Several hundreds of internally displaced persons held a rally outside the Parliament on December 21 to protest against their imminent eviction from over two dozen of buildings they currently occupy in Tbilisi.
According to the Ministry for Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees, IDPs who have moved into about 25 buildings in Tbilisi “spontaneously”, without the consent of the government, will have to be moved out and resettled either to Samegrelo or Kakheti region. According to the ministry, houses in those regions will be transferred in ownership to IDPs.
There have been series of evictions of IDPs from several state-owned buildings in Tbilisi this summer – the way it has been done was criticized by local and international human rights groups.
This time the authorities this month notified IDPs in advance in a written form that they had to move out before the end of this month, which triggered the protest. But as the opposition parties, those having representation in the Tbilisi City Council, said the notification could not be deemed legal as it was not signed by any authorized person.
According to the most recent reports the authorities have extended the deadline for IDPs to leave the buildings before January 15.
IDPs, who were gathered at the protest rally outside the Parliament on December 21, said that extending a deadline was not a solution to their problem, as they insist on allocation of dwelling space for them in the capital city instead of provinces. They complain that they would remain without job opportunities in the provinces.