of thousands of people into refuges and full-scale policy of genocide continue to persist.

The principles of international law, legislation of Georgia and universally recognized human rights are grossly violated.

The aforementioned tragic events can be largely attributed to the policy of the Supreme Council of the Abkhaz ASSR. This body of State power, expected to protect interests of all ethnic groups residing in the Autonomous Republic based on the principles of equality, in fact, turned itself into a legal instrument of Abkhazian fascism, political leverage of apartheid, racism and genocide.

The Law of the Abkhaz ASSR adopted on 9 July 1991 on “Elections of Deputies to the Supreme Council of the Abkhaz ASSR” (with amendments introduced on 27 August 1991).

The aforementioned law provided representatives of Abkhaz nationality, making up only 18 percent of the whole population of the Autonomous Republic, with guaranteed parliamentary majority –28 seats, while the aborigine Georgian population, making up 47,6 percent of Abkhazia- got only 26 seats, and the rest of national minority groups were given –11 seats.

The aforementioned norm of electoral law runs counter to requirements laid down in articles 2, 7, and 21 of “Universal Declaration on Human Rights” (1948), articles 2, 25, and 26 of “International Convention on Civil and Political Rights” (1966) and other international legal documents, defining equality of all individuals before the law, equal rights and obligations, the right to participate in elections based on the principles of equal suffrage and participation in public affairs, regardless of ethnic origin and other considerations.

The establishment of practice of repression of political rights, based on ethnic affiliation, put Georgians-aborigine population of Abkhazia, comprising nearly half of the whole population of Abkhazia - as well as Russians, Armenians, Greeks and other ethic groups- in unprecedented discriminatory situation and has acquired the form of racial discrimination.

Article 1 of the International Convention of 7 March 1966 “Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination” recognizes as racial discrimination any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, color, descent, or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life.

Moreover, anti-Georgian, anti-State policy has been purposefully carried out through gross violation of Georgian legislation and the Constitution of Abkhazia. The leadership of the Abkhazian ASSR, having illegally declared state sovereignty of Abkhazia, continued persistent implementation of legislative and organizational measures that aimed at violation of territorial integrity of Georgia and separation of Abkhazia from Georgia.

The separatist policy and anti-Constitutional measures undertaken by the separatist forced Georgian deputies, as well as several deputies representing ethnic minorities of Abkhazia, to quit the Supreme Council of the Abkhazian ASSR. As a result, this highest body of state power of the Autonomous Republic- Supreme Council and its Presidium became mono-ethnic formation.

The Presidium, vast majority of which were ethnic Abkhazs, in gross violation of the article 103 of the Constitution of Autonomous Republic continued legislative activities, being not authorized to do so.

For example in 1991-1992 the Presidium adopted several normative acts that declared a number of laws of the Republic of Georgia as having no legal force on the territory of Abkhazia. In the same anti-constitutional manner, the so-called Custom Service of Abkhazia was established, while the Prosecutor’s Office and the Ministry of Interior was subordinated to the Presidium. The Presidium assumed the power of making decisions on personnel policy; a decision was made on temporary termination of the process of “propiska” (registration) on the territory of Abkhazia. Moreover, state borders were delimitated and the rules of leaving the territory of the Republic of Abkhazia were drawn up. The establishment of new illegal armed groups, acting under the immediate jurisdiction of the Presidium, further deteriorated the situation and deepened the conflict in Abkhazia.

Having usurped the power, the Abkhaz legislators, being agitated by chauvinistic feelings and sentiments, on 24 June 1992 made a decision, according to which the Constitution of Abkhaz ASSR, adopted in 1978 was declared as null and void and they restored the Constitution of Abkhaz Soviet Socialist Republic, allegedly adopted in 1925. In reality, this Constitution was not adopted in 1925. In fact, at that time there was only draft to the aforementioned law. In 1992, the Abkhaz legislators grossly ignored the constitutional principles, according to which two/thirds of votes are necessary for making decision on similar issues.

The Supreme Authorities of State Power of Georgia, in order to maintain unitary legislation throughout the country, consequently would repeal, suspend or declare null and void those anti-constitutional and anti-democratic acts that aimed at establishment and legal endorsement of the regime of apartheid, the Abkhaz domination over other people living in Abkhazia.

In fact, by pursuing such kind of legislative policy, the Abkhaz political leaders have committed crime against peace and humanity – apartheid, considered as extreme form of racism by the article 2 of the Convention adopted in 1974.

Illegal, anti-constitutional actions of extremist politicians of the Supreme Council of Abkhazian ASSR, including encroachment on the Constitution of Abkhazia, gross violation of universally recognized human rights, unprecedented policy of racial discrimination and apartheid can not be left without adequate reaction and legal assessment on the part of the Georgian Authorities and the international community.

The Parliament of Georgia decrees:

1.  In accordance with the imperative principles of the International Law and paragraph 4 of the article 6, as well as the last paragraph of the article 7 of the law of the Republic of Georgia on “State Power”, to repeal the law of the Abkhazian ASSR on “Elections of Deputies of the Supreme Council of Abkhazian ASSR” (with amendments introduced on 27 August 1991) adopted on 9 June 1991.

2. To dissolve the Supreme Council of Abkhazian ASSR elected on the basis of the aforementioned law.

3. To deprive members of the Supreme Council of Abkhazian ASSR of immunity from persecution.

4. To entrust the Procurator’s Office of Georgia with a task of initiating criminal case against those former Deputies of the Supreme Council of Abkhazian ASSR who have committed crime against peace and humanity.

5. To grant to the Council of Ministers of Abkhazia a status of temporarily evacuated organ; until relevant legislative acts are adopted and new elections are held in the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia, to entrust the Council of Ministers of the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia with a task of exercising the functions of the Supreme body of State power in Abkhazia.

6. To declare null and void all the legislative and normative acts that are at variance with the legislation of Georgia and have adopted by structures that are under the control of the separatist regime or in alliance with the separatists.

7. To declare null and void all the decisions, as well as civil-legal deals that violate the ownership rights on the territory of Abkhazia.

8. Those individuals who have illegally penetrated into the territory of Abkhazia, registered there, grabbed accommodation and land, other material valuables, represent illegal migrant and in accordance with the legislation of Georgia, in case of refusal on their part to voluntarily leave the Republic of Georgia, they shall be expelled from the country.

9. Foreigners, who participated in the hostilities against Georgia, as perpetrators of war crimes directed against peace and humanity, shall be held responsible in accordance with the penal law of the Republic of Georgia.

In accordance with the International law, the period of limitation, right to seek refugee in any country they maybe, shall not apply to the aforementioned individuals, and they shall be subject of extradition to the Georgian Authorities for punishment.

10. Any form of financial or material technical assistance rendered to the Abkhaz separatists shall be considered by the Parliament of Georgia as violation of territorial integrity and political sovereignty of the Republic of Georgia.

11. To ask the United Nations to send its fact-finding mission to Georgia in order to study the facts mass genocide in the Abkhazian region and prepare materials for submission to the International Tribunal.

Deputy Speaker of the Parliament of Georgia V. Rcheulishvili

10 March 1994

(Bulletin of the Parliament of Georgia, 1994, # 16, p. 24-29)