US Congress passes historic bill, sanctioning individuals who violate human rights in Georgian occupied regions

  • For the first time the House of Representatives passed a separate document on Georgia. A supportive act is more important document than a resolution. Photo: AP., 17 Dec 2018 - 12:29, Tbilisi,Georgia

The US House of Representatives has passed a bill which not only condemns the occupation of Georgian lands but also provides sanctions against those who violate human rights in the two Russian-occupied regions of Georgia – Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia).

Georgian Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani has stated that the bill upgrades the Georgian-US strategic partnership to a genuinely new level.

He said that the bill prohibits entry into the United States and demands the freezing of assets of all individuals who were charged with violation of fundamental human rights in the Georgian occupied regions and for those who assisted in the offences.

The House of Representatives was unanimous in supporting the bill which is a very significant message. The bill responds to the Georgian parliament adopted Otkhozoria-Tatunashvili list, which includes the people who have violated the rights of Georgian citizens in the occupied regions of Georgia since 1990s,” Zalkaliani said.

Zalkaliani stated that the bill also tasks the US executive government to provide a detailed report about the individuals who will face the sanctions for their illegal activities in Georgian regions in the 60-day time after the adoption of the bill.

The US Congress supports Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration and appeals to the US State Secretary to provide a five-year-report about America’s support for Georgia’s defence and security. The bill also asks for a five-year strategy about US intentions in this regard,” Zalkaliani said.

He said that the bill urges the US government to help Georgia against disinformation and anti-western propaganda.

Zalkaliani says that the bill also includes “another, very important section.”

The bill urges the US trade representative to take genuine steps regarding the launch on free-trade talks with Georgia,” Zalkaliani stated.

For the first time the US House of Representatives confirmed Georgia’s supportive act as a separate document. Previously the Congress has confirmed many resolutions in support of Georgia. However, the supportive act is more important document than a resolution, the Georgian Foreign Ministry says.

When the bill is also confirmed by the Senate and signed by the US president, it will come into play.