Asida Shakryl congratulated the people of Abkhazia on the Human Rights Day.
10 December 2022

Dear People of Abkhazia!
Every year on 10 December, the world celebrates Human Rights Day – the day the
United Nations General Assembly adopted in 1948 the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
that laid a solid foundation for the endorsement of Human Rights in the world, which was vitally
important for the humanity after the experienced horrors of the Second World War.
It must be said that people of Abkhazia in the context of continuing grave security threats,
immediately after the end of the Georgian-Abkhaz war, in 1994 proclaimed and approved the
Constitution of the Republic of Abkhazia, guaranteeing the rights and freedoms of citizens
enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
This fact itself highlights the unambiguous choice of a course for the development of the
Abkhaz State - it is a democratic system of government, and not an authoritarian one. And this
choice is not random, it is not a tribute to time.
This is the deliberate and free choice of people of Abkhazia, who remember their
millennial history associated with the constant struggle for freedom, for the preservation of their
identity, for independence. Neither past wars nor Stalin's repressions could compel the people of
Abkhazia to accept the violation of their rights and freedoms. People of Abkhazia went out for
rallies in 1957, 1965, 1967, 1978 and 1989 to defend their rights – rights for their language and
their history.
In 1992-1993 people of Abkhazia survived the bloody war with Georgia and defended
their right to identity and statehood.
Abkhazia can be rightfully proud of its democratic achievements. There are, however,
challenges, and I hope that all the Human Rights violations that are reflected in our reports will
be invariably addressed.
It should be noted that Human Rights always require protection from encroachments
particularly in the societies where democratic institutions are not strong enough.
More recently, growing demands for restrictions on freedoms as a means of addressing
threats to Abkhazia's security have raised concerns. Without clear justification, the authorities
have shown their intention of suppressing freedoms by repressive means. This is evident due to
the increasing incidence of the interrogation calls to State Security Service and persistent work
on developing the Law on “Foreign Agencies”, which in effect is directed against the freedom of
expression and active citizenship of persons stating concern and opposition to actions of the
authorities. All this could lead to a revision of the democratic principles of governance in
Abkhazia and a gradual return to an authoritarian system, if not to the methods of the times of
Stalin and Beria. In this regard it is important and timely to stress that it is inadmissible to import
into Abkhaz legislation norms that destroy the values of Abkhaz society. We cannot allow
Human Rights to be sacrificed on the pretext of protecting national interests and security and
when some officials indicate the rules by which to live the Abkhazian society. In this context, it

should be stressed that the best protection of a country's security can be a society in which
Human Rights and Freedoms are respected and guaranteed. This was the approach of people who
protected Abkhazia during the war in 1992-1993 and preserved the independence of the country
in the most difficult post-war times.
Authoritarian and totalitarian methods of governance destroy the principles of relations
established over the centuries in Abkhaz society, which are based on mutual respect,
compassion, and humanity. In my brief statement I will not dwell on all the problems that are
frequently raised, however I think it is important to speak about the problem of poverty of a large
part of the population of Abkhazia, which is a serious limitation in the realization of Human
Rights. To reduce the scale of the problem, more inventive and decisive actions should be taken
to introduce mechanisms that support various forms of local entrepreneurship in our natural
resource-rich country. We urge the international community not to politicize issues directly
related to the rights of the people of Abkhazia and not to create barriers to the free realization of
these rights.
The restriction of Human Rights and Freedoms contradicts to the spirit, principles and
norms of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Constitution of the Republic of
Abkhazia and is a direct threat to the progressive democratic development of the Abkhaz State.
We must therefore ensure that Human Rights are respected in Abkhazia, the rule of law prevails,
ensuring the equality of all before the law and the right of everyone to equal protection of the law
regardless of language, sex, nationality and other differences and circumstances.
Today on Human Rights Day, I would like to address to every citizen of Abkhazia with
words once spoken by Andrei Sakharov, who has become a symbol of the struggle for human
dignity: «We must today fight for every individual person separately against injustice and the
violation of human rights. Much of our future depends on this».
I congratulate every citizen of Abkhazia on Human Rights Day!

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