Tbilisi, DFWatch - The Central Electoral Commission (CESKO) announced the preliminary results of the by-elections to Sakrebulos (‘municipal assemblies’), which were held on 22 May in nine majoritarian electoral districts.
Posts by DFWatch staff:News DFWatch staff | May 23
Tbilisi, DFWatch - On evening of May 10 two activists disappeared in Baku, Meydan TV reported. Then on May 12, the Khatai District Court placed Bayram Mammadov and Qiyas Ibrahimov under a four-month arrest for drug-related charges.
TBILISI, DFWatch--In a statement released on Saturday, Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia laid out its version of the tragic event of May 19, and announced it would appeal to the court demanding detention in absentia of Rashid Kanciogli, identified as a person who allegedly
Tblisi, DFWatch- Members of the opposition United National Movement, including several high profile figures at the party, were brutally beaten in Samegrelo on Sunday. The scuffle broke out in Kortskheli, a village near Zugdidi, administrative center of Samegrelo-Zemo
Tbilisi, DFWatch - Tamaz Mechiauri, outspoken member of the Georgian Dream, prominent for his anti-NATO and anti-gay statements, left the ruling party, yet retains a post of the chair of parliament’s finance and budget committee until next elections in the fall, 2016.
An ethnic Georgian man was fatally wounded by an Abkhaz border officer in an incident that occurred at the Khurcha-Nabakevi checkpoint at the de facto border with Abkhazia, inside the territory under control of Georgian authorities. The video (+18) from a surveillance camera distributed by Rustavi 2 shows how four men in uniforms assault on a young man in civilian clothes. One of them punches and then kicks the man, while other approaches him apparently with a pistol and shoot at him point-blank. The wounded man, identified as Giga Otkhozoria, 30, died on his way to the hospital in Zugdidi. He was native of Abkhazia's Gali district. Aleksi Chikvaidze, the representative of the de jure Abkhazian government in Samegrelo–Zemo Svaneti, told DF Watch that Giga Otkhozoria lived in an IDP settlement in Zugdidi. At the time of the incident, he was escorting a relative to the village of Nabakevi, which is located on the territory controlled by the de facto Abkhazian authorities. The body of Mr Otkhozoria was transferred from the Zugdidi Hospital to Kutaisi for an autopsy. A relative of Mr ...
Tbilisi, DFWatch - The head of the Poti Police was dismissed for alleged of sexual abuse case on Wednesday. The alleged victim is a female police detective whose identity hasn't been disclosed.
Tbilisi, DFWatch - Six Russian military personnel were killed and further sixteen suffered injuries in a bus accident in South Ossetia, Sputnik Ossetia reported. The accident happened today near the village of Kanchaeti on the
Tbilisi, DFWatch - Georgia’s Black Sea coast is among the European regions which are at the highest risk of a Zika virus outbreak during late spring and summer, a statement made by the World Health Organisation (WHO) reads.
Tbilisi, DFWatch - Stairs of a theatre in Ozurgeti, administrative center of Guria, Western Georgia, was painted in rainbow colors on May 17, International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT), Guria news reported.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Environmental activists interrupted a speech by Tbilisi Mayor Davit Narmania on Tuesday during a session of the City Council, accusing him of being an ‘enemy of the city’. The activists protested the recent selling off of a part of the city’s botanical garden,
The International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) marked internationally on 17 May once again sheds light on existing tensions between the LGBTQI community, the authorities, and the Church. Activists arrested for vandalism Levan Berianidze, the executive director of LGBT Georgia posted information around 5 a.m. saying that a group of activists were detained for making stencils by the police. ‘As I have been informed the police was violent and brutal — activists were physically attacked, dragged along on ground and the police vocabulary was extremely aggressive!’ Mr Berianidze wrote. Ten activists were detained. According to the information provided by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, seven of them were detained by undercover police for attempting to apply a stencil saying ‘All love is equal’ on the wall belonging to the Patriarchate of the Georgian Orthodox Church. Three activists who were detained for painting a zebra crossing in rainbow colours were already released. The other seven are awaiting trial. Stencils, which were in rainbow colours, have been covered by the paint soon after the activists were detained. A small group of feminist and LGBTQI activists rallied in front of ...
The Public Defender of Georgia released a statement on International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT), May 17, in which he deplores that “no effective measures have been taken for raising public awareness or establishing the culture of tolerance in the country.” “A timely, efficient and accountable investigation of hate crimes is still a problem. Three years have passed, however, nobody has been held responsible for the criminal acts committed on 17 May, 2013,” the statement reads. Ucha Nanuashvili, the Public Defender, states his pity to the fact that LGBTI rights activists have no opportunity to celebrate IDAHOT in the open air “due to lack of safeguards to be protected from possible threats of violence, they refrain from a public appearance. It is worrying that homophobic attitudes in the society threaten realization of a constitutional right.” “Given all the above, I call on the public agencies to do their best to prevent hate-motivated violence and manifestation of homophobic actions, as well as to promote unconditional implementation of constitutionally guaranteed rights and freedoms of LGBT persons. “Public Defender’s authorized representatives will be observing developments in ...
TBILISI, DFWatch--There were 611 cases of marriage involving a minor last year, compared to 665 in 2014, according to the latest figures from the Ombudsman’s Office. 95 percent of the minors were girls. The report says that there were 408 pupils in Georgia
Tbilisi, DFWatch - Free Democrats of former Defense minister Irakli Alasania announce a rally on Saturday to protest ruling of the Tbilisi City Court by which 5 officials have been sentenced to 7 years in prison each. Free Democrats will switch to ‘emergency mode’
Tbilisi, DFWatch - Five Defense Ministry officials who were detained in 2014 on embezzlement charges and released on the basis of personal guarantees from several MPs, have been sentenced to 7 years in prison each by Tbilisi City Court on Monday.
A small group of Georgian feminist activists organised a protest in front of Radisson Blu Hotel in downtown Tbilisi, where the World Congress of Families (WFC) was taking place on Sunday.
The 10th edition of the World Congress of Families (WCF) opened in Tbilisi yesterday, bringing together conservative Christian activists from four continents.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili, who was elected as a leader of Georgian Dream – Democratic Georgia party on Saturday, told Imedi TV that he has candidates to replace ministers from the Republican Party in case they resign. A few weeks ago,
Tbilisi, DFWatch - Georgia will mark Independence Day on May 26 in most of the cities and towns all over the country by organizing different events.
Tbilisi, DFWatch - Georgia’s foreign trade turnover in the first four months of 2016 was USD 3,287 million. This is 8 percent more than in the same period last year.
Tbilisi, DFWatch - Jonjoli picking season began in Georgia, which means more Georgians will face detentions for crossing the “border” with breakaway South Ossetia, as on Friday Russian caught 9 inhabitants of Sachkhere district.
TBILISI, DFWatch--The State Security Service on Thursday arrested a Georgian citizen for bribery and stealing silicon manganese slag. The Anti-Corruption Agency and the State Security Department of the State Security Service conducted a joint
TBILISI, DFWatch--The National Forensic Bureau has confirmed the authenticity of an audio file which appears to show that a well-known Georgian journalist threatened to ruin the career of an actress working for him if she did not sleep with him. Tatia Samkharadze
TBILISI, DFWatch--The human rights of gays, lesbians and other sexual minorities are being less protected in Georgia, according to the organization ILGA, which monitors the situation internationally. International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex
Tbilisi, DFWatch - Gal Hirsch, an Israeli suspect in bribing the former minister of defence, Davit Kezerashvili, was questioned under caution by the Israeli Police’s fraud squad, Haaretz reported. Mr Hirsch was a brigadier general at the Israeli
Tbilisi, DFWatch - The head and other senior staff members of the Central Election Commission of Georgia have been accustomed to get enormous bonuses, according to the recent report by ISFED, a Georgian NGO focused on monitoring electoral processes in Georgia.
Tbilisi, DFWatch - Georgia exported 45 percent more bottles (0.75 L) of wine in the first four months of 2016, compared to the same period last year. Increase in revenues in the same period is 15 percent.
TBILISI, DFWatch--A bust of Stalin was paint-bombed pink and later dismantled in the village Ateni in Gori, the hometown of Joseph Stalin, on Monday. The bust of Stalin was erected for the 71th anniversary of victory over fascism, on May 9. It was dismantled
TBILISI, DFWatch--A 27 year old man was killed by an avalanche on Tuesday in Tusheti, in the northeast of Georgia. A 44 year old man was also injured and taken to the hospital in Telavi, in the Kakheti province. The victim was from the village Kistauri, near Akhmeta.
TBILISI, DFWatch--A Georgian politician who was deputy justice minister during Mikheil Saakashvili’s presidency has left the National Movement and plans to start a new party. Giorgi Vashadze is perhaps best known for having overseen the reform known as
TBILISI, DFWatch--The student movement Auditorium 115 plans to file a lawsuit with the Constitutional Court demanding to amend several regulations in the law about higher education. Members of the organization which was created during protests
TBILISI, DFWatch--On May 9, Georgia marked the 71st anniversary of Victory Day, the day Nazi Germany surrendered to the Soviet Union. As usual, there were events all over Georgia. World War II veterans came to the memorial in Tbilisi’s Vake Park, where
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s top prosecutor says no-one is charged in the case of four compromising sex videos of politicians which were posted on the Internet. Speaking at a conference about juvenile justice reform on Friday, Chief Prosecutor
TBILISI, DFWatch--Irakli Alasania, the former defense minister who was fired after some of his staff were detained for embezzlement, Friday issued an ultimatum: If the court finds the detainees guilty, he will mobilize people and launch protest rallies
TBILISI, DFWatch--24 non-governmental organizations and several opposition parties plan a rally against former PM Bidzina Ivanishvili on May 7. The venue is near the office of GDS TV, on Kojori road on the southern
Tbilisi, DFWatch - The French right wing politician has been tentatively announced as a speaker at the conference which will bring together conservative activists from four different continents to Tbilisi. The French right-wing MP, Marion Maréchal-Le Pen,
Tbilisi, DFWatch - Strong hail affected parts of Kakheti and Shida Kartli yesterday, destroying early crops in a number of villages. Villages in Gurjaani and Kvareli regions of Kakheti suffered most,
Tbilisi, DFWatch - Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia Thursday charged two former officials with torture and property appropriation of a businessman, who was murdered later.
Tbilisi, DFWatch - The number of troops is not important, what’s crucial is to have a professional army, as Georgia will never be able to win any war by the number of soldiers, Minister of Defense Tina Khidasheli said in a talk show 2030 at GDS pro-governmental TV channel Wednesday evening.
Tbilisi, DFWatch - Representatives of ten NGOs and one media outlet issued a statement in which they urged the government to ban twelve Russian TV channels in Georgia. The activists, roughly half of them former officials
Tbilisi, DFWatch - American tanks and armored vehicles arrived for joint American–British–Georgian military exercises to be held between 11–25 May. American heavy military equipment arrived to Georgia for a joint
TBILISI, DFWatch--Patriarch Ilia II has endorsed a controversial ‘pro family’ congress to be held in Tbilisi in May and is expected to deliver a keynote speech. The leader of the Georgian Orthodox Church, the Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia, Ilia II gave his blessing to the 10th World Congress of Families which will be held in Tbilisi on May 15-18,
TBILISI, DFWatch--The 2014 census sheds light on issues related to ethnic, linguistic, and religious minorities in Georgia. The size of all ethnic minorities fell drastically. While Georgia has lost 15% (658 thousand) of its population since the 2002 census, the number
TBILISI, DFWatch--Public discussion about amending the constitution to define marriage as the union between a man and a woman are over and parliament will start discussing the bill next week. The amendment will determine marriage as a voluntary
TBILISI, DFWatch--Two MPs from the parliamentary majority have proposed adding to the Criminal Code a separate offense called femicide, which is the premeditated murder of a woman on the basis of her gender. The bill sets punishment
TBILISI, DFWatch--MPs from the parliamentary majority in Georgia accuse members of the National Movement of hindering the process of achieving visa-free travel with the Schengen area. Georgian Dream members claim that two MPs from the former
TBILISI, DFWatch--Over a hundred people in Kobuleti, a town on the Black Sea coast, have surrounded the house of a 65 year old man who they claimed wanted to rape an 11 year old girl. People gathered outside the house and attempted to break in. They demand
TBILISI, DFWatch--20 sheep were killed when a police car plowed into their flock near Dedoplistskaro in eastern Georgia a few days ago. Information Center of Kakheti reported that the incident happened on Sunday on the central highway in the village Gamarjveba,
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian media reported about three cases of homophobic violence which took place last month in Tbilisi. The Facebook user, Jemal Beridze wrote on 23 April that he was assaulted by three unknown attackers for wearing an earring.
TBILISI, DFWatch--There are 223 deserted villages in Georgia, according to the census conducted in 2014 and published last week by the National Statistics Office (GeoStat). In 2002, when the previous census was conducted,
TBILISI, DFWatch--42 people died at work in 2015, while 82 people were injured, the public defender informed on May 1, the International Worker’s Day. According to his statement, in 108 cases, a criminal investigation was launched, but it was halted in 42 of the cases.
TBILISI, DFWatch--One more Georgian soldier is reported to have died in the war in Ukraine. Revaz Tsiklauri was reported dead late on Sunday. Tsiklauri died in the town Abievkaa, near Donetsk. A facility he was in was shelled. Tsiklauri was from the village Lapankuri,
TBILISI, DFWatch--Five people were arrested April 26 for attempting to sell radioactive uranium for USD 3 million. Savle Matiashvili, investigator at the counterintelligence service of the State Security Service, said at a briefing on Thursday
TBILISI, DFWatch--Quincy Jones, Macy Gray, the Prodigy are some of the artists to visit the Black Sea Jazz Festival in Georgia in July. Director of Eastern Promotion, which organizes the festival, said on a press-conference on Thursday that the festival will be held in
Georgia’s governing coalition has almost been caught up by the former ruling party, according to the latest poll by International Republican Institute (IRI), published Friday.
Tbilisi, DFwatch - Population of Georgia declined by 15 percent from 4.372 million in 2002 to 3.714 million in 2014, according to the data released by the National Statistics Office of Georgia (Geostat) on Thursday.
Tbilisi, DFWatch - The information about the alleged transfer of 15 acres of land from Georgia to Turkey, which went viral on Georgian media, was untrue. Yesterday, Turkish newspaper Daily Sabah published information about the alleged land transfer between Georgia and Turkey.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili on Wednesday pardoned 95 prisoners in connection with Orthodox Easter. The pardon decree was issued on April 27, and 69 of the pardoned prisoners have already left jail, according to Zviad Koridze,
TBILISI, DFWatch--The EU's plans to allow visa-free travel for citizens of Georgia may be postponed, the Georgian speaker of parliament said Monday. Davit Usupashvili blamed members of the party of former President Mikheil Saakashvili of lobbying against visa
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia took the 96th place among the world’s 199 countries and regions evaluated in the latest edition of the Freedom of the Press report prepared annually by Freedom House. Georgia earned the highest score of 49 points
TBILISI, DFWatch--Pshavi, the historical and cultural province of eastern Georgia, might soon be granted the official status of a Protected Landscape. Pshavi is located in the mountains of Mtskheta–Mtianeti region alongside the Aragvi River, on the way to the historical
TBILISI, DFWatch--Groups from different universities in Georgia demonstrated in the streets of Tbilisi on Tuesday, mainly demanding education reform, but local media wrote that many of the students didn’t know what the goal of the event was. The
TBILISI, DFWatch--An activist for the National Movement claims that several officials at the Rustavi City Hall, including the deputy mayor, insulted and beat him Monday night. Mamuka Chikovani, head of the UNM’s branch
Tbilisi, DFWatch - The extradition procedures have already been started, but yet it is not known when or whether Greece will extradite the suspect. “I cannot tell you more details,” DFWatch was told at MIA press office. the suspect Giorgi Kuparadze is at the hospital
TBILISI, DFWatch--Students at Tbilisi State University (TSU) protested on Monday against what they call a ‘police regime’, demanding that law enforcement bodies stop threatening their families and that the so-called ODRs are removed from publicly owned universities.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Eros Ramazzotti dedicated his concert in Tbilisi on Sunday to the American singer and songwriter Prince, who died April 21 at the age of 57.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s National Judo Team won the European Judo Championship in Kazan, Russia. In the final competition, the Georgian male judo team won 3:2 against the Russian team. The victories were won by Nugzar Tatalashvili, Avtandil Chrikishvili
TBILISI, DFWatch--Mikheil Saakashvili, the former Georgian president and current governor of Odessa, told a Georgian TV channel on Sunday that he is confident of victory for his political party in the parliamentary election in October, and afterward
TBILISI, DFWatch--Foreign ministers of Europe’s northern and eastern countries call on EU member states to go ahead with a plan to allow 90 days visa-free visits for Georgian and Ukrainian citizens. On 21–22 April, a meeting of foreign ministers of Baltic,
by OCCRP Soon, it will have been a year since reporters for OCCRP and other organizations took a long, hard look at what is going on inside Azerbaijan’s prison system. Last June, journalists from the US joined colleagues from the Caucasus region and eastern
TBILISI, DFWatch--The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia filed an official complaint with the authorities of Montenegro, as a result of which Montenegrin police shut down an Abkhazian tourism exposition. The Abkhazian exposition was a part of an international
TBILISI, DFWatch--The frozen conflict over South Ossetia will prevent many people in the border areas from visiting their family graves this Easter. As the observance of Orthodox Easter starts today with Palm Sunday, many will be unable to go to cemeteries
Tbilisi, DFWatch - Republican Steve Russell called for sanctions against representatives of the Georgian government for attempts at rigging the upcoming elections. Steve Russell, 53, representative of Oklahoma, delivered a speech in the United States House of Representatives,
TBILISI, DFWatch--The Public Defender has asked the Prosecutor General’s Office to investigate a death in preliminary detention. The ombudsman’s statement reads that March 15, a person who was detained a day before died in a detention facility
TBILISI, DFWatch--The Public Registry in Georgia rejected an application to register the Autocephalous Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster as a public legal entity. Journalist Lexo Machavarian's April 19 application was rejected for two reasons. First, because
TBILISI, DFWatch--Eight flights were postponed yesterday at Tbilisi airport due to strong wind. All the affected flights were by Turkish Airlines. Interpressnews quoted an airport spokesperson saying that the decision was made by the airline. The delayed flights
TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian breakaway region Abkhazia has decided not to lift a ban on selling real estate to foreigners. The de facto parliament in Sukhumi has rejected a draft law that would have lifted the ban, which is written into the constitution.
TBILISI, DFWatch--The government in Georgia is preparing an anti-smoking bill. It is not yet known when the law will come into force. Amiran Gamkrelidze, head of the National Center for Disease Control, says he hopes that the new regulations will come into force from fall.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s minister of healthcare says there is no plan to change the system of universal health insurance, but the government is considering a number of reforms. Appearing in parliament Wednesday to talk about last year's achievements,
TBILISI, DFWatch--Academic staff at Tbilisi State University voted for a new acting rector on Wednesday. The winner was the vice rector, Darejan Tvaltvadze, who received 526 out of 967 votes cast. Other candidates were TSU professors Levan Gordeziani
Tbilisi, DFWatch - The Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon will pay an official visit to Georgia on 23–24 April on the invitation of Georgia’s Prime Minister. The Secretary General will hold meetings with representatives of the legislative and executive branches.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Despite the relative rise in the ranking to the 64th place, the highest place in the region, Georgia’s score slightly declined. Reporters Without Borders (Reporters Sans Frontières, RSF), a France-based international organization, issued the
TBILISI, DFWatch--Defense Minister Tina Khidasheli says compulsory military service may be abolished from 2017. “This is my decision as minister of defense,” she told Channel 1 on Tuesday. “If another leader comes to this office, naturally, that decision may be changed.”
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s Constitutional Court ruled against the mother of former President Mikheil Saakashvili in her appeal against the seizing of her property. Giuli Alasania demanded that it be declared unconstitutional to seize property which might not
TBILISI, DFWatch--The Finance Ministry’s investigative service arrested two Azerbaijani citizens on the so-called Red Bridge border crossing for attempting to illegally import 12 kg of gold to Georgia. The value of the gold bars is more than one million laris (USD 445,000).
TBILISI, DFWatch--The student movement Auditorium 115, which sprang up a during a protest at Tbilisi State University (TSU) in March, claims that law enforcement bodies are putting pressure on them and their families. The State Security Service denies this.
TBILISI, DFWatch--EU may add a suspension clause to the text of the document about visa-free travel for citizens of Turkey, Ukraine, Georgia and Kosovo. The addendum will give Brussels the right to rapidly bring back visa requirements if it becomes necessary.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Tbilisi City Court decided Monday that the Georgian rock singer Giorgi Gachechiladze, also known as Utsnobi, will remain in control of the TV company Maestro. The city court’s ruling forms the conclusion of a several months long lawsuit
TBILISI, DFWatch--Police in Georgia have arrested six persons for attempting to sell radioactive uranium for USD 200 million. Savle Motiashvili, an investigator at the State Security Service, said at a briefing on Monday that they have arrested a three Armenian and
TBILISI, DFWatch--For the last week, several lecturers at Georgian Technical University (GTU) have been on hunger strike demanding the resignation of the rector, who has been elected three times in a row. Five lecturers, with the support of students,
Tbilisi, DFWatch - On 15 April, after the weekly Friday prayer, Acharan Muslims organised a peaceful rally demanding construction permit for a new mosque in Batumi, Batumelebi (‘Batumians’) reported. The protesters marched to the government buildi
Tbilisi, DFWatch - The official car of Almas Japua, MP in Abkhazia’s de facto parliament called the National Assembly, was hit by an explosion on Saturday evening, Sputnik Abkhazia reports. The car exploded on Sergei Bagapsh Square in
TBILISI, DFWatch--There are now no schools using Georgian as language of instruction in Gali, a part of the breakaway region Abkhazia where 97 percent of the population are ethnic Georgians (Megrelians). Georgian children have to study school subjects
TBILISI, DFWatch--A man was arrested a Tbilisi suburb Wednesday, suspected of slitting his wife’s throat with a knife. According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, an investigation has been launched under article 108 of the Criminal Code about premeditated murder.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s Constitutional Court ruled Thursday to take the access keys to secret surveillance away from the State Security Service, which until now has had the technical means to access data that may identify people. Lika Sajaia, parliamentary
TBILISI, DFWatch--American Country Reports on Human Rights Practices points out shortcoming in Georgia’s democratic development, independence of the judiciary, minority rights protection, political persecution, and restrictions in media freedom.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia's foreign trade turnover in the first three months of 2016 was USD 2.136 million. This is 7 percent less than in the same period last year. According to preliminary figures from Georgia's National Statistics Department, GeoStat,
TBILISI, DFWatch--The company Georgian Manganese, which owns manganese mines in Chiatura and a ferro-alloy plant in Zestaponi, lost a court case against the government on Tuesday and must pay a 200 million laris (USD over 88.2 million) tax penalty
TBILISI, DFWatch--Students at Tbilisi State University (TSU) will resume their protests on Saturday, after negotiations with the Ministry of Education failed. After a meeting with Education Minister Tamar Sanikidze Wednesday evening, members of the group Auditorium 115,
TBILISI, DFWatch--Less than six months before the parliamentary election in Georgia, an opinion poll shows Georgian Dream in the lead with 15 percent and the National Movement second with 13 percent. But 38 percent don't know who they would vote for.
TBILISI, DFWatch--In a TV interview Tuesday, Mikheil Saakashvili blamed former PM Bidzina Ivanishvili of a series of sex tapes posted online with threats against politicians. A fourth video was sent to a Georgian media outlet the same day as the former
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s Prosecutor General’s Office has charged the former head of the military police Megis Kardava with the murder of general Roman Dumbadze. The decision was made on April 7, but published on Tuesday. According to the Chief
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia slightly improved its position on the Nations in Transit index published by the human rights organization Freedom House, and has the best result over the past nine years. Georgia’s score in the latest index is 4.61 points out of 7.
TBILISI, DFWatch--One more Georgian sex video was posted on the Internet on Tuesday. The clip was sent to a media outlet; the same delivery method as the previous three times. This time, the website news.ge received an email with a video depicting
TBILISI, DFWatch--A larger share of Georgians think the country is going in the wrong direction, according to new opinion poll published Monday by the National Democratic Institute (NDI). According to the poll, 39 percent of people think that Georgia is moving
TBILISI, DFWatch--An increasing number of Azerbaijani citizens have been moving to Georgia in order to work and study. In addition to growing interest from tourists, one can already speak of a trend in which an increasing number of Azerbaijani choose
TBILISI, DFWatch--The proportion of Georgians who think their country should join the Russian-led Eurasian Union has fallen by about ten percent since August, 2015. 20 percent of Georgians now agree that they should join the Eurasian Union, according
TBILISI, DFWatch--43-year-old Erosi Takadze was detained by Russian border police at South Ossetian administrative boundary line (ABL) on Saturday, 9 April. According to Mr Takadze’s relatives in the village of Kirbali, which is located in Gori region right next
TBILISI, DFWatch--Vakha Bugiev, 39-year-old native of Chechnya became yet another Georgian citizen who died in Syria, Information Centre of Kakheti (ICK) reported. Mr Bugiev arrived to Georgia via Azerbaijan during the Second Chechen War in 2000 and was
TBILISI, DFWatch--A newspaper report based on the leaked Panama documents shows how Davit Kezerashvili, who was defense minister during Saakashvili’s presidency, became an oligarch a few days after he resigned. The Swiss newspaper Tribune
TBILISI, DFWatch--12 more bodies have been identified from the Babushara airport disaster during the 1992-1993 Abkhazian war. The bodies were buried at Brothers’ Cemetery in Tbilisi on Saturday April 9, when Georgia commemorates the victims of the tragedy of 9 April 1989.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Pope Francis will visit Georgia in September as part of a tour of the Caucasus, by invitation of President GIorgi Margvelashvili. The president’s administration said Saturday that Margvelashvili invited the pope last year during his
Members of the Georgian government gathered on Rustaveli Avenue in Tbilisi in order to commemorate victims of the tragedy of 9 April 1989.
TBILISI, DFWatch--The actress Tatia Samkharadze, or Taso Barnova as she is also known, claims that journalist and producer Shalva Ramishvili sexually harassed her. “I confirm that [my] former boss, Shalva Ramishvili, sexually harassed me, and it
TBILISI, DFWatch--The Republican cabinet members will leave their posts in August, party leader Khatuna Samnidze said in an interview on Friday. The Republicans are part of the ruling Georgian Dream coalition, but recently decided to run on an independent ticket
TBILISI, DFWatch--A nationwide music festival titled Check-in-Georgia will kick off in Tbilisi on April 24. The 35 concerts and festivals around the country will feature Robbie Williams, Maroon 5 and José Carreras. The festival,
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia has declared readiness in helping to extinguish a forest fire in the vicinity of a Russian military facility in South Ossetia, Novosti-Gruziya reported.
TBILISI, DFWatch--A prominent member of parliament from the governing Georgian Dream coalition says Georgia should not seek membership in NATO if it is against the state interests. Tamaz Mechiauri, head of the finance and budget committee, also said he
TBILISI, DFWatch--Police in Georgia arrested a person Thursday accused of murdering 22 year old Pikrat Akhmedov on December 28 in Ponichala, a predominantly Azeri suburb of Tbilisi. The Ministry of Internal Affairs informed said police from Isani-Samgori
TBILISI, DFWatch--Minister of defense of Romania Mihnea Motoc hopes that during the upcoming NATO summit in Warsaw a decision will be made regarding creation of NATO Black Sea fleet with participation of Georgia and Ukraine.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia is introducing a new law from January 2017 which will lead to a 1,000 fine for any official who fails to file or files incorrect asset declarations. There is currently no mechanism for reacting to incorrect submissions of asset declarations.
TBILISI, DFWatch--‘Political prosecution’ was used as the justification for the London court’s refusal to extradite former UNM official who served as Minister of Defense of Georgia during 2008 Russo-Georgian War and was charged with numerous crimes after his party
TBILISI, DFWatch--Shalva Ramishvili, a talk show host and producer at Imedi TV, was fired on Tuesday. In an interview with DFWatch, the journalist ruled out the possibility that he was fired because of government pressure. There was no warning
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia has renewed an agreement with Gazprom which means the country will continue to receive 10% of natural gas transiting through to Armenia. Gazprom has sent the text of the agreement to the Georgian Ministry of Energy,
TBILISI, DFWatch--Two parliamentarians from the governing Georgian Dream coalition - one of Armenian, the other of Azerbaijani origin - express concern over the military situation in Nagorno-Karabakh after the recent escalation in hostilities. “We call
TBILISI, DFWatch--Speaker of Parliament Davit Usupashvili flatly denied allegations that the Republican Party of Georgia, commonly known as the Republicans, was considering a partnership with the United National Movement (UNM) before the parliamentary
By Delilah Damanova TBILISI, DFWatch--Last week European House hosted another meeting of the Thinking Citizen Center, an alternative education initiative for Georgia’s ethnic Azerbaijanis. The Center’s vision is the intellectual and cultural transformation of ethnic
Tbilisi, DFWatch - Two-day NATO–Georgia Public Diplomacy Forum in Tbilisi opened NATO Week 2016, which will last from 4 to 19 April. ‘Georgia’s NATO and EU integration is our return to the European family with whom we are linked to by our common values of democracy, freedom and human rights protection.
TBILISI, DFWatch--The escalation of the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh has complicated relations between the Armenian and Azerbaijani communities in Georgia. A small group of Georgian citizens plan to go to fight in case the conflict continues.
TBILISI, DFWatch--The president of Georgia on Tuesday announced that the parliamentary election in 2016 will be held on October 8. “I want to inform the public that the date of the parliamentary election is set for October 8. Tomorrow, the prime minister
TBILISI, DFWatch--A lecturer at the University of Gori, a town 80km west of the capital, claims that she was fired because of her anti-Stalinist opinions. Arina Tavakarashvili wrote on her Facebook page that the canceling of her lectures was related to the issue
TBILISI, DFWatch--A leading Georgian parliamentarian says she doubts the accuracy of a journalistic investigation published on Sunday which also included material about the Georgian billionaire and former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili. Ivanishvili’s
TBILISI, DFWatch--President Giorgi Margvelashvili called for a ‘peaceful end to the tensions’ in the recent outbreak of violence in Nagorno-Karabakh, Rustavi 2 reported. President made his remarks during the second day of the NATO–Georgia
TBILISI, DFWatch--The number of visitors entering Georgia in March grew by 16.7 percent, compared to same period last year, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs. According to the new monthly report of MIA the number of visitors in March was 450,875.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Organizations that are members of the campaign This Affects You Too on Monday called on the government to take measures to rein in the use of secret surveillance and wiretapping. The groups also demand the resignation of Chief Prosecutor
TBILISI, DFWatch--Tbilisi State University (TSU) has scheduled the selection of a new rector for April 20. Vladimer Papava resigned as rector after a student rebellion and a nearly week-long sit-in. The TSU’s academic council decided on Monday that the
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia is considering offering Azerbaijan and Armenia to negotiate about the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, where at least 33 people have died and more than 200 have been injured during the last few days, according to the United Nations.
TBILISI, DFWatch--National Forum withdrew from the governing Georgian Dream coalition -on Sunday, and the following day party leaders said they are also withdrawing from the parliamentary majority. Leader of the party Kakha Shartava
By Nino Bakradze and Dave Bloss Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project TBILISI, REPUBLIC OF GEORGIA -- Bidzina Ivanishvili's wealth is not all hidden away in vaults. His 108,000 square foot glass house perches on a hill above the capital city of the country he returned to rule as prime minister after leaving for neighboring Russia as a young man and accumulating billions of dollars before moving back to Georgia in 2004.
TBILISI, DFWatch--The EU’s commissioner for home affairs Dimitris Avramopoulos said Saturday that he is confident that the EU Parliament will support the proposed visa liberalization for Georgia. After meeting with Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili, the commissioner
TBILISI, DFWatch--Tbilisi City Hall has begun work on a new taxi regulation that will eliminate the discomfort of taking taxis in the capital. Mayor Davit Narmania said Friday that taking a taxi will become more secure and comfortable. The new regulation
TBILISI, DFWatch--National Forum, a member of the ruling Georgian Dream coalition, declared Thursday its intention to run as an independent party in the parliamentary election this fall. The Republican Party was the first of the parties in the
TBILISI, DFWatch--The Chief Prosecutor’s Office claims three sex tapes posted to the Internet in order to threaten politicians were not uploaded from Georgia. Mamuka Vasadze, Deputy Chief Prosecutor, said at a briefing on Friday that investigators are currently
Tbilisi, DFWatch - Joseph Daul expressed his support for the United National Movement and made comments on EU visa liberalisation process. President of the European People's Party (EPP), Joseph Daul paid a visit to Georgia in order to meet with representatives of the opposition party United National Movement (UNM) and express his support for the party.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia has offered Gazprom to continue the transit of natural gas to Armenia. under the same conditions as before. The details of the offers are not known, but the negotiations between the Georgian government and Gazprom will finish
TBILISI, DFWatch--Two of the parties in the governing Georgian Dream coalition have decided to run as independent parties in the upcoming parliamentary election. The Republican Party declared Thursday that they plan to participate in the election independently,
TBILISI, DFWatch--One more sex tape was uploaded to Youtube on Thursday, targeting a Georgian politician. The video was posted on the personal Facebook pages of a journalist and an actor and later removed. The police questioned actor Beso Zanguri. Journalist
TBILISI, DFWatch--Vladimer Papava, the rector of Tbilisi State University (TSU), resigned Wednesday, but denied that he had done so because of pressure. “A lot of things influenced this decision. Their hunger strike and your demands, but many other things,” Vladimer Papava said.
TBILISI, DFWatch--A deputy head of the Georgian counterintelligence on Monday hinted that Russia could be behind leaked surveillance videos recently used to threaten government members, although he did not rule out any theory. The videos were uploaded
TBILISI, DFWatch--The conflict at Tbilisi State University (TSU) seemed to be over a few weeks ago, but now Georgian intelligence has jumped into the fray, announcing that it hasn’t had agents at TSU since the beginning of this year. The presence
TBILISI, DFWatch--Davit Sakvarelidze, a former Georgian official, has been fired as deputy chief prosecutor of Ukraine. He was fired for violating the ethics of a prosecutor, and for interfering in the business of another prosecutor, according to the the website
Tbilisi, DFWatch - Georgia scores high in international rankings of women’s participation in business management, although few Georgian women hold political office.
TBILISI, DFWatch--The Central Election Commission (CEC) has approved a proposal to hold a referendum about whether to allow same sex marriage in Georgia. The proposal, which was submitted by a group of seven people, will not automatically
TBILISI, DFWatch--Russian media reported that Elton John, Sting, Jeniffer Lopez, Enrique Iglesias, Beyonce and others performed at the wedding of the son of Russian oligarch Mikhail Gutseriev March 26 in Moscow. It caught some attention in Georgia
TBILISI, DFWatch--More than 1,440 minors became parents in 2015 and there were registered 611 marriages of people from 16 to 18 years, according to a report published Monday by Georgia’s ombudsman. In 2014, there were registered 665 marriages involving minors.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Azerbaijani authorities released from prison Intigam Aliyev, a lawyer and human rights activist, on March 28, as the court in Baku commuted his 7.5 years-long term to a suspended 5 year sentence, Radio Liberty Azerbaijan reported.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian Dream — Democratic Georgia, a key political party within the Georgian Dream coalition, may opt for running independently in the upcoming parliamentary elections, Kakha Kaladze, Minister of Energy stated Saturday, thus adding fuel to the fire in the widespread
TBILISI, DFWatch--Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili visited the newly renovated Cathedral of Saint George in Tbilisi’s Old Town, in order to join Armenian Easter celebrations. Adherents of the Armenian Apostolic Church are almost exclusively ethnic
TBILISI, DFWatch--Tbilisi City Hall announced its plans to sponsor restoration works at the Holy Trinity Cathedral, known colloquially as Sameba (‘Trinity’), which was damaged by fire earlier this month. Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili asked the Minister
TBILISI, DFWatch--Car dealers demonstrated in Rustavi on Friday against the government’s initiative to ban the registration of cars with right-hand drive from 2017. The protest took place at Georgia’s largest car market, located in Rustavi,
TBILISI, DFWatch--A former government official was Thursday sentenced in absentia by Tbilisi City Court to two years in jail for exceeding official powers. The Prosecutor General’s Office says Erekle Kodua, who chaired the Special Operative Department (SOD) of the
TBILISI, DFWatch--A parliamentary commission has launched a public debate about a proposed constitutional amendment to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman. The first meeting was held on Friday in Telavi, in the eastern Kakheti
TBILISI, DFWatch--A construction company plans to build residential apartments on what according to locals is a cemetery for German prisoners of war from World War II. According to the environmentalist group Guerrilla Gardening Tbilisi, construction is planned
TBILISI, DFWatch--Construction of wind a farm in Gori, 80km west of the capital, will be completed by the end of 2016, according to the Energy Ministry. Deputy Energy Minister Irakli Khmaladze said the power station
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s foreign trade turnover in the first two months of 2016 was 2 percent less than last year, totaling USD 1,413 million. According to a new monthly report by the National Statistics Department (GeoStat), export was down 13 percent to USD 281 million,
TBILISI, DFWatch--The parties have agreed to resume talks aimed at solving problems in the border areas near the Georgian breakaway region Abkhazia. Agreement to resume the talks, called Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM), was reached
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia postpones banning on registration of cars with right-hand drive until January 1, 2017, to allow enough time to car importers to reshuffle their business and carry out commitments under the existing contracts, Deputy Minister of Interior said during
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s Trade Unions warns that workers in the coal mines in Tkibuli may go on strike again. Workers were on strike for two weeks in February, but an agreement was reached a few weeks ago. The trade union says the the mining
TBILISI, DFWatch--Former Georgian PM Bidzina Ivanishvili will keep promise not to return to politics, Minister of Energy and the first vice Prime Minister, Kakha Kaladaze stated on Thursday, diffusing speculations in the media that the oligarch would be included
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s Chief Prosecutor states that former chief of security had Interpol’s red notice removed against him due to his refugee status, not ‘political persecution’, despite his family’s claims. Interpol removed an arrest warrant that was
TBILISI, DFWatch--Two persons have been detained for allegedly stealing crude oil from Baku-Supsa Pipeline (BSP), which is used to transport Azerbaijani oil to Georgia’s Black Sea terminal and is operated by British Petroleum. The crime
TBILISI, DFWatch--The Netherlands on Tuesday extradited a former Georgian intelligence official known as ‘Mastera’. Giorgi Dgebuadze, a former official of the Constitutional Security Council (Kudi), was transferred by the request of Georgia’s Chief Prosecutor’s Office.
TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian Orthodox Church said in a statement Tuesday that the publishing of sex-tapes in the media is ‘deliberate malice.’ Two videos were recently published on Youtube, showing well-known Georgians engaging in sex. The tapes
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia is strengthening security measures in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Brussels on Tuesday. At least 34 people were killed in Brussels on Tuesday. Three bombs went off in the morning; two at Brussels airport and one at a metro station
Tbilisi, DFWatch - Georgia’s main political figures pay condolences and stress the importance of strong intelligence services in wake of today’s terrorist attacks in Brussels. At least 34 people died in today’s terror attacks that shook Brussels, Belgian public broadcaster VRT reported.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Agreement was reached on Monday between the owners of Maestro TV to allow the channel to continue using its logo, settling a several months long dispute. The agreement was announced in a statement by Gia Gachechiladze (‘Utsnobi’), who owns
TBILISI, DFWatch--Mikheil Saakashvili, the former Georgian president who is governor of Odessa in Ukraine, has advised his party home in Georgia to have 50 percent women on the election list for the upcoming parliamentary election, which will be held later this year.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Ten bodies of Islamic State fighters were found east of the Iraqi city of Ramadi, including the body of Tarkhan Batirashvili (Omar al-Shishani), the Iraqi TV channel Al Sumaria reported. General in the Iraqi army Islail Mahlawi told
TBILISI, DFWatch--Diplomat Zurab Abashidze has expressed astonishment at a statement by President Giorgi Margvelashvili that he had not properly handled a critical remark by a Russian diplomat. Abashidze, whose full title is Prime Minister’s
TBILISI, DFWatch--Prayer service has been temporarily halted at Sameba Cathedral after a fire burned about 1,200 square meters on the ground floor of the building on Sunday. However, prayer will offer in four little churches on the territory of Sameba that are
TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian president on Monday criticized his country's envoy for failing to respond adequately to criticism from a Russian diplomat during a bilateral meeting in Prague last week. President Margvelashvili
TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian president on Sunday praised the students at Tbilisi State University for their commitment to social issues after the end of a near week-long sit-in. President Giorgi Margvelashvili recalled sending advisers to the university during
TBILISI, DFWatch--An area of more than 1,200 square meters was burnt at Sameba Cathedral in Tbilisi on Sunday after a fire started on the ground floor of the cathedral. More than a hundred firefighters worked to extinguish the fire, which started at about 14:00 and lasted
TBILISI, DFwatch--According to the World Happiness Report 2016, published today, Georgia is in 126th place out of 157 countries included in the study. The result places Georgia as the 'least happy' country of the former Soviet Union, while Uzbekistan
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian President and Prime Minister expressed their condolences to the families of victims of a deadly plane crash in Rostov, Russia. “I express my deepest sympathy to the victims of Flydubai passenger plane crash in Rostov, where dozens
TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian ombudsman says the Ministry of Internal Affairs failed to compensate a man for using his house as a checkpoint in a village bordering South Ossetia. In a statement published Friday, the ombudsman writes that the
TBILISI, DFWatch--As the parliamentary election draws nearer, Georgia’s Culture Ministry is planning a string of concerts, beginning in April, which will feature world famous musicians. Negotiations have been launched with Robbie Williams and Eros Rammazotti.
TBILISI, DFWatch--A Russian member of parliament will be allowed to attend a meeting of the parliamentary assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Tbilisi between July 1 and 5, although he has violated
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s president has appointed a new head of the National Bank (NBG). The appointment was signed by President Giorgi Margvelashvili on Thursday. Outgoing NBG head Giorgi Kadagidze will be replaced Koba Gvenetadze, a former politician
TBILISI, DFWatch--As representatives of Georgia and the breakaway region South Ossetia sat down on Tuesday for a regular field meeting, one of the major topics of discussion was the situation in the village Jariasheni, where construction work is in progress.
TBILISI, DFWatch--A Russian deputy foreign minister has criticized Georgian politicians for engaging in anti-Russian rhetoric, warning that patience has its limits. Gregory Karasin made the statement in Prague on Wednesday after meeting with Georgian
TBILISI, DFWatch--For more than a week, students have been protesting at Tbilisi State University and the tension continues to escalate. TSU is split in two, with the police and security guards protecting every entrance to the two-wing building occupied by students.
TBILISI, DFWatch--The Prosecutor’s Office Saturday evening arrested two persons for illegally storing and spreading videos depicting individuals in intimate settings. The office said that apart from the two who were arrested Saturday - Zurab Jamalashvili
TBILISI, DFWatch--On the fifth day of protests, two opposing student groups continue to occupy a building at Tbilisi State University. Both groups grew increasingly frustrated with a decision by police not to allow anyone to enter the building except accredited journalists.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Two people have been detained for allegedly collecting, storing and distributing videos depicting the private lives of people. The Prosecutor General’s Office confirmed the detentions, and later issued a statement which said that the two are detained for
TBILISI, DFWatch--Pentagon officials confirm the death of the Islamic State’s prominent field commander Tarkhan Batirashvili (Omar al-Shishani), CNN reported. On 9 March, major Western news outlets reported that Mr Batirashvili, 30, was ‘likely killed’ in
TBILISI, DFWatch--NGOs in Georgia demand the creation of an investigative tool to combat the spreading of videos depicting people’s intimate lives and they want international experts to be involved in this. The initiative comes from organizations which are part
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili on Monday promised that the ‘dark forces’ attempting to blackmail free society will be defeated and fittingly punished. “I guarantee that the fight against those criminals will be won,” he said at a briefing
TBILISI, DFWatch--Strangers Monday posted one more video online showing sex scenes involving a public person. The Youtube video was accompanied by a warning that more videos will be posted soon. Youtube was cut off for some time for Georgian users.