A 46-year-old woman set herself on fire outside the ministry in charge of displaced persons on October 27, media sources and witnesses said.
Nana Pipia, who is an internally displaced person from Abkhazia, was hospitalized with burns to 32 percent of her body and her condition is “grave”, a doctor said.
Witnesses said Pipia poured petrol on herself and set herself ablaze in protest against the authorities’ refusal to provide dwelling in the capital city.
A group of IDPs are camped outside the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees, demanding to provide them with dwelling space in Tbilisi, instead of provincial regions. Several IDPs protesting outside the ministry said although Nana Pipia was not protesting with them throughout these days, she came and told them that she had the similar problem and would “sacrifice” herself to resolving this problem.
After the self-immolation incident, a representative from of the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees said it was impossible to resolve the problem through such “extreme measures.”
“It is impossible to provide everyone with a dwelling in Tbilisi. We are offering living space in ownership [to IDPs] in the provinces and those who are willing to accept should use this opportunity. The problem can not be resolved through this kind of extreme measures [referring to self-immolation],” a spokesperson of the ministry told journalists.
According to the ministry after fleeing Abkhazia in early 90s, Nana Pipia lived in Zugdidi before moving to Tbilisi in 2000. The ministry said that it had offered a dwelling to her in the provincial region, but she refused.