The Enguri Bridge. The border between Georgia and Abkhazia. Photo: Marcin Konsek / Wikimedia Commons

12 March 2020, 23:49

Residents of Abkhazia call themselves hostages of closed border with Georgia

Border guards refuse to let residents of near-border regions returning from Georgia to Abkhazia enter the country and explain their refusal by the absence of rapid tests for coronavirus infection. Residents of the Gali District who left for Georgia to earn money, get medical treatment, or attend funeral ceremonies, have to stay in hotels.

On February 27, the authorities of Abkhazia suspended the issuance of passes to Georgia until April 7, for fear of the spread of the coronavirus infection. Starting from March 14, the border between Abkhazia and Georgia will be completely closed.

The authorities of Abkhazia do not help those who stay in Georgia, the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent has been told by Adgur Arshilava, a resident of the Gali District. The man worked at a construction site in Zugdidi and was unable to return home on March 9.

Adgur Arshilava emphasized that he was ready to undergo a medical examination at the "Inguri" border checkpoint, but he and other local residents were not given such an opportunity.

As of March 11, 24 cases of the coronavirus infection were registered in Georgia.

Adgur Arshilava also said that on March 11, a woman with two children tried to cross the Georgian-Abkhaz border. "She cried and asked border guards to let her enter the country, but they refused to let her in," the man said.

Astamur Latsuzbaya, a resident of Gali, says that he left Abkhazia to attend the funeral of his relative in the Georgian city of Martvili, and now he cannot return home to Abkhazia.

Bota Smyr, a resident of the Gali District, stated that on March 10, he was discharged from a hospital in Zugdidi after a surgery, but at the border he found out that he could not return home.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on March 12, 2020 at 12:28 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Anna Gritsevich Source: CK correspondent

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