Georgians doing forced labor in South Ossetia

Teams of ethnic Georgians, some under armed guard, were being forced to clean the streets of South Ossetia's capital on Saturday. It was the first apparent evidence of humiliation or abuse of Georgians in the Russian-controlled breakaway republic. Three teams of ethnic Georgians, men in their 40s and 50s, were seen cleaning the streets of Tskhinvali, which was badly damaged in the fighting. When approached, one worker confirmed that he was being forced to work. One group of about two dozen men was escorted through the streets by armed Ossetians and a Russian officer. "Labor even turns monkeys into humans," the Russian officer said. He threatened to arrest an AP photographer if he took pictures. The city was bombed and hit by heavy rocket fire when Georgia launched an offensive Aug. 7 to retake the separatist republic, and it saw fierce street battles after Russia responded to the Georgian attack by sending in hundreds of tanks.