Georgian Villages in South Ossetia Burnt

Human Rights Watch researchers in South Ossetia on August 12, 2008, saw ethnic Georgian villages still burning from fires set by South Ossetian militias, witnessed looting by the militias, and learned firsthand of the plight of ethnic Ossetian villagers who had fled Georgian soldiers during the Georgian-Russian conflict over the breakaway region of South Ossetia.

“The Russian government should be held to this promise to punish looters but much more needs to be done to ensure that all sides protect civilians,” said Holly Cartner, Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch.

Human Rights Watch in Tbilisi has received alarming reports that civilians are trapped in villages in the Gori district of Georgia that are currently under Ossetian control.

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