TBILISI, DFWatch--Representatives of Georgia and the breakaway region South Ossetia met on Thursday for a regular field meeting, ending it with a feast. The meetings of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanisms have been held regularly since
Posts by DFWatch staff:News DFWatch staff | Nov 27
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian border police arrested nine Bangladeshi and two Turkish citizens on Thursday for illegally trying to cross the border with Turkey. The Interior Ministry said in a statement that the group was attempting to cross the border in an area near Akhaltsikhe,
TBILISI, DFWatch--A house used by Jehovah’s Witnesses was fired at in Tbilisi on Monday night. Witnesses say they heard sounds of shots at about 23:00. At least 15 bullets were fired at the building. No-one was injured. Representatives of the Kingdom Hall
TBILISI, DFWatch--School children appeared outside the government office on Wednesday, enacting scenes where they were forced to abandon their dreams in order to become a wife and mother. The street performance was staged by the Georgian Women’s
Tbilisi, DFWatch - Debate between the representatives of the government and different interest groups intensifies as pro-social labour market reforms are being implemented. On 25 November, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation Georgia hosted the
TBILISI, DFWatch--Activists from a Georgian opposition party which claimed a recent election was falsified called off their 16-day hunger strike on Tuesday after meeting with parliamentarians. Irma Inashvili, the Alliance of Patriots’ candidate for parliament in in October’s by-election
TBILISI, DFWatch--In the ten days that have passed since the November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris, law enforcers in Georgia have prevented 479 foreigners from entering the country. One Georgian citizen and 31 foreign citizens have been detained for
TBILISI, DFWatch--The terror group ISIS threatened Georgia in a video appeal on Sunday recorded in the Georgian language with Russian subtitles. The intelligence service is examining the clip but have not yet made detailed comments. Local media have researched
TBILISI, DFWatch--Three people were detained by Russian soldiers on Monday in a village near the disputed border with South Ossetia. Locals in the village Adzvi told the television channel Imedi that the three were planning to go to a church which lies near
TBILISI, DFWatch--A man was arrested in Georgia Saturday suspected of being connected with ISIS. Davit Borchashvili was arrested as he arrived at Tbilisi airport after having been extradited from Turkey. After his arrest, he was sent to hospital where he is currently receiving
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s Road Department has established restrictions on road throughout the country due to heavy snowfall that started Saturday morning. From 188km to 198km of Zugdidi-Jvari-Mestia-Lasdili road in Svaneti and 142km to 157km of the
TBILISI, DFWatch--A famous Georgian opera singer and philanthropist is considering going into politics as less than a year remains until the parliamentary election. Paata Burchuladze, a world-renowned operatic bass and in Georgia also known
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia and Russia are considering simplifying visa rules. This became clear as diplomats from the two countries met in Prague on Thursday to discuss transport, communication and humanitarian issues. During the regular Prague meeting,
TBILISI, DFWatch--Two mine workers were injured Thursday as result of an accident at a manganese mine in Chiatura, a town in western Georgia. According to Tamaz Dolaberidze, head of the mining and metallurgical workers’ trade union, the accident took
TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian prime minister has accused opposition MPs of influencing members of the European Parliament to not accept visa-free travel for Georgian citizens as long as the current government is in power. PM Irakli Garibashvili
Tbilisi, DFWatch - A small group of activists protested against equating Islam with terrorism in the wake of Paris terrorist attacks. Ten activists gathered in front of the old parliament building in Tbilisi on 18 November for ‘Islam Is Not Terrorism’ rally. The activists held posters saying ‘Terrorism has no religion’, ‘Pray for Syria’, ‘Pray for Africa’, and ‘ISIS is not Islam’, among others. The rally follows a larger gathering on 14 November, when up to 200 people commemorated the victims of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and expressed their solidarity with France. ‘We gathered here to remind everyone that religion isn’t connected to terrorism. Georgia is a multicultural state where people of different religions live. We won’t achieve anything by stigmatising religions. We condemn terrorism, but not religion, which has, as such, little to do with terrorism’, Grigol Gegelia, one of the event’s organisers, told DF Watch. ‘Our aim is to show to the world that Islam doesn’t equal terrorism. Religion doesn’t preach violence, but all of us should fight terrorism and violence in its all forms. It is important to separate a ...
TBILISI, DFWatch--Businessman Bidzina Ivanishvili’s residence in Tbilisi was Wednesday besieged by protesters opposed to the government’s negotiations with the Russian company Gazprom. In September, the Energy Minister revealed that there have been
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia is introducing stricter border checks for visitors from Africa and Asia in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris. Head of Georgian intelligence Vakhtnag Gomelauri said on Wednesday after a session of the Crisis Management Council that the measures
TBILISI, DFWatch--Several members of the party Alliance of Patriots were taken to the hospital on Tuesday after going on a hunger strike ten days ago. Emzar Kvitsiani, Manana Abuseridze, Lali Khutsishvili and Ada Marshania were brought to Chapidze clinic, while
TBILISI, DFWatch--An intelligence official in Georgia says dozens of foreigners have been prevented from entering Georgia, because they were suspected of preparing to go to Syria to join ISIS. Deputy head of the State Security Service Levan Izoria told Maestro TV that the government
TBILISI, DFWatch--A section of the E60, the Tbilisi-Senaki-Leselidze road in western Georgia, was damaged again on Sunday due to flooding. This is the second time flooding has damaged the road. After flooding hit a few days ago, repair work allowed the road
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian intelligence is investigating a Georgian-language blog which publishes propaganda material from the terrorist organization the Islamic State, or ISIS. Georgian users on Facebook Monday shared a link to the website, and called for help
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s energy ministry last week announced a tender for building the country’s first wind farm. According to Giorgi Bezhuashvili, the director of Georgian Energy Development Fund, the turbines are already in Georgia and installation of them
TBILISI, DFWatch--Tbilisi residents gathered Saturday evening in front of parliament to show solidarity with France following the terrorist attacks in Paris. Up to 200 people gathered in front of the old parliament building in Tbilisi in order to commemorate the
TBILISI, DFWatch--Authorities in Georgia are tightening security after the terrorist attacks in Paris. A spokesperson for the State Security Service said on Saturday that there are stricter security measures in force at border crossings and airports. There are also enhanced security measures
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian politicians expressed support for and solidarity withh France on Saturday after the terrorist attacks in Paris. Expressions of support came from politicians as well as organizations and ordinary people. Three bomb attacks
TBILISI, DFWatch--In first nine months of 2015, Georgia’s foreign trade turnover was 14 percent less than in the same period last year. According to a preliminary monthly report published by the National Statistics Department, the foreign trade turnover in January-October
TBILISI, DFWatch--E60, the central highway through Georgia, has been blocked for two days due to bad weather. Vehicles are currently rerouted near Kutaisi in the western part of the country. According to the Infrastructure Ministry’s Road Department,
TBILISI, DFWatch--Tbilisi City Court on Thursday restored the status of the managers of TV channel Rustavi 2, including its director general, and abolished the status of one of the interim managers. The background is a ruling by the city court earlier this year
TBILISI, DFWatch--The feud over the ownership of Georgia’s most powerful anti-government television channel became even more obscure Wednesday evening, as the Public Registry denied having registered a document appointing a new manager of Rustavi 2.
TBILISI, DFWatch--The interim owners of Georgia’s largest anti-government TV channel have appointed the anchor Zaal Udumashvili as new manager, but he rejected the job. The failed attempt to appoint a new manager follows several months of legal
TBILISI, DFWatch--Two dozen activists gathered in Tbilisi Tuesday evening to observe a new national day of remembrance for transgender people, exactly one year after the murder of a transgender woman. The memorial event was held
TBILISI, DFWatch--A draft bill about ending compulsory military service has survived a debate in the judiciary committee of the Georgian parliament. The bill was approved by the committee on Tuesday. Member of parliament Zurab Japaridze, who co-authored the bill, said
TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian government wants the president to move out of the presidential palace and move into the building they have refurbished for him, but the administration of president once again refused to move into the new residence.
TBILISI, DFWatch--An MP from the ruling coalition who was recently criticized for praising Joseph Stalin, announced that he plans to resign as member of parliament after a draft bill he proposed has been discussed. Gogi Topadze from the Industrialists
TBILISI, DFWatch--The opposition party Alliance of Patriots on Sunday demonstrated in Tbilisi, demanding the resignation of two ministers because of election fraud. Several hundred people took part in the demonstration, which started at the Rustaveli statue
Tbilisi, DFWatch - The controversy over the ownership of the major opposition-leaning TV channel Rustavi 2 receives diverse assessments from cabinet members, parliamentarians, civil society members, and diplomats. Speaker of Parliament Davit Usupashvili issued
TBILISI, DFWatch--The interim owners of the largest opposition-aligned TV station in Georgia, Rustavi 2, claim that they are not planning to break into the office of the company with the help of police. But they haven’t specified when they are planning to show up at the premises.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Tbilisi City Court Thursday evening dismissed Rustavi 2's CEO and appointed two persons to run Georgia’s largest TV company until the end of a lawsuit that will decide its ownership. The ruling of the judge, Tamaz Urtmelidze, reads
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s National Bank has presented the design of the new lari banknotes, which will go into circulation in 2016. The denominations that will get a facelift are 20, 50 and 100 lari. They will go into circulation alongside the old banknotes. National Bank
TBILISI, DFWatch--One more former Georgian official was appointed to a high position in Ukraine on Wednesday. Khatia Dekanoidze, who served as minister of education in Georgia in the final months of Mikheil Saakashvili’s presidency in 2012, is now chief of the Ukraine’s
TBILISI, DFWatch--Tbilisi City Court ruled Tuesday to transfer ownership of one of Georgia’s largest TV channels to a businessman whom the opposition believes is acting on orders from the government. The court decided that 100 percent of shares in Rustavi 2, a TV channel sympathetic to the National Movement,
TBILISI, DFWatch--A violent takeover of the embattled Georgian television station Rustavi 2 has apparently been averted, as the Constitutional Court decided to review a case filed in a lower court about the suspension of the government’s power to immediately enforce a court ruling.
Tbilisi, DFWatch - In the wake of release of new wiretapped telephone conversations on Monday, Georgia’s former president makes his first comment denouncing the recordings as ‘doctored’ by the Russian intelligence.
TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian Dream coalition looks likely to gain one seat in parliament after the by-elections yesterday. The coalition’s candidates were leading in both Sagarejo and Martvili, according to preliminary results (http://results.cec.gov.ge/).
TBILISI, DFWatch--By-elections for parliament and local elections went ahead in Georgia on Saturday with some minor irregularities. Two seats in parliament are up for election in Martvili and Sagarejo while there are local elections in Dmanisi, Vani, Khobi and Sagarejo.
TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian president views as it unacceptable to have a senior official in a foreign country interfering in domestic affairs and planning mayhem in Georgia. President Giorgi Margvelashvili’s briefing on Friday was held in response to the controversy
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s State Security Service, which has kept on probing into alleged coup attempt since October 24, summoned director general of opposition TV Channel Rustavi 2 and a prominent member of the United National Movement for questioning
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s former president, who now serves as Odessa regional governor in Ukraine, commented over recently published two audios containing his conversation with his Georgian allies where he mentions possibility
TBILISI, DFWatch--The CEO of Georgia’s main opposition TV channel and a key opposition figure both confirm the authenticity of audio tapes about a ‘revolution scenario’. The recording has sent ripples across the country's political establishment
TBILISI, DFWatch--Trial over ownership of Rustavi 2 was postponed for Friday, amid eerie predictions of its director that the riot police has been put on alert in order to forcibly take over Georgia’s main opposition-leaning TV channel. Nika Gvaramia,
Tbilisi, DFWatch - Georgia ranked 24th among 189 countries, and still the first among post-Soviet countries, except Baltic States, in Doing Business 2016, a World Bank annual report that measures the costs to firms of business regulations, published on Wednesday, a way below of its 15th position last year.
TBILISI, DFWatch--A member of parliament from the ruling Georgian Dream coalition Monday evening openly praised Joseph Stalin and called him ‘the greatest Georgian’ of the 20th century. Gogi Topadze, leader of the Industrialists Party, met Giorgi Kandelaki,
TBILISI, DFWatch--The speaker of the Georgian parliament views with suspicion material published on a website in Ukraine indicating a coup plan against the government in Georgia. Speaker Davit Usupashvili claimed that if a criminal probe is conducted solely based on information provided by the Ukrainian blog
TBILISI, DFWatch--The lawsuit about the ownership of an opposition television channel resumed in the city court in Tbilisi on Monday. The judge ordered Rustavi 2’s lawyers to present an estimate of expected losses after the court ordered the seizure of the company’s property.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Possession of up to 70 grams of marijuana is no longer a crime in Georgia, following a ruling in the Constitutional Court. The Court on Saturday struck down as unconstitutional a passage in the law that made it punishable by from 7 to 14 years
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s Prosecutor General’s Office Saturday questioned a former ally of ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili on suspicion that he is part a coup plan. A transcript of an alleged conversation between Saakashvili and Giga Bokeria,
TBILISI, DFWatch--The Prosecutor General’s Office in Georgia says the director of the embattled television company Rustavi 2 and another person gave contradictory testimony on Thursday in a blackmail case. Rustavi 2 director Nika Gvaramia
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s speaker of parliament calls on authorities and the opposition to avoid making statements that justify violence, as the tension continues surrounding a lawsuit about the ownership of opposition TV channel Rustavi 2. Following
TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian Prosecutor General’s Office Thursday evening named the person who allegedly passed on messages from the government to the director of a television company. Rustavi 2 director Nika Gvaramia said Wednesday that
TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian president Thursday criticized the prime minister for a statement made the same day about the leaking of abuse videos and a lawsuit to determine the ownership of a television company. Instead of defusing the situation PM Garibashvili’s
TBILISI, DFWatch--More footage of rape and torture was published on a Ukrainian website Thursday evening, as attacks on the former ruling party’s offices continue throughout Georgia. Members and supporters of the National Movement believe that the footage
TBILISI, DFWatch--The Prosecutor General’s Office has launched an investigation prompted by a live TV speech on Wednesday in which the director of Rustavi 2 claimed he was blackmailed. According to the short statement by the Prosecutor General’s
TBILISI, DFWatch--Police in Georgia have detained four persons for for extortion. Wednesday, the Interior Ministry said that the four, Giorgi, 24, Giorgi, 25, Vladimer, 31 and Mikheil, 58, had threatened to kill their victim if he didn’t pay them 55,000 laris (USD 23,000).
TBILISI, DFWatch--A day before Tbilisi City Court is to announce a ruling in a lawsuit about Rustavi 2, the director of the TV company went on the air to tell viewers that he was threatened by representatives of the government. Instead of the ordinary news program
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian Energy Minister Kakhi Kaladze on Tuesday sought to downplay criticism against his call for increasing the import of Russian natural gas, explaining that the extra supplies from Gazprom
TBILISI, DFWatch--The street fair Tbilisoba was this year mostly concentrated in Rike Park and the old part of the capital. Tbilisoba has been celebrated in the second half of October every year since 1979. It usually includes squeezing grapes in massive
Tbilisi, DFWatch - United National Movement’s several regional offices were attacked in Georgia on Monday, in the wake of publication of disgusting video depicting rape of a detainee allegedly during the previous government. Small crowds of 30 to 100
TBILISI, DFWatch-- Georgians still prefer European Union over the Russian-led Eurasian Union, but the difference declined significantly over the last year, results of the last NDI polls show. Over the last year, the support of
TBILISI, DFWatch--In a new poll, 35 percent of Georgians say they don’t know who they would vote for if there were a parliamentary election tomorrow. The poll, which was published by the National Democratic Institute (NDI) shows that both the Georgian Dream
TBILISI, DFWatch--Remittances to Georgia in September went down 32.9 percent compared to last year, according to the latest monthly report by the National Bank. Remittances, or money that individuals send home to relatives from particularly Russia and Europe,
Tbilisi, DFWatch - Legal experts, lawyers, judges, and non-governmental organizations gathered at Holiday Inn in Tbilisi to discuss draft amendments to the Code of Criminal Procedures concerning jury trial worked out by the Ministry of Justice.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Police in Georgia on Friday detained an opposition-leaning journalist for putting up a poster mocking billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili. Tamar Chergoleishvili, founder of a television company strongly supportive of the National Movement, was detained with two others as they stuck a poster on
TBILISI, DFWatch--Chinese investors are considering building a new toll road through Rikoti Pass, connecting the eastern and western parts of Georgia. The regional development minister said Thursday during the Silk Road Forum that passing a road through Rikoti may
TBILISI, DFWatch--Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda of the International Criminal Court (ICC) arrived in Georgia Thursday, to determine if there is basis for a trial for war crimes in the 2008 war. Bensouda earlier this week filed a 160 page long request to authorize an investigation
TBILISI, DFWatch--Eight religious organizations in Georgia have filed a lawsuit with the Constitutional Court, demanding to get rid of legislation that provide beneficial tax terms for the Orthodox Church. Georgia’s Tax Code, as well as an agreement between
TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian parliament is to consider making it mandatory to get a court’s permission for persons of the age 16 to 18 to get married. The bill was put forth by parliament’s judiciary committee and is based on a recommendation
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s foreign trade turnover in the first nine months of 2015 went down by 13 percent compared to last year, according to a preliminary monthly report published by the National Statistics Department. According to the monthly report,
TBILISI, DFWatch--The breakaway region South Ossetia plans to open a new border crossing to make it easier for relatives to keep contact. This will be the fourth border crossing between the breakaway area and Georgia proper, and will connect the villages Khelchua
TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian government will from next year allow the Public Defender’s Office to take pictures inside prison. This will allow photographic evidence to be obtained in cases where there is suspicion of abuse, or when sanitary conditions
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s Constitutional Court has suspended the work of a newly created agency that was to take over the supervision of private banks; previously the responsibility of the National Bank. The ruling was made during a lawsuit against the parliament
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia has the highest proportion of undernourished among South Caucasus countries, according to a new report. From 2014 to 2016, the level of undernourished is estimated to be 7.4 percent. This is higher than both Armenia (5.8 percent) and
TBILISI, DFWatch--President Giorgi Margvelashvili on Monday presented Pikria Chikhradze as his new political adviser. Chikhradze is active in the New Rightists Party and is most known for her work as a youth activist in the National Liberation Movement,
TBILISI, DFWatch--An Iranian news agency reports that Omar Al-Shishani, an ISIS commander who originally comes from Pankisi, Georgia, has died in an Iraqi air raid. The reports have not yet been confirmed. IRNA reports that Iraqi fighter jets wounded
TBILISI, DFWatch--One man died in a landslide in southwestern Georgia on Sunday. The victim, 58 year old Otar Davitadze, was on night watch supervising machinery in an open pit mine when a landslide hit in the village Akhalsheni, Khelvachauri.
TBILISI, DFWatch--The United States has listed a Chechen with Russian citizenship who was released by the Georgian government in 2012 as connected to the Islamic State. The updated list of individuals affiliated with Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, states
TBILISI, DFWatch--Construction work began Saturday in the north of Tbilisi on what will become in Georgia’s first palliative care center for children. The initiators of the new hospice marked the start of construction work in the village Dighomi, a Tbilisi suburb.
TBILISI, DFWatch--The International Criminal Court said Wednesday that a prosecutor will begin studying the events in the 2008 Russia-Georgia war to investigate possible war crimes. The probe will look at crimes committed by both parties in connection
TBILISI, DFWatch--Strong rain overnight Thursday caused flooding and landslides in the Adjara region, in the southwest of Georgia. In Kobuleti, a Black Sea coastal resort, railway traffic was cut off and landslides triggered in the highlands. No casualties have
TBILISI, DFWatch--Tbilisi-based non-governmental organizations (NGOs) warn against selective justice from authorities and call on the government to treat everyone equally. The NGOs’ express concern about the detention of the three activists from Tavisufali
TBILISI, DFWatch--The Prison Ministry on Tuesday welcomed an objective investigation into its procurements. According to a report by the State Audit Office on Monday, the same company won all 14 food-related tender in 2013 and 2014. The report also
TBILISI, DFWatch--The Free Democrats has rejected a proposal by the National Movement to hold a snap election one year before the next scheduled one. UNM activists demonstrated Monday evening outside the residence of former Prime Minister
TBILISI, DFWatch--The State Audit Office Tuesday published a report which indicates that there may have been violations in the Prison Ministry’s public procurements. The report covers the years 2013-2014 and shows that in 14 bidding rounds announced by the ministry,
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili says there is too little attention being paid to Georgia as a victim of Russian aggression. He told the television channel Rustavi 2 upon returning from the recent United Nations general assembly that
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s former ruling party the National Movement demands a snap election, a year before the next scheduled parliamentary election. At a demonstration by party activists outside the residence of businessman Bidzina Ivanishvili Monday, Giga Bokeria
TBILISI, DFWatch--The family of a soldier who died from a gunshot wound a few days ago refuse to believe that it was a suicide. The deceased, Tamaz Tamarashvili (33) was a private in the Fifth Brigade of the Georgian armed forces. Monday, his family and relatives
TBILISI, DFWatch--Three activists were detained Friday for assaulting a member of parliament. The detainees are Nika Narsia, Mirian Deisadze and Kakhaber Gabunia, all members of the youth group Tavisupali Zona (Free Zone), which on many occasions
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia was hit by a spell of bad weather Saturday night, with hailstorm, strong rain and high winds. The hailstorm in Akhaltsikhe, in the south, lasted for almost one hour. In several villages, crops were destroyed and houses damaged.
TBILISI, DFWatch--A lengthy and intense debate in the Georgian Football Federation Saturday ended in the election of Levan Kobiashvili as new president. GFF’s former president Zviad Sichinava resigned after the UEFA Super Cup match in Barcelona-Sevilla in Tbilisi.
TBILISI, DFWatch--A court hearing in Tbilisi in a lawsuit about control over Georgian television company Rustavi 2 ended without much progress Friday. The preparatory hearing in Tbilisi City Court concerned a lawsuit by businessman Kibar Khalvashi against Rustavi 2.
TBILISI, DFWatch--The city assembly in Joseph Stalin’s hometown Gori on Friday voted against the idea of re-erecting a six-meter high statue of the dictator. The statue was unveiled in 1952 on the central square in Gori. After the end of the Soviet Union
TBILISI, DFWatch--The number of visitors to Georgia increased 12.6 percent in September, compared to the year before, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs’ department for analysis. The total number of visitors in September was 568,663. Out of this, 227,130
TBILISI, DFWatch--Tbilisi City Court on Thursday ordered the seizure of the shares in the company that owns the television channel Rustavi 2. The court ordered the seizure of all shares in TV Sakartvelo, which holds 51 percent of the shares in Rustavi 2. The latter
TBILISI, DFWatch--By September 28, Georgia had exported 23.3 million bottles of wine so far in 2015. 3.5 million bottles were exported in September, according to the Agriculture Ministry; the highest monthly rate in 2015. The export of wine has tripled, compared
TBILISI, DFWatch--A TV channel in Georgia has published footage apparently proving that the Georgian police allows friends of government officials to violate traffic rules if they can show a special permit. The licences to drive dangerously were introduced
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili has rejected a call by his predecessor Mikheil Saakashvili that it is a test of ‘decency’ to pardon three former top government officials who are convicted of crimes committed while in office. Saakashvili, who is now
TBILISI, DFWatch--A dead body has been found in the river Mtkvari, increasing the number of confirmed deaths after the June flood to 20. Two people are still missing. Moambe, the news program on Channel 1, reported that Elizbar Baghashvili, 56, has been found.
TBILISI, DFWatch--A European human rights observer claims Georgia is using excessive pre-trial detention for political reasons against former government officials. The new report is written by Pedro Agramunt from the Spanish People's Party, and published by
TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian parliament on Tuesday started reviewing a proposal to abolish compulsory military service and move to a professional military based on contracts. The goal of the bill is to redirect finances spent for compulsory military service
TBILISI, DFWatch--A small, male-dominated village in the northeast of Georgia has for the first time appointed a woman as a head of municipality. Monday, Tamar Margoshvili, 55, took the post as gamgebeli in Duisi, a village in Pankisi Gorge, Georgia,
TBILISI, DFWatch--Police in Georgia Sunday detained two Georgian for beating two Nigerians in Tbilisi. The attacked happened on September 19 when one Georgian citizen and his two Nigerian friends were walking on Rustaveli Avenue in the capital.
TBILISI, DFWatch--A statue of Joseph Stalin may be put back up in his hometown Gori, where positive sentiments towards the late Soviet ruler are still high. The city council is to discuss the issue on Friday, October 2. If the council approves the decision, the statue will be erected in the small park in central Gori, near the Stalin museum. The overall cost of the project is up to 2 million laris, or about USD 840,000.
TBILISI, DFWatch--The National Bank of Georgia has issued a new anniversary coin in connection with the national currency's 20 years of existence. The nominal value of the new collector's item is 20 laris, and it was manufactured by Mennica Polska in Poland.
Tbilisi, DFWatch - “After all contacts were broken, nothing is being built in Abkhazia,” Paata Zakareishvili, State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality, stated at the parliament library on Sunday.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s ombudsman has called attention to discrimination against fathers at the Children's Infectious Diseases Clinical Hospital. Fathers are not allowed to stay at the clinic at night to supervise their kids. The ombudsman Wednesday described
TBILISI, DFWatch--The human rights committee in Georgia’s parliament Thursday favored a law that would guarantee that at least 25% of representatives are women. The law concerns those representatives who are elected
TBILISI, DFWatch--A leading member of parliament from the ruling Georgian Dream coalition is leaving in order to take the helm of the government's Partnership Fund. It is not yet known who will replace Davit Saganelidze as member of parliament. According
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s National Bank intervened to bolster the flagging currency lari on Tuesday, causing its value to rise four tetris against the US dollar. The Bank put USD 40 million up for auction, out of which USD 27 million has been sold so far. The lari currently
TBILISI, DFWatch--A Georgian soldier has died in Afghanistan while taking part in the NATO-led Resolute Support mission. Private Vasil Kuljanishvili was from the 43rd battalion of the IV Mechanized Brigade. Sergeant Paata Rostobaia from the same
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia's national currency is four cents away from reaching its lowest point ever against the US dollar. When the lari began to drop rapidly in November, 2014, one USD was about 1.75 laris. Today, the Georgian National Bank’s official exchange
TBILISI, DFWatch--A conservative MP from the ruling Georgian Dream coalition wants to make changes to the anti-discrimination law passed by parliament last year which he himself voted for at every hearing. Soso Jachvliani, an armwrestler, actor and film director,
TBILISI, DFWatch--A police officer is in hospital in a serious condition after being stabbed Sunday night in a Tbilisi suburb. According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the policeman was stabbed with a knife. An investigation has been launched for attacking a policeman.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Border police in Georgia Sunday detained four people for illegally trying to cross the border with a infant in the trunk of their car. According to the Interior Ministry, the four were trying to go to Turkey, avoiding the official border crossing. One of the grownups
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia will send two separate delegations to the upcoming UN general assembly in New York, one headed by the prime minister and the other by the president. Similar to what happened last year, there was a debate that lasted for several months
TBILISI, DFWatch--Demonstrators Friday called for a proper investigation into an Azerbaijani woman’s suicide last year. The demonstrators outside the Prosecutor's Office were raising awareness about the case of Khanum Jeiranova (30), an ethnic Azeri
TBILISI, DFWatch--Groups rallied outside the office of Radio Liberty in Tbilisi Friday evening against a homophobic and xenophobic letter written by a sexologist and published on the radio station’s website. The controversial letter was written by Archil Bakradze,
TBILISI, DFWatch--After one day in freedom, Tbilisi’s former mayor was Friday sentenced to four and a half years in jail. Although the city court in Tbilisi sentenced Gigi Ugulava to nine years, the sentence was reduced to four years and six months in compliance
TBILISI, DFWatch--The Swedish telecommunications giant TeliaSonera is pulling out of several countries, including Georgia. All subsidiaries will be put up for sale in Georgia, Uzbekistan, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Tajikistan it was announced Thursday.
TBILISI, DFWatch--An anti-hail shell fell on a house in Kakheti Wednesday night, damaging the roof and wall. Delta, a defense company run by the government, installed the anti-hail system in Kakheti earlier this year to protect the harvest. Hail has long
TBILISI, DFWatch--Tbilisi City Court released former Mayor of Tbilisi Gigi Ugulava from detention Thursday night. Upon his release, the most prominent leader of the Georgian opposition vowed to challenge “Ivanishvili’s grip on power”. He said the National
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s Constitutional Court Wednesday evening announced a ruling that the detention of former Tbilisi mayor Gigi Ugulava is unconstitutional. He is awaiting trial for numerous charges including corruption. The ruling sets aside a provision in the
TBILISI, DFWatch--There are twice as many men as women running public bodies in Georgia, according to a new report. The report by Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI), published on Wednesday, indicates that among 773 employees in higher
TBILISI, DFWatch--The semifinal of Miss China will be held in Georgia. According to the National Tourism Administration, a team from Phoenix TV arrived in Tbilisi September 12 along with the girls from China and will be staying until September 22. There are 16 participants
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s Constitutional Court on Tuesday failed to announce a ruling concerning the pre-trial detention of the former Tbilisi mayor, claiming that the judge feels ill and he cannot be present to sign the ruling. Ex-Mayor Gigi Ugulava, an ally of former
TBILISI, DFWatch--Remittances to Georgia fell by 35.1 percent in August 2015, compared to the same period last year, according to new figures published Tuesday by Georgia’s National Bank. The new monthly report shows that the total amount of remittances
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s education ministry has postponed the start of a new school subject as conservatives criticize it for eroding traditional values. Some were expecting the subject called ‘society and me’ to be taught in schools from the beginning of the 2015 fall semester. ‘Society and me’ will
TBILISI, DFWatch--Farmers continued their protest in the Georgian wine region Kakheti on Monday and clashed with police as they blocked the main highway. Several people were detained by police as they cleared the road. One member of parliament was attacked.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Exactly three months after a devastating flood, Tbilisi Zoo reopened on Sunday with surviving animals on display. The zoo’s management held an opening exhibition with pictures of the animals that either drowned or were killed, and presented
Georgia’s foreign trade turnover in the first eight months of 2015 was 14 percent less than the year before, according to figures published Monday by the National Statistics Department, Geostat.
TBILISI, DFWatch--About 130 tourists from Georgia are still stuck in Antalya, Turkey, several days after a tour operator failed to pay the airline for their flights. Initially, about 400 passengers were stranded in Turkey. The Georgian airline Airzena
TBILISI, DFWatch--In the eastern Georgian region of Kakheti, farmers have been protesting for several days because of low price of grapes, which is their only source of income. Four people were detained during a protest Thursday in Gurjaani, as farmers blocked the
TBILISI, DFWatch--Around 400 Georgian passengers are currently stuck in Antalya, Turkey, as the airline Airzena refuses to carry out a flight because a tour company didn’t pay for the tickets. For more than a day, passengers have been waiting to return to Georgia. The
TBILISI, DFWatch--The Chinese company Dongfang Electric plans to construct a 150 MW thermal power station in Tkibuli, a mining town in western Georgia. The announcement came during a China visit by Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and is further
TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian president Thursday signed a bill into law that will take away responsibility for supervising private banks from the National Bank and hand it to a new agency controlled by the government. President Giorgi Margvelashvili, the
TBILISI, DFWatch--Direct foreign investments in Georgia went up 81 percent in the second quarter, compared to the same period in 2014. The jump in foreign investment became known Wednesday as Georgia’s National Statistics Department presented
The UK ambassador attributes the recent criticism over her speech at the international conference to the poor translation, stating that some parts of it were misrepresented. Salome Zourabishvili, a French-Georgian politician and former Minister
TBILISI, DFWatch--A Georgian politician lashed out at a British diplomat on Facebook Tuesday, accusing her of being ‘neocolonial’. UK Ambassador to Georgia Alexandra Hall Hall’s remarks at a conference in Tbilisi, organized by McCain Institute,
Local fraction of Georgian Dream alleges Mr Saakashvili’s “Armenian origin” in a fresh display of anti-Armenian sentiment. NGO platform No to Phobia issued a statement condemning the use of Armenophobic
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian Trade Union has won a lawsuit against RMG Gold, the mining company which destroyed an ancient gold mine at Sakdrisi in December, 2014. Many locals have been employed in the company, and the jobs sustain families in surrounding villages.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Ukraine intends to sign a free trade pact with the EU without further postponement, despite warnings from Russia, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said in Brussels on Monday. Ukraine’s foreign minister met with the EU Commissioner
In December, 2014, an archaeological site in southern Georgia was destroyed by the Russian mining company RMG Gold. What was lost in the blasts at Sakdrisi? Professor Thomas Stöllner at the University of Bochum in Germany is one of the people
TBILISI, DFWatch--Two politicians from Abkhazia have been banned from entering Moldova for ten years after they celebrated the 25 year anniversary of the breakaway region Transnistria. On the way back from the celebration, Sukhumi's vice president Vitaly Gabniya
TBILISI, DFWatch--The National Movement, former ruling party, does not plan to put up candidates in the by-elections for two vacant seats in the Georgian parliament. Instead, the former ruling party plans to use its legally guaranteed free commercial time on TV. The governing
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s former president Mikheil Saakashvili, who now serves as a governor of the Odessa region, says oligarchs are the foremost obstacle for Ukraine’s nascent statehood. “Ukrainian oligarchs,
DFWatch (29 August–4 September 2015) Daghestan Two suspected militants were killed in Magaramkent district of Daghestan on August 29. According to the law enforcement officials,
TBILISI, DFWatch--A 38 year man was arrested on Saturday for growing marijuana in the northwest of Georgia. The man is charged with illegal purchase and possession of a large amount of drugs. Police searched the man’s house in the village
Tbilisi, DFWatch - The fourth weekly political TV programme may be cancelled on Georgia, as the Public Broadcaster (GPB) may suspend Pirveli Studia (“First Studio”), soon after announcement of marriage of its hostess with the Secretary General of opposition political party.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Electricity prices have gone up in the Georgian capital. Utility company Telasi explains the decision with a drop in the national currency lari, as well as increased prices for purchasing electricity and increased transmission taxes. There are three
TBILISI, DFWatch--A man killed a 39 year old woman working in a shop in western Georgia on Thursday for not letting him borrow a beer. The murder took place in Khelvachauri, in the Adjara region. The suspect has been detained, according to the Ministry
Georgian Prime Minister distances himself from the recent cancelation of two popular political talk-shows on Imedi TV, stating that it is a separate decision of the TV company's management. "If a TV company cancels a talk-show, this is a separate decision by its top management, which I'm not going to comment," - Irakli Garibashvili, PM, said to a dozen of journalists at the rugby training center inauguration in Didi Digomi, Tbilisi's western outskirt. "For the third year, the country and the government has proved that media freedom in the first place… The result is that media is free," Irakli Garibashvili said, adding that in the last three years there has not been any instance of pressure on the media from authorities, and this fact "needs recognition and appropriate appreciation." Imedi TV, a large national Georgian TV company owned by the family of late mogul, Badri Patarkatsishvili, last Sunday announced that it will suspend two popular political talk shows ‘temporarily’ until 2016, promising to change their format and offer viewers ‘a new product.’ Imedi’s decision was met with a negative response from viewers. Opponents of ...
TBILISI, DFWatch--A statement by a leading parliamentarian about the president and knitting pins has caused puzzlement in Georgia. A spokesman for the president’s administration called it insulting and unethical. "I blame Ivanishvili for taking the knitting pins out of the hands of the NGO and Soros guys ("ენჯეოელი სოროსელი")
TBILISI, DFWatch--One more talk show has been taken off air in Georgia. The Sunday evening program ‘Kviris 2030’, which has been a venue for views close to former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, will end in September, producer Vasil Maglapheridze said on Tuesday.
Tbilisi, DFWatch - Inga Grigolia, a popular TV host, wrote on her Facebook that politicians, presumably from the ruling Georgian Dream, didn't want her on air before the elections, referring to the parliamentary elections planned in 2016.
Tbilisi, DFWatch - Tamar Beruchashvili, Minister of Foreign Affairs, was replaced by Giorgi Kvirikashvili, who served as Minister of Economy. The government reshuffle was
TBILISI, DFWatch--A Georgian TV company on Sunday announced that it will suspend two popular political talk shows ‘temporarily’ until 2016, promising to change their format and offer viewers ‘a new product.’ Imedi’s decision was met with a negative response from viewers.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Six men broke into a dolphinarium in Batumi on Sunday, and demanded that the dolphins be set free. The six activists were all detained and questioned. According to Batumi Dolphinarium’s management, the group broke
TBILISI, DFWatch--A former police officer was shot and killed outside Tbilisi Friday night. A former deputy interior minister was seriously injured. The deceased is Revaz Kalomletsavi, a cousin of the injured, Levan Gvazava, who is in hospital with bullet-inflicted
TBILISI, DFWatch--Russia sees the opening of NATO’s new training facility in Georgia as a ‘continuation of the provocative policy of the alliance aimed at expanding its geopolitical influence.’ NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Thursday opened
TBILISI, DFWatch--Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko is visiting Batumi, a seaside city on the Black Sea coast. Yushchenko, who became famous as one of the leaders of the Orange Revolution in 2004, is accompanied by his wife and not visiting
Tbilisi, DFWatch - NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg Thursday unveiled new Joint Training and Evaluation Centre in Georgia during his first visit to the country. The centre is located inside the functioning military facility at Krtsanisi settlement,
TBILISI, DFWatch--Russian border guards on Tuesday detained two Georgian citizens who were out attending cattle in Bershueti, which borders with the breakaway region South Ossetia. The detainees are Muraz Javakhishvili (75) and Ivane Sekhniashvili (41).
TBILISI, DFWatch--A seven meter tall steel statue which is one of the coastal city’s most important tourist attractions was damaged while being moved. The Nino and Ali statue stands on the seafront and portrays a man and a woman. It is lit up by colored
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s currency lari has reached its lowest level since 1999, but the government is optimistic and blames media and analysts of being incompetent and engaging in speculating. The lari is now at 2.416 against the US dollar, near the all-time low
TBILISI, DFWatch--Heavy rain battered the Black Sea port of Batumi on Tuesday, causing flooding. Several streets including the entrance to the city were blocked by the flood, while rescue workers tried to help with the first floors of buildings that were full of water.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Tbilisi’s futuristic House of Justice has once again run into difficulties, this time because cracks appeared on one of its trademark “petals”. People will be restricted from walking under the damaged area from August 25 because of the danger,
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s National Food Agency on Monday said there has been found Listeria bacteria in ice cream of the brand "Saojakho". The contaminated products originate from the Mkinvari factory in Samtredia, a town in the western Imereti region of Georgia.
Tbilisi, DFWatch - Last year, rivalry between Georgia's top two men over who would represent the country at the UN climate conference led to weeks of uncertainty and squabbling. That time, the president had to back down.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Police in Tbilisi on Sunday detained three employees of CT Park for illegal deprivation of liberty. CT Park is the company responsible for parking in the capital. Earlier that day, the three detainees moved a car parked near Eliava market
TBILISI, DFWatch--Many tourists were airlifted by helicopter on Sunday after being stuck in Tusheti in the northeast of Georgia due to bad weather. Emergency crews evacuated more than 350 people by helicopter from the disaster zone, and brought
TBILISI, DFWatch--A minibus overturned in western Georgia on Saturday, injuring 11 people, three of whom are in a serious condition. The minibus, a Ford Sprinter, was carrying tourists from Russia, Serbia and Poland when it ran into a utility pole, near the village
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s Sports Ministry has handed a property in Tbilisi to a Georgian who is a professional NBA player in the United States, playing for Dallas Mavericks. Zaza Pachulia, who is also captain of Georgia’s national team, plans to establish
TBILISI, DFWatch--The Civil Litigation Chamber at Tbilisi City Court ruled in favor of a female claimant and decided to leave a frozen embryo at her disposal. Her husband was against surrogacy. At a press release published on its website, Tbilisi City Court states that the
TBILISI, DFWatch--Over a dozen wine-producing villages in Kvareli, in the Kakheti region, were hit by a strong hailstorm overnight on Thursday that almost totally devastated the harvest, damaged houses and vehicles and tore down trees. According to Kvareli
TBILISI, DFWatch--Russia has stepped up efforts to use 'soft power' in Georgia through state-sponsored non-governmental organizations and it would be difficult for the Caucasus nation to fend off pretensions of its assertive neighbor, the head of a Russian NGO says.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s Culture Ministry on Thursday granted cultural heritage status to the Enguri hydro power dam, one of the world's tallest concrete arch dams. The dam is 271 meters tall and is located partially on the territory of breakaway Abkhazia.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Prosecutors in Georgia are searching for another suspect in the investigation into the murder of a human rights activists seven months ago. As the trial of a man suspected of murdering Iuri Vazagashvili continued Thursday, a lawyer representing
Tbilisi, DFWatch - A principal dancer at Tbilisi ballet company drowned Wednesday in a lake in Pankisi Gorge, Eastern Georgia. According to the Emergency Management Agency at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, accident occurred when Giorgi Mshvenieradze, 25, a prominent ballet
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s Foreign Ministry calls on Russia to respect international law after a Russian helicopter overflew Georgian-controlled territory. According to the ministry, the incident took place at 10:57am on August 19. A Russian military helicopter
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s prime minister blames business leaders for causing the instability of the national currency lari by keeping their money in US dollars. Irakli Garibashvili explained Wednesday during a visit to Batumi, a city on Black Sea coast,
TBILISI, DFWatch--Police Wednesday seized more than 5kg of cocaine at Tbilisi airport and detained four people. The large drugs bust indicates a new transit route, the Ministry of Internal Affairs says. The detainees are two citizens of Brazil born in 1979
TBILISI, DFWatch--Four were detained Wednesday, after a street fight a few days ago in Kobuleti, a town on the Black Sea coast. A video posted in social media indicates that the fight was between ethnic Georgians and Dagestanis. The video, which is about
TBILISI, DFWatch--Tbilisi City Hall on Wednesday met with the company that won the tender to construct a hotel complex on Mirza Shafi Street in the old part of the capital. Apart from Vice Mayor Dimitri Kumsishvili and members of the commission
TBILISI, DFWatch--The owners of Rustavi 2 fear that the seizure of the TV company’s property may cause it to go bankrupt. The court ordered the seizure of Rustavi 2’s property more than a week ago on the grounds of a lawsuit by its former owner Kibar Khalvashi.
TBILISI, DFWatch--A man has been charged with murder after one person died during tree-felling. The incident happened a few days ago in Ananuri, in the Dusheti region. Three people were out cutting trees when a tree fell on a passer-by, killing him on the spot.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Tbilisi Zoo will reopen in September, after being closed for several months following a flood that partly destroyed it on June 14. It’s a much reduced compound visitors are welcomed back to, with less than half of the animals and
TBILISI, DFWatch--There are traffic restrictions on the road through Dariali Valley, in the the north of Georgia, an area which was last year hit by several devastating landslides. The Road Department says the restrictions will be in force until August 30. The decision was made on recommendation from Georgia’s
TBILISI, DFWatch--Direct foreign investments in Georgia increased 87 percent in 2014, compared to the year before, according to precise data published by the National Statistics Department. The report, which was published on Monday, says investments
TBILISI, DFWatch--A traffic accident in Khobi in the western part of Georgia claimed the life of a 23 year old man Sunday evening. The accident happened in the village Khamiskuri when an Opel car crashed into a motorcycle with two persons on it. One of
TBILISI, DFWatch--The Republic of Georgia is faced with a dilemma: which of the country’s two top people shall attend the United Nations General Assembly in New York in six weeks? Both the president and prime minister are invited and want to attend.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Russia has expanded the list of countries subject to trade embargo, but Georgia is not on the list. The move comes as a response to new sanctions by Western countries against Russia and includes Albania, Montenegro, Iceland