Posts by Londa Beria:

Minorities, News

British citizen tells of racial discrimination in Tbilisi

by | Jul 10

TBILISI, DFWatch--A British citizen says he has been subjected to racial discrimination in Tbilisi. Dancer Aaron Shikamaru Charles has lived in Georgia for two years. His wife, Nutsa Eristavi, is Georgian and the artist couple carry out joint projects here. Aaron says

Minorities, News

Patriarch meets U.S. Evangelicals regarding festival

by | Jun 16

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian Patriarch Ilia II has met with Viktor Gamm, vice president of Billy Graham Evangelical Association which faced some hurdles when it organized Festival of Hope in Tbilisi. The patriarch expressed his sorrow about the way the organizers

Society

Youth take the lead in marking Worker’s Day in Georgia

by | May 2

TBILISI, DFWatch--In Georgia, the younger generation took charge in organizing demonstrations on the International Worker’s Day yesterday. Young Social-Democrats, Georgia’s Young Greens, Georgia’s Youth Trade Union Organization, Young Socialists and other groups

Minorities, Youth

School children in Tbilisi harassed due to teacher neglect

by | Apr 19

TBILISI, DFWatch--A new study has found that children in Georgian schools are verbally and physically harassed because of their ethnicity, belief, appearance or for other reasons. The study is based on interviews with all pupils from 8th to 11th grade at six public

NGO news

Curbing of illegal surveillance delayed, campaigners say

by | Apr 8

TBILISI, DFWatch--Campaigners in Georgia suspect law enforcement agencies are intentionally prolonging a legislative hearing about illegal wiretapping. The campaign ‘This Affects You Too’, which includes several of the most influential NGOs in Tbilisi, was started

Minorities, News

Azerbaijani women in Marneuli

by | Mar 12

TBILISI, DFWatch--83 percent of residents in Marneuli, a city in southern Georgia, are Azerbaijanis. Nearby villages are inhabited by Azerbaijanis too. Lack of knowledge of the official language, deficit of jobs, almost nonexistent infrastructure - this is a short list of the problems that

Minorities, News

Constitutional Court in Georgia lifts ban on homosexuals giving blood

by | Feb 11

TBILISI, DFWatch--The constitutional court in Georgia has struck down a thirteen year old ban on homosexual men becoming blood donors. The court agreed with a complaint from five Georgian citizens and recognized several articles of an order issued by the labor, health

Minorities, News

Group criticizes Georgia for handling of religious conflicts

by | Dec 23

TBILISI, DFWatch--After a year of religious conflict in three Georgian villages, neither Christians nor Muslims are fully satisfied with the way the problem was solved. The Christians do not exclude that conflict might erupt again, while the Muslims still have no

Society

UNICEF report exposes weak child protection in Georgia

by | Dec 12

TBILISI, DFWatch--UNICEF Georgia claims that since 2005, the government has made significant progress in reforming the child care system, but important challenges remain, such as child poverty, violence against children and weak child protection. Currently, there are

NGO news

The revolving doors of Georgia’s politics and business

by | Dec 10

TBILISI, DFWatch--Business and politics are tightly connected in Georgia, according to a new report by Transparency International. The organization claims that some wealthy businessmen have been elected to the Georgian parliament and some members of the executive

Minorities, News

Increasing discrimination of religious minorities in Georgia

by | Dec 8

TBILISI, DFWatch--A human rights group claims there has been an increase in discrimination of religious minorities in Georgia in 2013. On November 15, Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Kingdom Hall, located in Upper Etseri, Samegrelo, West Georgia, was shot at twice.

Minorities, News

Few Roma families take part in elections in Georgia

by | Nov 27

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Meliasanovs, a Roma family of nine, did not participate in the last presidential elections, because they are registered far from where they actually live. However, they don't believe that the elections would improve their hard social and financial

Society

Gas heaters continue to cause deaths in Georgia

by | Nov 11

TBILISI, DFWatch--In Georgia, natural gas is cheaper than electricity, so more and more people use it for heating in winter. But the safety of the devices is far below any acceptable level. A young married couple and their 4 year old daughter died after a gas leak

NGO news

ISFED lists violations in Georgia’s election campaign

by | Oct 16

TBILISI, DFWatch--The fifth interim report of International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED), covering the period from September 8 to October 6, identified 5 cases of political intimidation, 3 cases of obstructing the election campaign and other

Europe, News

EU spokesman: Georgia will not join the Eurasian Union

by | Oct 3

TBILISI, DFWatch--A spokesman for EU's delegation to Georgia says although Russia has increased its pressure on Eastern Partnership countries, there is no risk that Georgia will join the Eurasian Union, because the Georgian government’s stance is clear. In 2010, the

NGO news

2 300 have been replaced in local government

by | Sep 19

TBILISI, DFWatch--Staff changes and dismissals at municipalities that began after the 2012 parliamentary elections continuing in Georgia. About 2300 person have lost their seats during the last 9 months. According to a report by International Society for Fair

NGO news

Access to public information has improved in Georgia

by | Sep 17

  TBILISI, DFWatch--Access to public information has improved in Georgia after the October 1, 2012 parliamentary election, according to a new survey. Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI) named the most accountable and most closed public

Elections '12-'13, News

Campaign event in Zugdidi goes ahead without violence

by | Sep 15

TBILISI, DFWatch--On September 11, the National Movement's presidential candidate David Bakradze rallied supporters in Zugdidi while representatives of Defend Georgia gathered for an anti-UNM demonstration. Unlike the events of July 20, there was no violence against

NGO news

Municipalities are awarding bonuses without specific criteria

by | Sep 12

TBILISI, DFWatch--According to Transparency International Georgia (TI), municipalities in the Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti region issued bonuses to civil servants worth more than half a million lari without speficying the reason. The organization's third report about public

Elections '12-'13, News

Georgia’s finance minister reminds staff of election rules

by | Aug 22

TBILISI, DFWatch--Minister of Finance Nodar Khaduri has sent out a special statement to ministry employees that makes clear what restrictions they must follow regarding election campaigning. The statement concerns the Code of Conduct for public servants and includes

NGO news

Georgia’s courts are finally becoming more independent

by | Aug 10

TBILISI, DFWatch--The judiciary system has progress after the October 1, 2012, parliamentary election, a new survey has shown. Transparency International Georgia (TIG) has scrutinized the changes in the judiciary system during the last year and concluded that the

NGO news

Municipal lawyers told to resign, political reasons suspected

by | Aug 6

TBILISI, DFWatch--Lawyers claim that the head of the municipality's executive body, the gamgebeli, in a town in south Georgia is forcing them to write their letter of resignation. Levan Tsabadze, member of the Georgian Dream coalition and gamgebeli of Aspindza

NGO news

Petition to stop new restaurant in Tbilisi recreational zone

by | Aug 4

TBILISI, DFWatch--More than 1500 Georgians have signed a petition demanding a stop in the cutting of trees in a recreation zone in the hills above the capital. The land plot was illegally sold by Tbilisi City Hall to a politician so he could build a restaurant to be used

NGO news

Study shows Georgian courts have turned a negative trend

by | Jul 29

TBILISI, DFWatch--According to a new study by Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI), the changes in the judiciary system after the October 1, 2012, parliamentary election have been positive. IDFI writes that 140 million lari (USD 85 million)

NGO news

TI criticizes handling of privatization process

by | Jul 12

TBILISI, DFWatch--Transparency International Georgia (TIG) criticizes the process to privatize state property for not being sufficiently transparent, saying this may allow for corrupt deals. According to TIG, information from the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable

NGO news

Georgians think country is mostly corruption free, except courts

by | Jul 10

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia has one of the lowest rates of bribery among the 107 countries included on the Global Corruption Barometer survey, but 51% think the courts are extremely or very corrupt. Georgians still perceive the judiciary, the media and parliament as

News

Georgia worsens its performance on Global Innovation Index

by | Jul 9

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia has worsened its performance on the Global Innovation Index by two points. According to the Global Innovation Report 2013, Georgia has moved down two positions, compared to last year, to 73th place among 142 countries. In the South Caucasus

NGO news

New report shows state funding of Georgian Church

by | Jul 6

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian government has allocated up to GEL 200 million for the Georgian Orthodox Church over the last 11 year, according to Transparency International Georgia (TIG). The group has requested information about the funding by central and local

NGO news

GYLA asks government to regulate public bonuses

by | Jun 21

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA) claims that there is no legal act that regulates the procedures for awarding bonuses within state agencies. GYLA has studied data from Georgian ministries, the government chancellery, the presidential

NGO news

Phasing out bonus system for parliamentarians had little effect

by | Jun 14

TBILISI, DFWatch--Despite the phasing out of bonuses, the income of members of parliament has not decreased significantly. According to data published by Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI), even though the parliament elected in October 2012

NGO news

15 000 sign petition to punish May 17 hate crimes

by | May 24

TBILISI, DFWatch--About 15 000 persons have signed a petition that asks to punish those who committed violence on May 17. After clerics and parishioners attacked a peaceful demonstration by LGBT persons and their supporters on May 17 to mark the International Day

In brief, News

Hammarberg: Hard to explain how May 17 could happen

by | May 21

TBILISI, DFWatch--Thomas Hammarberg says it will be difficult to explain to Europe how the May 17 violence could occur in a democratic country such as Georgia. Christian Orthodox activists last Friday used violence to disrupt a planned peaceful event to mark

NGO news

Amnesty International says Georgian police failed on May 17

by | May 19

TBILISI, DFWatch--Amnesty International says the police in Georgia failed to protect demonstrators from aggression on May 17. The human rights group which has more than 3 million supporters worldwide believes that the police failed to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual,

NGO news

Ex officials subject to pressure in prison

by | May 14

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian Young Lawyer's Association (GYLA) claims that former government officials are being subject to pressure while in prison. Representative of GYLA visited seven former employees of the Ministry of Agriculture just after they were arrested

NGO news

TI: Georgian state stole over 111 million USD under Saakashvili

by | May 9

TBILISI, DFWatch--Transparency International suspects that gifts worth more than USD 111 million that were received by the Georgian government during the last 8 years may actually have been robbery conducted by the state. This is the conclusion Transparency

NGO news

Young lawyers claim police used disproportionate force May 1

by | May 4

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian Young Lawyer's Association (GYLA) claims that the police used disproportionate force against participants of a peaceful demonstration on May 1. The demonstration, organized by the youth group Laboratoria 1918 to mark the

NGO news

1 877 politically motivated dismissals in local governments

by | Apr 29

TBILISI, DFWatch--International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED) has found that 1 877 persons have been dismissed by gamgeoba, a local executive authority in districts, for political reasons. ISFED presented its third report about post-election

NGO news

Audit Office was biased, new report finds

by | Apr 14

TBILISI, DFWatch--According to a new report, the Audit Office was biased in favor of the United National Movement (UNM) under the previous government. The report by Transparency International Georgia (TIG), called Finances of Political Parties for the year 2012,

NGO news

Young lawyers in dispute with the police in Batumi

by | Apr 4

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA) thinks the Ministry of Internal Affairs is biased and unfair when protecting a police officer who is accused of physically abusing one of their lawyers. According to GYLA, the head of Adjara police,

NGO news

After government change, courts are still biased in Georgia

by | Apr 3

TBILISI, DFWatch--A new report shows that there were some positive changes in the Georgian judiciary system from June 1 to October 31, 2012, but there still are a lot of problems. “There are some positive changes in the judiciary

NGO news

GYLA: Public registry employees fired for political reasons

by | Mar 22

TBILISI, DFWatch--Three employees of the Public Registry have been illegally dismissed, according to Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA). The three believe they were fired because they are supporters of President Saakashvili’s United National Movement and

NGO news

Georgia has as a high level of development

by | Mar 17

TBILISI, DFWatch--According to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Georgia is one of the countries that have a high level of human development. This can be gleaned from the new Human Development Report 2013 -- The Rise of the South: Human Progress in

NGO news

Bonus system for parliament members to be phased out

by | Mar 9

TBILISI, DFWatch--Members of parliament in Georgia will not receive bonuses after 2013. The total amount of bonuses was over 2.5 million lari in 2012. According to the Institute for development of freedom of information (IDFI), in 2012, MPs were given an additional

NGO news

New EU effort to save street children in Georgia

by | Mar 7
eu-project-for-street-children

TBILISI, DFWatch--According to the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs, the number of children living in large orphanages has decreased by over 5 000. There are only five large child care institutions left, compared to 41 during 9 years ago. But the street

NGO news

Media commission’s head has been abroad for three months

by | Mar 2

TBILISI, DFWatch--A new report found violations in the activities of the National Communications Commission. It says that commission head Irakli Chikovani, who has been abroad for the last 3 months, has a conflict of interest. Georgian Young Lawyer's

NGO news

Georgian media continue to be polarized

by | Feb 28

TBILISI, DFWatch--According to a new survey the main problem in Georgian media is polarization. This is the main finding of a new report based on data gathered by four Georgian NGOs: Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), Internews – Georgia, International

NGO news

New book details ownership in Misha’s Georgia

by | Feb 24

TBILISI, DFWatch--After the election for parliament last year, the process of changing and reallocation ownership has begun, says journalist Paul Rimple, who has published a new book called Who Owned Georgia. In it, he vividly depicts the very sophisticated quasi-legal

News

Airing of edited Robakidze video condemned

by | Feb 22
demonstration-at-rustavi-2-2013-02-21-londa-beria-photo

TBILISI, DFWatch--The public defender and several major non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Georgia condemn Rustavi 2 TV for airing the footage of the 2004 police raid which killed a teenager. The Robakidze incident has been in the focus of the public interest

Elections '12-'13, News, NGO news

Saakashvili’s local people are leaving

by | Feb 15

TBILISI, DFWatch--According to a new survey, the number keeps growing of public employees who are members of President Saakashvili's party and have been fired after the parliamentary elections of October, 2012. The report, which is published by International Society

News, Prisoner abuse

Prison torture has not been investigated: NGOs

by | Feb 11

TBILISI, DFWatch--Non-governmental organizations say the cases of torture in the prisons, which caused a wave of demonstrations in September, 2012 and preceded the ruling party’s election defeat, have not been investigated by the new government. "Despite an

NGO news

New webpage about EU-Georgia relations

by | Feb 11

TBILISI, DFWatch--European Initiative - Liberal Academy Tbilisi presented a new web service about the evolution of EU-Georgia relations. The goal of the project “Who is Who in Brussels on Georgia and the South Caucasus” is to offer a mapping of major interlocutors

NGO news

Are the trials against ex officials political revenge?

by | Feb 1

TBILISI, DFWatch -- Foreign diplomats in Tbilisi are concerned about the many speedy trials against former officials, saying the whole process looks like political revenge. The new government in Georgia has received seven thousand complaints from people who say they

NGO news

GYLA: Local government employees under pressure

by | Feb 1

TBILISI, DFWatch -- Civil groups in Georgia are concerned about the dismissal of public employees in local government. Around 1 200 public employees have been fired from their jobs since the election in October, 2012. Non-governmental organizations now protest

NGO news

Georgia improves on press freedom list

by | Jan 31

TBILISI, DFWatch -- Georgia is placed 100 among 179 countries on World Press Freedom Index list 2013. This is an improvement by four places compared to last year. The report, published by Reporters without Borders, mentions Georgia only in passing together with a few

NGO news

A thousand public employees may have been forced to leave

by | Jan 25

TBILISI, DFWatch -- Transparency International Georgia claims pressure may have been involved as over a thousand public employees have left their jobs after the change of government in October, 2012. The group writes that employees of public institutions are under pressure

NGO news

Unchanged bonus system for public employees

by | Jan 14

TBILISI, DFWatch -- A group claims a bonus system for public employees has not changed after the parliamentary election, but that there is slightly more transparency. According to the Ministry of Finance, bonuses given to public employees amounted to over 750 000 GEL

Elections '12-'13, News

800 000 Georgians demand Saakashvili’s resignation

by | Jan 7

TBILISI, DFWatch -- Five years after the last presidential election in Georgia, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) claim that they have gathered 800 000 signatures in support of a demand that President Saakashvili should resign. Georgian Dream, the new ruling party,

NGO news

Three months after election, civil society groups make new plans

by | Dec 27

TBILISI, DFWatch -- The largest Georgian union of civil society organizations December 24 met to discuss the role of civil society, and their activities and future plans. The National Platform, as the union is called, has been joined by 106 civil society organizations.

NGO news

Georgia’s reserve funds lacked transparency

by | Dec 19

TBILISI, DFWatch -- A new survey shows that the least transparent issue during recent years has been the spending of money from two state reserve funds. Georgian Young Lawyer's Association (GYLA) presented the survey, which deals with the spending of money from

News

Georgia places 51. on corruption ranking

by | Dec 6

TBILISI, DFWatch -- Georgia comes in at 51. place in the latest Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI). In the previous ranking, the country was in 64. place. The CPI is prepared by Transparency International and scores and ranks countries and territories based

Media, News

Georgian media is partial, report shows

by | Nov 24

TBILISI, DFWatch -- A new report shows that Georgian TV companies have problems with bringing balanced and objective information. Channel 9, which belongs to Prime Minister Bidizna Ivanishvili, is now positive to the new government, but before the election

Media, News

How Mze TV was taken over and muted

by | Nov 16

TBILISI, DFWatch -- A former owner of a Georgian TV station claims that he was forced to sell it by the former government. TV Mze (which in Georgian means 'Sun') was launched by millionaire Vano Chkhartishvili, a member of parliament before the Rose Revolution in 2003

NGO news

Groups drop out of review process for political prisoners

by | Nov 13

TBILISI, DFWatch -- Two human rights groups in Georgia have opted out of a working group tasked with identifying political prisoners, because they believe there is too much time pressure to handle each case in a responsible way. The working group for political

NGO news

Muslims under pressure in Georgian village

by | Nov 8

`TBILISI, DFWatch -- A lawyers group warns about religious differences in a village in western Georgia. The confrontation began on November 2 between Christian and Muslim Georgians in the village Nigvziani in the western part of the country. Controversy erupted when

News

Ombudsman candidates roasted by students

by | Nov 6

TBILISI, DFWatch -- Society for a better Society organized a meeting between three candidates for ombudsman in front of students at Tbilisi State University on November 5, 2012. Each candidate had 15 minutes to talk about their views and future plans. The rights

News

Caucasus Online’s former owner tells of surveillance

by | Oct 31

TBILISI, DFWatch -- The former owner of a telecommunication company claims that the company was under serious pressure, because he refused to install listening devices. Caucasus Online is one of the biggest telecommunication companies in Georgia. Its former owner,

News, Prisoner abuse

Juvenile prisoners in Georgia are suffering, says group

by | Oct 30

TBILISI, DFWatch -- Psychologists say juvenile prisoners are serving time under very bad conditions in Georgia. Georgian Centre for Psychosocial and Medical Rehabilitation of Torture Victims (GCRT) found out that juvenile prisoners were tortured last year. Head

Media, News

PIK’s fate still uncertain

by | Oct 26

TBILISI, DFWatch -- It is still unknown what will happen to a Russian language TV channel based in Georgia. PIK TV is one of the channels run by the Georgian Public Broadcaster. Since October 12, PIK has been had reduced programming, broadcasting old material

NGO news

Ruling expands the right to privacy

by | Oct 25

TBILISI, DFWatch -- A lawyers group’s has won a lawsuit against the Georgian parliament. Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA) protested the law about operative investigations, which gave power to observe and participate in open and closed internet

News, Politics

New minister explained allegedly racist comments

by | Oct 24

TBILISI, DFWatch -- Several non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are voicing their opposition to a candidate for refugee minister in the new government. Prime Minister candidate Bidzina Ivanishvili, who is leader of the election winner Georgian Dream, earlier

NGO news

TI report: Media in Georgia will remain polarized

by | Oct 18

TBILISI, DFWatch -- Transparency International Georgia (TIG) predicts that the television environment will stay polarized. Less than two weeks have passed since the election, and the political changes have already started to have an effect on the television environment.

NGO news

Hidden political ads in Georgian election campaign

by | Oct 18

TBILISI, DFWatch -- During the election campaign in Georgia there were hidden political advertisements on TV. This is the result of a study by the Human Rights Center in Tbilisi. The group have studied advertising clips and found examples of hidden commercials on TV

Media, News

Tax amnesty to benefit pro-government TV

by | Oct 16

TBILISI, DFWatch -- The government is offering TV stations exemption from paying outstanding tax debts. This will mostly benefit two pro-government TV stations. Acting Finance Minister Alexandre Khetaguri said Monday that broadcasters will be allowed to pay reduced fees

News

Call for debate between ombudsman candidates

by | Oct 16

TBILISI, DFWatch -- Georgian Young Lawyer's Association wants a debate between prospective candidates for new ombudsman. The young lawyers think such a debate should be organized by the Georgian public broadcaster so society can get familiar with their views and what

News

Audit service committed many violations

by | Oct 13

TBILISI, DFWatch -- A new survey shows that the State Audit Office committed many violations during the last year. Representatives of Coalition For Freedom of Choice and an independent expert group have studied the work of the State Audit Office's activities and presented

NGO news

Tamar Gurchiani named as candidate for public defender

by | Oct 12

TBILISI, DFWatch -- Georgian Young Lawyer's Association (GYLA) and other non-governmental organizations have  proposed to the parliament that Tamar Gurchiani should be the new public defender. “We, the members of non-governmental organizations,

Elections, Elections '12-'13, News

Georgian Dream activists accused of violence

by | Oct 10

TBILISI, DFWatch -- The physical harassment and psychological pressure against the district election commissions is continuing. Activists from the Georgian Dream party, which won the parliamentary election last week, are now accused of harassing local authorities in Marneuli

NGO news

Civil groups ready to help new government

by | Oct 9

TBILISI, DFWatch -- The largest Georgian union of civil society organizations is ready to offer advice and ideas to the new government. The National Platform – which unites 106 civil society organizations – says it is ready to take part in democratic reforms and efforts

Elections, Elections '12-'13, News

Most violations were not grave, ISFED found

by | Oct 3

TBILISI, DFWatch – International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED) summed up events on Election Day and reported about violations. The organization had 300 observers at 63 election district from 73. ISFED found that the election process went mostly with

Elections, Elections '12-'13, News

Young lawyers found violations

by | Oct 2

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgian Young Lawyer's Association discovered many violations during the election October 1. At a press conference 21:00 GYLA detailed their findings. The organization has information that near two election precincts special forces are mobilized.

NGO news

Backlash after prison abuse scandal: Study

by | Sep 30

TBILISI, DFWatch -- After a series of videos were released September 19, documenting torture of prisoners, more than 40 activists were put in administrative detention, an old Soviet-style form of punishment. The finding is part of in a new study by three non-governmental

NGO news

Run-up to Georgia poll marred by violence

by | Sep 29

TBILISI, DFWatch - International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED) is concerned about the increase in violent incidents and arrests possibly on political grounds. After a prison abuse scandal shook Georgia last week, which led to society paying a lot of

News

Young lawyers say recent cases are political

by | Sep 27

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgian Young Lawyer’s Association (GYLA) says the use of administrative detention recently has a political background. GYLA thinks 23 cases of administrative detention between 21. and 24. August are suspicios. The persons who have been

In brief, News

Police beat and arrested demonstrators

by | Sep 22

TBILISI, DFWatch – Saturday, a crowd of demonstrators tried to move in on a public service building in Tbilisi as President Mikheil Saakashvili was inside attending the opening ceremony. But police blocked the road and prevented people outraged over recent revelations

Society

Georgian communications watchdog sabotaging must-carry

by | Sep 19

TBILISI, DFWatch – A study concludes that Georgia's National Communications Commission is failing to cooperate effectively with society. The study was done by the must carry monitoring group, which estimates that out of the 3 621 256 voters in Georgia, over 200 000

Society

Students demonstrating for their rights

by | Sep 18

TBILISI, DFWatch - A group of university students refuses to attend lectures when the new academic year begins 17 September. They claim that the quality of education is not on the level they expect, based on how much they pay. The student’s movement Laboratoria 1918

Society

Students demand fired professor reinstated

by | Sep 16

TBILISI, DFWatch - Students at the state university in Tbilisi have launched a protest to demand that a lecturer who was fired for her political views gets back her position. Professor of philosophy and gender researcher Lela Gafrindashvili was teaching various

NGO news

Transparency International criticizes seizing of dishes

by | Sep 15

TBILISI, DFWatch - According to a new survey, the confiscation of a Georgian TV company’s property was illegal. Transparency International Georgia (TIG) is behind the new study, called Analysis of the 'Pre-Election Process'. The report is based on a survey

In brief, News

Support for killed U.S. diplomats

by | Sep 14

TBILISI, DFWatch - NGOs gathered at the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi to show their sympathy with the victims of the attack on American diplomats in Libya. Members of Union of Human Rights Defenders brought flowers to the Embassy of USA and drew a U.S. flag by placing

News

Renewed call to extend must-carry

by | Sep 12

TBILISI, DFWatch – Democracy groups in Georgia repeat their demand that the must-carry and must-offer principles must be extended beyond Election Day. Three campaigns consisting of NGOs and media presented a joint statement Wednesday. The three campaigns are:

NGO news

Young lawyers: Government websites misused

by | Sep 8

TBILISI, DFWatch - Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA) says the websites of local governments are being used to help the party in power, United National Movement (UNM). According to GYLA, the fact that these web sites publish information about UNM's

NGO news

ISFED finds that violations are on the rise

by | Sep 5

TBILISI, DFWatch – A new survey shows that there has been a worrying trend in the election campaign in Georgia with a growing number of violations. International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED) presented their fifth monitoring report. ISFED studied

Elections, News

Activists of the ruling party are distributing products to citizens

by | Sep 2

TBILISI, DFWatch - People dressed in National Movement t-shirts are handing out gifts to people Telavi, a town in eastern Georgia. They give them 10 kg of flour, 5 kg of pasta, a bottle of oil and 2 pieces of washing powder. According to the Informational Center of

NGO news

Bribery of a voter in eastern Georgia

by | Aug 30

TBILISI, DFWatch - A group working on election fairness demands that a case of bribery in one of the regions of Georgia is investigated. International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED) calls on law enforcement bodies to investigate a case of bribery in

NGO news

Interactive election map lets parties plan strategy

by | Aug 28

TBILISI, DFWatch - Interactive maps of past election results and voter lists are now available online. The interactive maps are offered by a recently established web portal which aims to collect information about alleged violations and incident throughout the election

NGO news

Report documents violations in Georgian election campaign

by | Aug 22

TBILISI, DFWatch – A new report reveals cases of violence, pressure and illegal usage of administrative resources in the election period. International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED) found two cases of people being firing because of their political

Elections, News

Political parties agree to rules of conduct

by | Aug 20

TBILISI, DFWatch - Political parties in Georgia are ready to agree with rules of conduct prepared by the campaign This Affects You Too intended to secure a peaceful, fair and competitive electoral environment before the October 1 parliamentary election. The ruling

NGO news

Young lawyers demand media decree abolished

by | Aug 16

TBILISI, DFWatch - Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA) thinks that a new decree about political advertisements exceeds the frames of law. The decree was issued on August 6 by the State Audit Office and it sets the rules for advertising, both for the media and

Media, News

Georgia’s ruling party concealing commercials as public ads

by | Aug 15

TBILISI, DFWatch - A new report concludes that some of the public service ads in Georgia contain a political message. The report is based on observation of several TV stations and shows that public service ads don’t meets the standards and are in reality covert

NGO news

Groups raise the alarm about the election campaign

by | Aug 11

TBILISI, DFWatch – Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Georgia appeal to international observers, organizations and diplomatic corps to look closer at the what is happening before the October 1 election.  The groups have been monitoring the election processes

NGO news

Transparency International criticizes Georgian TV

by | Aug 11

TBILISI, DFWatch - According to a new survey, both the government and the opposition in Georgia are trying to control the media. The authors of the report, Transparency International Georgia's (TI), think that the government and the opposition are trying to have an

News

2008 war remembered in Georgia

by | Aug 9
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TBILISI, DFWatch - Commemoration events will be held during a whole week in Georgia to pay tribute to victims of Russian-Georgian war in 2008. 370 people died as a result of the five-day war. 190 of them were civilians, 169 soldiers and 14 policemen, three journalists

Environment, News

EU commits aid to storm victims in Georgia

by | Aug 6

TBILISI, DFWatch – The European Union is to help families affected by the July 19 storm in Georgia which levelled more than 40 villages. More than 20 000 families were affected by the storm, which hit the south east part of Georgia. People lost their houses,

Economy, News

Price fixing in Georgian food and fuel market 

by | Aug 5

TBILISI, DFWatch - A new survey says that the fuel and food market in Georgia is an oligopoly.  The new study presented by Transparency International Georgia (TI) on August 3 is called 'Competition Policy in Georgia' and deals with the fuel and food market segments.

NGO news

‘Protest of the dishes’ outside prosecutor’s office

by | Aug 3

TBILISI, DFWatch - Representatives of Georgian media Friday demonstrated in front of the chief prosecutor’s office in Tbilisi against the seizure of satellite dishes belonging to Maestro TV. The event was called 'Let’s Seize the Prosecutor’s Office'

News

Media demonstrated outside Saakashvili’s palace

by | Aug 2

TBILISI, DFWatch – A rally was held Wednesday outside President Mikheil Saakashvili's residence in protest against the seizure of thousands of satellite dishes which prevents Georgians from seeing government-critical channels. The president’s residence

NGO news

Young lawyers say Maestro TV has been unfairly treated

by | Aug 1

TBILISI, DFWatch - In a new report, Georgian Young Lawyers Association's (GYLA) concludes that the Georgian chief prosecutor's arguments for sequestering the property of a small TV station are wrong and against the law. Tbilisi City Court sequestrated the TV company

NGO news

Georgia’s health insurance system has flaws: report

by | Jul 31

TBILISI, DFWatch - A new report by Transparency International Georgia (TI) shows that the country's health insurance system has major flaws. The study shows that there are mistakes when lists of beneficiaries of insurance programs are being worked out.

NGO news

Amnesty warns against political clashes in Georgia

by | Jul 25

TBILISI, DFWatch - Amnesty International expresses concern about the recent violence against opposition supporters and journalists in Georgia. In a new report, the organizations describes cases of verbal and physical abuse against Georgian Dream activists who

News

TV studio robbed, suspects political reasons

by | Jul 24

TBILISI, DFWatch – An independent TV studio in Georgia had its offices robbed, and suspects political reasons. Studio Monitor, which makes investigative reports for Maestro TV, was subject to a break-in on July 22. Its main work deals with producing

NGO news

Saakashvili using state budget to secure election victory

by | Jul 21

TBILISI, DFWatch – A new report warns that the government may be using money from the state budget to affect the outcome of the election. ”The state budget is less defined. So there is a risk that the ruling party will use it for its own interests,” explained Eka Gigauri,

NGO news

New web portal to map out election violations in Georgia

by | Jul 20

A new portal in Georgia has been created to let people report violations during the election period. The website is called the Multi-NGO Elections Portal, and aims at collecting information about alleged violations and incident throughout the election period.

NGO news

Child poverty is still high in Georgia

by | Jul 19

TBILISI, DFWatch – The poverty rate in Georgia has been reduced, but child poverty is still very high. According to a survey conducted by UNICEF, far too many children are still living in poverty, however the rate of poverty has been reduced by 2 percent from

NGO news

More violent incidents during Georgian election campaign

by | Jul 14

TBILISI, DFWatch – An employee of a public library who was fired in June claims the reason was her political opinion. She openly says she sympathizes with the opposition Georgian Dream party established by billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili. The library's director,

News

Opposition takes measures against harassment of athletes

by | Jul 13

TBILISI, DFWatch - The opposition Georgian Dream movement is campaigning to defend athletes against government harassment, but the sports minister says there is no harassment. Over 130 athletes have signed a petition organized by the opposition

NGO news

Is there a pharmaceutical cartel in Georgia?

by | Jul 13

TBILISI, DFWatch - Transparency International Georgia on May 22 presented the results of a study showing that three pharmaceutical companies control almost the whole Georgian market. The three companies are: AVERSI (35 %), PSP (30%) and GPC (15%).

NGO news

Georgia’s health care sector a Klondyke for commercial interests

by | Jul 13

TBILISI, DFWatch – A new study shows that the as the health care sector in Georgia has been privatised, the private health business has gained control over the hospitals. Herald De Bour, project coordinator for Transparency International's study,

News

Human rights group alarmed by situation in Geo prisons

by | Jul 4

TBILISI, DFWatch – Prisoners in Georgia are getting support from democracy campaigners who protested outside one of the most infamous prisons. Non-governmental organizations protested against prisoner abuse in No. 15 detention facility in Ksani at the hands of

News

Education reformer who was fired makes comeback

by | Jul 1

TBILISI, DFWatch – An key figure in Georgia's education reforms who was recently fired has made a comeback and launched her own consultancy to improve the education system. “We plan to provide some recommendations to the Ministry of Education and vigorously

News

Internal refugees forced out of their homes

by | Jun 23

TBILISI, DFWatch – Nodar is a refugee from Abkhazia, the breakaway Georgian republic. He has lived with his family in an old hospital in Tbilisi. But in 2010, Nodar was informed that they had to vacate their home the next day. "They promised that we will have good

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