Thursday, August 14, 2008

Georgia Asks ICJ for Provisional Measures

Georgia Russia This just in from the International Court of Justice . . .

The Republic of Georgia submitted a request to the International Court of Justice for the indication of provisional measures with regard to the proceedings instituted by Georgia against the Russian Federation on 12 August 2008.

            Georgia requests that the ICJ indicate provisional measures in order to preserve its “rights . . . under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (“CERD”) to protect its citizens against violent discriminatory acts by Russian armed forces, acting in concert with separatist militia and foreign mercenaries.”

            In its request, Georgia reiterates its contention made in the Application that “beginning in the early 1990s and acting in concert with separatist forces and mercenaries in the Georgian regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, the Russian Federation has engaged in a systematic policy of ethnic discrimination directed against the ethnic Georgian population and other groups in those regions.”


            Georgia further states that “On 8 August 2008, the Russian Federation launched a full-scale military invasion against Georgia in support of ethnic separatists in South Ossetia and Abkhazia” and that this “military aggression has resulted in hundreds of civilian deaths, extensive destruction of civilian property, and the displacement of virtually the entire ethnic Georgian population in South Ossetia.”


          Georgia claims that “Despite the withdrawal of Georgian armed forces and the unilateral declaration of a ceasefire, Russian military operations continued beyond South Ossetia into territories under Georgian government control”. Georgia further claims that “the continuation of these violent discriminatory acts constitutes an extremely urgent threat of irreparable harm to Georgia’s rights under [the] CERD in dispute in this case.”


          Georgia requests the ICJ “as a matter of utmost urgency to order the following measures to protect its rights pending the determination of [the] case on the merits:


(a)    the Russian Federation shall give full effect to its obligations under [the] CERD;


(b)   the Russian Federation shall immediately cease and desist from any and all conduct that could result, directly or indirectly, in any form of ethnic discrimination by its armed forces, or other organs, agents, and persons and entities exercising elements of governmental authority, or through separatist forces in South Ossetia and Abkhazia under its direction and control, or in territories under the occupation or effective control of Russian forces;


(c)  the Russian Federation shall in particular immediately cease and desist from discriminatory violations of the human rights of ethnic Georgians, including attacks against civilians and civilian objects, murder, forced displacement, denial of humanitarian assistance, extensive pillage and destruction of towns and villages, and any measures that would render permanent the denial of the rights to return of IDPs, in South Ossetia and adjoining regions of Georgia, and in Abkhazia and adjoining regions of Georgia, and any other territories under Russian occupation or effective control.”


The request for provisional measures should be soon available on the ICJ website.  Click here for more.


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