NGO news

NGO coalition in Georgia proposes new procedure for selecting chief prosecutor

by | June 29, 2018

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia's largest NGO coalition proposes an overhaul of the existing system for selecting a chief prosecutor in order to minimize the risk that one party takes the decision unilaterally. The proposed bill comes in the wake of a two-week-long series of rallies in Tbilisi

NGO news

CSOs Seek Involvement in Public Defender’s Selection Process

by | October 19, 2017

We would like to respond to the statements related to the selection of Georgian Public Defender and call on the Parliament of Georgia to ensure civil society participation in the process of selecting the main human rights defender of the country. It is well-known to everyone that according to legislation, a Public Defender may be nominated by a parliamentary faction or by a group of at least six lawmakers, who do not belong to any faction. Despite it, civil society organizations had always participated in the discussions related to the election of Georgian Public Defender. As far as we know, following the elections, the Parliament of Georgia will launch the process of selecting the Public Defender. We suppose that participation of all stakeholders in this process will be of paramount importance. A number of documents, including the Action Plan of the Open Parliament of Georgia, envisages active participation of civil society in decision making.  Such promises gain importance just during such processes, as Public Defender's elections. Thus, we call on the Parliament of Georgia and especially, on the parliamentary majority group to ensure ...

NGO news

Open Society criticizes Hungary’s government for anti-NGO law

by | March 31, 2017

Open Society Foundations criticizes the  Hungarian government and accuses it of trying to silence academic freedom by proposing a law against internationally funded NGOs, which will make it ‘impossible’ for the Central European University in Budapest to operate.

NGO news

CSOs’ statement on alleged revocation of self-governing status from seven Georgian cities

by | March 29, 2017

Statement of Civil Society and Media organizations against alleged revocation of the status from the-now seven self-governing cities in Georgia

NGO news

Campaigners in Georgia urge president to veto surveillance bill

by | March 11, 2017

TBILISI, DFWatch--An activist group in the former Soviet republic of Georgia urges the president to veto a secret surveillance bill and plans to sue the government in the European Court of Human Rights over the bill. The bill on secret surveillance was adopted

NGO news

20 Georgian NGOs launch new coalition ‘For Euro-Atlantic Georgia’

by | September 5, 2016

The twenty organizations behind the new coalition say their goal is ‘to build a free and independent state, with effective democratic institutions, based on full respect for human rights and freedoms.’ Presenting the initiative at a press conference in Tbilisi on Monday, and in

NGO news

Contest for journalists ‘Leaders of Participation’

by | July 3, 2016

The Other Space Foundation and DF Watch invite journalists to participate in the contest ‘Leaders of Participation’ for the best journalistic work about participatory budgeting in the context of participatory democracy in Georgia.

NGO news

Georgia: Leaving Care

by | June 15, 2016

TBILISI, Georgia — Darina Eradze was just eleven-years-old when her mother had no other choice but to place her in care.  After years of living with a father with psychological problems, Darina says that her older brother and herself were beaten on an almost daily basis. Things became even worse when after putting their house down as collateral for a business loan, he lost it and the family was evicted. Her father would sleep in parks while Darina and the rest of her family would seek out abandoned buildings.

NGO news

Tbilisi NGOs ask Brussels to specify reform criteria

by | March 3, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--Eight non-governmental organizations in the Georgian capital ask the EU to specify exactly how to measure the reforms the country is carrying out after signing an association agreement with the EU in 2014. The association agreement involves

NGO news

More about the two American NGO workers who were deported from Russia

by | February 23, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--Russia last week detained two American members of non-governmental organizations (NGO) for violating visa rules and holding ‘non-tourist meetings.’ DF Watch spoke to Temur Kobalia, director of the NGO Georgian-Russian Forum,

NGO news

Groups find shortfalls in Georgia’s attempts to live up to EU agreement

by | December 18, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Non-governmental organizations on Friday presented a report about how Georgia is doing in fulfilling its requirements under an association agreement signed with EU in 2014. The report outlines progress in some fields, but also problems

NGO news

NGOs warn of selective justice after activists’ detention

by | October 7, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Tbilisi-based non-governmental organizations (NGOs) warn against selective justice from authorities and call on the government to treat everyone equally. The NGOs’ express concern about the detention of the three activists from Tavisufali

NGO news

NGOs urge Georgia to overhaul its strategy towards Russia

by | July 15, 2015

Tbilisi, DFWatch - Georgian NGOs call upon the government to "fundamentally revise" its politics toward Russia, postpone next round of Abashidze-Karasin talks and ensure more involvement of the international community in Georgian-Russian relations.

NGO news

Think-tank: Georgian business should reorient away from Russia, towards the EU

by | July 1, 2015

Tbilisi, DFWatch - Georgian government and business should switch their focus away from the trade with Russia towards taking full advantage of the opportunities created by the free trade agreement with the European Union, the report by Economic

NGO news

Report: Informal governance is rife in Georgia

by | May 29, 2015

Tbilisi, DFWatch - 15 non-government organizations prepared report about 2 years of Georgian Dream’s being in power describing progress and challenges, also main problems for the government, among which there is ‘informal governance’, the parliament failing to fulfill

NGO news

Poroshenko spontaneously left car to support NGO rally in Riga

by | May 27, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Civil society activists who rallied in Riga during the EU summit caught the attention of Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko, who saw the rally from his car and walked over to them to express his support. Members of the non-governmental organizations

NGO news

Activist group appeals against surveillance legislation in Constitutional Court

by | April 9, 2015

Tbilisi, DFWatch--NGOs in Georgia have revived their campaign This Affects You Too, and are launching a lawsuit against the Ministry of Internal Affairs for having direct access to communication operators’ networks and, thus, having ability to eavesdrop on citizens unchecked.

NGO news

Ivanishvili on collision course with the U.S. on role of NGOs

by | January 30, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--The godfather of the government in Georgia, billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, was rebuked by the US ambassador Thursday after criticizing three of the most influential NGO leaders in the country. In a long TV interview on one of the national TV

NGO news

Georgian PM criticizes NGOs for being biased

by | August 6, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili on Monday criticized non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for not being objective. He said during a meeting with students that it is important for democracy to have a strong, objective and unbiased civil

NGO news

Georgia introduces stricter regulation of secret surveillance

by | August 5, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian parliament last week approved an amendment which will bring in stricter rules for the use of secret surveillance by the state. According to the changes, the state may use secret surveillance in cases when it is a necessary, appropriate

NGO news

Observers say violations do not affect election outcome

by | June 15, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Independent observers in Georgia’s local election say the extent of violations seen so far is not enough to influence the final results. Two hours before voting ended in Georgia’s local election on Sunday, non-governmental organizations had filed 71

NGO news

Campaign wants mobile operators to oversee surveillance

by | May 20, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--The ‘This Affects You Too’ campaign demands that parliament appoints a special session to review a package of amendments to better regulate secret surveillance and considers it ‘shameful’ that the assembly failed to reach a quorum last

NGO news

NGOs claim gov’t delaying anti-surveillance bill till after election

by | April 29, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Campaigners fighting to stop secret surveillance in Georgia are asking parliament to pass amendments to prohibit secret phone surveillance before the local election on June 15. Non-governmental organizations in the ‘This Affects You Too’ campaign

NGO news

Georgian Orthodox Church opposed to anti-discrimination law

by | April 29, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian Orthodox Church is opposed to a draft anti-discrimination bill, which is currently making its way through parliament. Clerics there want to remove ‘sexual orientation’ from the text. But human rights activists and Tbilisi-based NGOs

NGO news

Curbing of illegal surveillance delayed, campaigners say

by | April 8, 2014

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

NGO news

Georgians switching off phones one hour to protest wiretapping

by | March 20, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--In Georgia, campaigners are asking people to switch off their mobile phones for one hour on Friday to protest illegal wiretapping. The campaign ‘This Affects You Too - They Still Listen to Us’ envisages turning off mobile phones every Friday

NGO news

Campaign asks people to turn off mobile phones in protest

by | March 11, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Several Georgian NGOs that are involved in the campaign 'This Affects You Too-They Still Listen to Us' call on citizens to turn off their mobile phones for two hours and protest against the government's illegal wiretapping. Nino Lomjaria, head

NGO news

2012’s democracy campaign revived in Georgia

by | March 6, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--A campaign in Georgia which played an important role ahead of Saakashvili's unexpected election defeat in 2012 has been revived. The campaign This Affects You Too is being brought back to life in order to fight against illegal surveillance by

NGO news

Georgian NGOs express concern about events in Ukraine

by | January 26, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--An umbrella organization uniting more than a hundred non-governmental organizations in Georgia on Saturday issued a statement expressing concern about events in Ukraine. The statement, which is signed by more than 60 groups that are members

NGO news

The revolving doors of Georgia’s politics and business

by | December 10, 2013

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

NGO news

Open Society report highlights progress in Georgia’s reforms

by | October 25, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Open Society Foundations in Georgia and Armenia say in a new report that there is "some progress" in several areas of Georgia's efforts to fulfill its European aspirations and existing challenges during. The report, which was presented a few days ago,

NGO news

NGO report lists gov’t car purchases

by | October 21, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Government bodies in Georgia have purchased 2 146 cars from January 2011 to July 2013, a new a report by Georgian Young Lawyer's Association shows. Six out of ten of the most expensive cars were purchased by the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA)

NGO news

ISFED lists violations in Georgia’s election campaign

by | October 16, 2013

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

NGO news

Georgia considered free in terms of Internet

by | October 4, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--In a new survey of Internet freedom published by the US-based human rights organization Freedom House, Georgia receives 26 points and is listed in twelfth place among 60 countries measured with status as free. According to the survey, it is the

NGO news

2 300 have been replaced in local government

by | September 19, 2013

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 | September 17, 2013

  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

NGO news

Municipalities are awarding bonuses without specific criteria

by | September 12, 2013

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

NGO news

Only 4% of public hirings are competitive in Georgia

by | August 14, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--According to a new survey by Transparency International Georgia (TIG), about 6 000 employees have been dismissed from public institutions after the 1 October 2012 parliamentary elections. Almost half of them have resigned and only 4% of newly hired

NGO news

Ivanishvili wedding appearance might have violated campaign rules

by | August 12, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili might have violated election legislation after he gave a ring to a wedding couple during a visit to a village. International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED), which is observing events around the

NGO news

Georgia’s courts are finally becoming more independent

by | August 10, 2013

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 | August 6, 2013

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 | August 4, 2013

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 | July 29, 2013

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 | July 12, 2013

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 | July 10, 2013

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

NGO news

New report shows state funding of Georgian Church

by | July 6, 2013

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

Groups call on authorities to prevent religous conflict in Georgia

by | June 30, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Groups in Georgia call on the government to settle the religious conflict in a Kakheti village and ensure the safety of Muslims. The groups are backed up by the Public Defender in their call for Interior Minister Irakli Gharibashvili to take immediate action to avoid

NGO news

GYLA asks government to regulate public bonuses

by | June 21, 2013

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

New report exposes faults in Georgia polling

by | June 20, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--A new report about the political polls in 2012 warns of a dangerous trend if last year’s polls continue this year ahead of the presidential election in October. The report Making Public Polling Matter found that the results of last year’s polls

NGO news

Phasing out bonus system for parliamentarians had little effect

by | June 14, 2013

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, 2013

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

NGO news

Amnesty International says Georgian police failed on May 17

by | May 19, 2013

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, 2013

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, 2013

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, 2013

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 | April 29, 2013

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

TI criticizes absence of GNCC chairman

by | April 18, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Transparency International Georgia (TIG) says the head of the commission that oversees and regulates the telecommunication and broadcasting sectors is not tending to his duties. TIG now calls on parliament to investigate if Irakli Chikovani

NGO news

Audit Office was biased, new report finds

by | April 14, 2013

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

Police chief hospitalized after quarrel with lawyers

by | April 4, 2013

Tbilisi, DFWatch - The head of Adjara police has been taken to hospital with convulsions and strong anxiety after he was accused of violence and an organization demanded his suspension. Doctors say police chief Valerian Telia, who was brought

NGO news

Young lawyers in dispute with the police in Batumi

by | April 4, 2013

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 | April 3, 2013

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

More communication with Europe needed, GNP argues

by | March 30, 2013

Tbilisi, DFWatch - Georgia’s National Platform, an umbrella group of the tens of local NGOs, claims that information about current events of Georgia is incorrectly reported abroad and such situation evokes many challenges during a process

NGO news

GYLA: Public registry employees fired for political reasons

by | March 22, 2013

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 | March 17, 2013

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 | March 9, 2013

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 | March 7, 2013

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 | March 2, 2013

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 | February 28, 2013

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 | February 24, 2013

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

Elections '12-'13, News, NGO news

Ivanishvili government’s first 100 days

by | February 19, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Georgia met for a conference on Monday to sum up the three months after the parliamentary election of Georgia. Representatives of NGOs working in the human rights field described the government's first 100

Elections '12-'13, News, NGO news

Saakashvili’s local people are leaving

by | February 15, 2013

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

NGO news

New webpage about EU-Georgia relations

by | February 11, 2013

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 | February 1, 2013

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 | February 1, 2013

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 | January 31, 2013

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 | January 25, 2013

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 | January 14, 2013

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

NGO news

Three months after election, civil society groups make new plans

by | December 27, 2012

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

Top-level corruption was rife in Georgia: NGO

by | December 26, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch -- Just as the Inter RAO corruption scandal is jolting the political scene in Georgia, a Georgian think tank claims to have revealed three further cases of what is called high level corruption. The Saakashvili government has been credited with having effectively

NGO news

TI asks for proof that wiretap was legal

by | December 24, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch -- Transparency International Georgia demands that the authorities show proof that they had a legal right to secretly tap the phones of two former officials. The phone conversations in question were used to justify detaining officials in the

NGO news

Georgia’s reserve funds lacked transparency

by | December 19, 2012

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

NGO news

Kutaisi parliament cost USD 196 million

by | December 11, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch -- A new study has revealed the true cost of Georgia's new parliament: USD 196 million. Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI) on Monday presented a report about the cost of building a new parliament building in Kutaisi, the second

NGO news

Unscheduled audit of Georgia’s public broadcaster

by | November 19, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch -- Georgia’s Revenue Service November 6 started an unscheduled audit of the financial activity of the Public Broadcaster. Finance Minister Nodar Khaduri November 7 stated that Georgia’s Public Broadcaster has about USD 2.2 million in debt to the

NGO news

Groups drop out of review process for political prisoners

by | November 13, 2012

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 | November 8, 2012

`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

NGO news

Ruling expands the right to privacy

by | October 25, 2012

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

NGO news

TI report: Media in Georgia will remain polarized

by | October 18, 2012

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 | October 18, 2012

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

NGO news

Tamar Gurchiani named as candidate for public defender

by | October 12, 2012

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,

NGO news

Civil groups ready to help new government

by | October 9, 2012

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

NGO news

Backlash after prison abuse scandal: Study

by | September 30, 2012

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 | September 29, 2012

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

NGO news

Transparency International criticizes seizing of dishes

by | September 15, 2012

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

NGO news

Young lawyers: Government websites misused

by | September 8, 2012

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 | September 5, 2012

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

NGO news

Bribery of a voter in eastern Georgia

by | August 30, 2012

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 | August 28, 2012

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 | August 22, 2012

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

NGO news

Campaign finance watchdog treats parties unequally

by | August 21, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - A new report by Transparency International Georgia shows that the State Audit Service (SAS) has is treating political parties unequally. According to the report “Political Parties’ Finance – in 2011”, the SAS tends to be more interested

NGO news

Central Election Commission agrees to standards of practice

by | August 17, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - Georgia's Central Election Commission has signed a memorandum with seven local non-government organizations (NGOs) and the inter-agency commission about usage of administrative resources during the election period. The signatory

NGO news

ISFED approves work of voters list commission

by | August 16, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - Despite its shortcomings, International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED) and Council of Europe’s election program advisor, Igor Gaon, are positive to how the Commission for Voters’ List Accuracy is working. The commission will

NGO news

Young lawyers demand media decree abolished

by | August 16, 2012

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

NGO news

Groups raise the alarm about the election campaign

by | August 11, 2012

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 | August 11, 2012

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

NGO news

‘Protest of the dishes’ outside prosecutor’s office

by | August 3, 2012

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'

NGO news

Georgian officials to get training in how to hold elections

by | August 3, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED) will hold training courses about the electoral issues for employees in the local government in all Georgian municipalities. The training project aims to contribute to the conduction

NGO news

Young lawyers say Maestro TV has been unfairly treated

by | August 1, 2012

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 | July 31, 2012

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

Georgia’s embassy in U.S. engaged in election campaigning

by | July 28, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - Transparency International Georgia asks the country's foreign ministry not to let the diplomatic service be used for political means. According to information provided by TI, the Georgian embassy in the United States is sending out e-mails

NGO news

Amnesty warns against political clashes in Georgia

by | July 25, 2012

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

NGO news

Saakashvili using state budget to secure election victory

by | July 21, 2012

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 | July 20, 2012

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 | July 19, 2012

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

Democracy campaign welcomes non-violent initiative

by | July 17, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch – Campaigners in Georgia welcome an initiative by the government to make political actors commit to not use or incite violence during the election campaign. The campaign This Affects You Too thinks that such an agreement between political parties

NGO news

More violent incidents during Georgian election campaign

by | July 14, 2012

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,

NGO news

Is there a pharmaceutical cartel in Georgia?

by | July 13, 2012

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 | July 13, 2012

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,

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