Ombudsman, Refugee Minister Spar over Evicted IDPs
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 25 Apr.'07 / 20:31

Georgian Public Defender Sozar Subari accused Minister of Refugees and Accommodation Giorgi Kheviashvili of an "indifferent attitude" towards IDPs' problems, while Minister Kheviashvili called on the Public Defender to resign citing his "incompetence."

The two officials slammed each other after several IDP families were evicted from state-provided housing in Tbilisi. The Public Defender said this was done "illegally."

"These people once lost everything [during the conflict in Abkhazia], and when they face it again due to the indifference of the Ministry of Refugees and Accommodation, this is a serious crime…The Ministry did nothing either to stop this illegality or to help the IDPs, who remained without shelter. The Ministry and personally the Minister are responsible for it," Subari said at a news briefing on April 25.

In response Minister Kheviashvili said that the Ministry would allocate funds to allow the IDPs to rent houses, until they received new housing.

"His [Public Defender's] statement was incompetent and I think that he should not hold this position; he should file his resignation immediately," Kheviashvili said at a news briefing later on the same day.

The Public Defender has already sent a letter to President Saakashvili calling for an appropriate response to what he said were human rights violations by the Ministry.

 

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