A Georgian student has severely cut his hand while trying to cross the occupation line between Georgia and its western occupied Abkhazia region yesterday, as the de facto authorities closed the only checkpoint with the rest of Georgia on June 27.
Students living in the Russia-controlled region, had to use alternative, dangerous routes to sit university exams on Tbilisi-administered Zugdidi region.
A photo of the student went viral, with several stitches on his hand, after he received treatment at a local hospital in Zugdidi.
Reconciliation Minister Ketevan Tsikhelashvili says that many of the students from occupied regions have already been allowed to the Tbilisi-controlled territory. Photo: Reconciliation Ministry press office.
The Georgian Ministry of Reconciliation and Civil Equality says that the Georgian government has used all levers to help the students safety come to the exam centers.
172 of 185 students registered for the exams from the occupied regions are already on Tbilisi-controlled territory and are taking part in the exams,” the ministry reports.
Georgian Reconciliation Minister Ketevan Tsikhelashvili says that none of the students from the occupied regions will be left without high education.
A special education programme has been created for the students living in the occupied territories. Free training centres have been opened for them in Tbilisi and Zugdidi. After completing the training they will be enrolled in universities without taking the exams. The government also covers their accommodation expenses and gives them the scholarship of 150 GEL,” Tsikhelashvili stated.
The de facto leadership of Abkhazia cited Tbilisi protests and security threats as the reason for the closure of the Enguri Bridge checkpoint.
Tbilisi condemned the step, saying the closure hurts the local population.