In brief, News

Lithuanian PM advocates Georgian NATO membership

by | April 30, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - The prime ministers of Georgia and Lithuania today signed a memorandum of understanding. The MoU deals with cooperation within local government between Lithuania's national assembly, the Seimas’s Committee on State Administration and Local Government

In brief, News

OSCE sends extra election observers to Georgia

by | April 30, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch – A team of election experts from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) will visit Georgia June 11-16. The OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) is sending a mission in connection with Georgia's

In brief, News

Lithuanians arrive to talk about local government

by | April 30, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch – A delegation from Lithuania’s Seimas will visit Georgia on Monday. In the morning, the delegation which are members of the Seimas' Committee on State Administration and Local Government, will participate in a Georgian-Lithuanian forum about local

Society

A quarter of Georgia’s population are missing

by | April 30, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - 23 per cent of Georgia's population is away from the country, 80 per cent of which are illegal labor migrants and sole bread-winners. These are some of the findings in a new report made by Liberal Academy Tbilisi, called Visa Facilitation and Readmission:

News

Abkhazia opens embassy in Nicaragua

by | April 29, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - Georgia’s breakaway region Abkhazia has opened an embassy in Nicaragua. According to Apsnypress, Abkhazia's ambassador to Venezuela, Zaur Gvajava, will also take on the function as ambassador to Nicaragua. Nicaragua will help Abkhazians in their relations

Opinion

Disappearances inefficiently investigated by Georgia and Russia

by | April 28, 2012

During and after the Russo-Georgia conflict in August 2008, there have been a lot of human rights violations committed by both parties in the conflict, such as unlawful and disproportionate use of force by the military, unlawful detention of persons, inhuman treatment,

News

McCain asks Clinton to lead on Georgia’s NATO membership

by | April 28, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - In a letter to Hilary Clinton, U.S. Senator John McCain expresses concern about Georgia’s occupied territories and calls for the Secretary of the State to support Georgia. “The upcoming NATO summit in Chicago presents an excellent opportunity to

News

‘We’ll reunite breakaway regions through negotiations’

by | April 28, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - The main opposition bloc in Georgia says if it wins October's election, it will get back the breakaway republics Abkhazia and South Ossetia through negotiations, with Germany as mediator. Irakli Alasania, an ex-diplomat and opposition politician who

News

Russian businessman’s beating tells of systematic violence in Abkhazia

by | April 27, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - A Russian businessman was severely beaten at his office in Abkhazia by local business partners. A video was posted to Youtube showing footage taken from a surveillance camera. Igor Varov was taken to the hospital on April 6, due to injuries suffered

News

Georgia’s interior minister: No-one has been shot by police for years

by | April 27, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - Georgia’s Interior Minister says Georgia is the only country in the world where police haven’t used weapons against a criminal for three years. “For the last three-four years no person has died from policemen’s weapon in Georgia, no policeman died

News

The background for Tuesday’s scuffle in parliament

by | April 27, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - Georgia’s Armenian community asks parliament to recognize the events of 1915-1923 in Turkey as genocide and also asks Tbilisi City Hall to build a memorial dedicated to victims of the genocide. Two years ago, the community received a positive answer

News

Opposition leader blamed for inspiring Abkhazian hostility

by | April 27, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - Giga Bokeria, Georgia’s Secretary of Security Council blames opposition leader Irakli Alasania of having caused the announcement by Abkhazia which declared the head of the EU monitoring mission (EUMM) to Georgia an undesirable person. He expressed

News

Russian President Medvedev calls Georgia’s Saakashvili ‘a zero’

by | April 27, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - Russian President calls his Georgian counterpart clueless and says that sooner or later there will be a new leader in Georgia, with whom Russia can cooperate. Dmitry Medvedev made this statement during an interview broadcast on a Russian TV channel.

News

Breakdown in talks between Georgia and breakaway regions

by | April 26, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - The de facto foreign ministry of Georgia’s breakaway region Abkhazia has declared the head of the EU observers a persona non grata. As a consequence, the ministry canceled the 36th planned meeting of the incident prevention mechanisms on Tuesday.

News

Georgia’s interior minister must explain warning against 2008 war

by | April 26, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia's interior minister, Vano Merabishvili, must today answer a question in parliament about a warning he received a year and a half before the war with Russia in August 2008. The billionaire who says he made the warning is now building an opposition

In brief, News

Georgia’s National Bank lowers interest rate

by | April 26, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - The National Bank of Georgia Wednesday decided to lower the main refinancing rate by a quarter point to 6.25%. Lowering the rate now is an indication that the bank has an optimistic view of the country's economy. In a statement, the bank notes that the

News

Secrecy law criticized by groups in Georgia

by | April 26, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - Two groups in Georgia want to change a new secrecy law which they say restricts access to public information. Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA), Transparency International Georgia and Institute for Development of Freedom of Information

Opinion

Major Aspects of the Public Service Reform

by | April 25, 2012

One of the priority directions of Georgian Development Research Institute (GDRI) is the concept on public service reform, writes Levan Izoria, lawyer at the GDRI. The aim of the given concept is to create a guarantees for the independence of the public servant. Until recently

News

Georgian media to be scrutinized ahead of important election

by | April 25, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - The European Union and United Nations Development Program is starting a new round of media monitoring in Georgia for the upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections in 2012 and 2013. All kinds of media outlets will be monitored, including TV, radio,

In brief, News

Sixteenth Georgian soldier dies in Afghanistan

by | April 25, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - Georgia’s Defense Ministry informs that another soldier has died in Afghanistan, bringing the total number of servicemen lost there to sixteen. Valerian Khujadze was serving in the 31st Battalion in the volatile Helmand province. The incident happened on

In brief, News

Scuffle in Georgian parliament over Armenian genocide

by | April 25, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - A scuffle broke out Tuesday in the Georgian parliament during a debate about the Armenian genocide. Jondi Baghaturia, member of parliament (MP) for the opposition Georgian Troupe party, asked in a speech what the government is going to do regarding a

News

New 210 MW hydro power station to be built in Georgia

by | April 25, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - President Mikheil Saakashvili Monday marked the start of construction work for a new hydro power station in a mountainous region in Western Georgia. The Nenskra power station in the village Chuberi will deliver 210 megawatt when finished. According to

Opinion

Protection of Intellectual Property Rights in Georgia

by | April 24, 2012

In 2011, within the framework of the Eurasia Partnership Foundation’s European Integration Program, a report: Implementation of European Neighborhood Policy Action Plan (ENP AP) for 2011 in Georgia: Assessment of Civil Society Representatives was prepared. Economic

News

EU Commissioner Štefan Füle encourages civic groups in Georgia

by | April 24, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - Štefan Füle, the EU’s commissioner for enlargement, promises that the upcoming parliamentary elections in Georgia will remain a high priority on the EU's agenda. He says they are paying particular attention to the newly adopted law on political unions

In brief, News

Tax incentive near breakaway regions

by | April 24, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - The tax pressure will be relieved, sanctions liberalized and the administration will be simplified, the government has decided. Rusudan Kemularia, Deputy Finance Minister, held a briefing on Monday regarding the plan. She presented amendments to the tax

In brief, News

Negotiations in May for U.S.-Georgia trade plan

by | April 24, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - Negotiations will start between Georgia and the U.S. at the end of May aimed at intensifying trade relations. Georgia's Prime Minister Nika Gilauri announced this after returning from a visit to the U.S. Gilauri met the heads of the Millennium Challenge

News

CoE criticizes Russian passports in Georgian breakaway regions

by | April 24, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch – The Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly again says Russia's practice of issuing passport in territories it occupies in Georgia is a violation of international rules. According to the Georgian parliament's press office, relating information

News

More sites may be added to Georgia-Turkey monuments deal

by | April 24, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - Georgia and Turkey have still not reached agreement over the exact text of a treaty about protection of historic sites. Deputy foreign minister Nino Kalandadze said Monday that additional sites may be included as the talks progress. The treaty concerns

In brief, News

ODIHR positive to strengthened monitoring of Georgian election

by | April 23, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights expresses readiness to take part in observing the parliamentary elections in Georgia. Deputy Foreign Minister Nino Kalandadze adds that Georgia is not waiting for an official response

News

Construction of new Georgian parliament still engulfed in secrecy

by | April 23, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - An advocacy group of young lawyers says the construction of a new parliament building in western Georgia is so opaque that there could well be corruption without anyone noticing. Georgian Young Lawyer's Association (GYLA) has researched the

News

South Africans arrive to learn secrets of Georgian soil

by | April 23, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - A delegation of South African farmers have arrived in Georgia to check the prospects of taking root here. Papuna Davitaia, State Minister for Diaspora Issues, opened the conference, which is held at Radisson Hotel, by underlining that business relations

Economy, News

As Elit Electronics takeover is completed, ex-owner fights on

by | April 23, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - One of the largest electronics chains in Georgia has been taken away from its founder, as the remaining 15 per cent of shares were sold at an auction. Anzor Kokoladze, who built the chain from scratch, is serving an eight year prison term after a tax

News

Georgian opposition: Zero tax for those with low income

by | April 23, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - Saturday, the opposition party everybody expects to challenge Mikheil Saakashvili in October's parliamentary election gathered for a founding congress in Tbilisi. Its unofficial leader, billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, promised to revive agriculture

News

Georgian ambassador protests country’s portrayal as Orwellian

by | April 23, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia's ambassador to Sweden protests against the portrayal of his country as an Orwellian society where everybody is under surveillance by the secret police. Ambassador Konstantin Kavtaradze sent a letter to SVT, the Swedish public broadcaster,

In brief, News

Trump spoke about planned high rise, left Georgia

by | April 22, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - American billionaire Donald Trump has left Georgia, after a two day visit. Trump arrived Saturday in Tbilisi, and Sunday held a press conference in Batumi, where he plans to cooperate with local investors on building a 47-storey residential high rise

News

Global weapons trade may be brought under control

by | April 22, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - The international trade in weapons which fuels conflicts around the world may be brought under control, if talks in New York in July bear fruit. If successful, the talks will lead to the world's first Arms Trade Treaty, aimed at preventing weapons from reaching the

In brief, News

Georgian opposition movement chooses woman to front party

by | April 21, 2012

TBLISI, DFWatch - Georgia's main opposition party today chose a female lawyer as its temporary leader. As there is less than six months left until the parliamentary elections, billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili today formally established his Georgian Dream party. Due to

News

Bankruptcy frees companies of all debt

by | April 21, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - A new law lets companies escape all debt if they go bankrupt, freeing the owners of all responsibilities. Following a decision by the government, companies in Georgia will be able to liquidate without paying debts. Creditors won’t be able to ask

Opinion

Russian investigation of violations against ethnic Georgians in August 2008 war

by | April 21, 2012

The Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA) in partnership with the European Human Rights Advocacy Centre (EHRAC) and the Russian Justice Initiative (RJI) have lodged a number of cases against the Russian Federation of victims of 2008 August war with the European Court of Human Rights, writes Tamar Abazadze, lawyer at Georgian Young Lawyer's Association (GYLA). The Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA) represents the interests of a number of victims of the Russian-Georgian armed conflict of August 2008 in applications to the European Court of Human Rights against the State of Russia. In 2009, GYLA working together with EHRAC applied to the Office of the Prosecutor of the Russian Federation through its partner human rights NGOs, Memorial and the Russian Justice Initiative, on behalf of around 400 victims of the Russian-Georgian armed conflict of August 2008, requesting the launch of preliminary investigations into the crimes committed against them. The applications set out the various crimes committed against the victims by representatives of the Russian military and the de-facto South Ossetian armed forces at the time the territory where they resided was under the ...

In brief, News

Donald Trump arrives in Tbilisi for 2-day visit

by | April 21, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - The American billionaire Donald Trump arrived at Tbilisi international airport noon Saturday for a two day visit to Georgia. Meeting him at the airport were Minister for Economic Development Vera Kobalia and head of Silk Road Group Giorgi Ramishvili.

News

Uncertain who will front Georgian opposition movement

by | April 21, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - It is still unknown who will be the formal leader of the main opposition movement in Georgia, less than six months before the parliamentary elections. But there is little doubt that the real leader will be billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, who Saturday

Economy, News

Why do many Georgians give their property to the state?

by | April 21, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - There are many reports in Georgia these days of deprivation of property rights. People abandon their property or donate it to the government right after registering it at the Public Registry, and later refuse to speak about their reasons. The founder

News

Georgians victim of human trafficking in Turkey

by | April 20, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - An organization in Georgia has revealed video footage showing the working conditions of Georgians in Turkey. Merab Ghoghoberidze, head of Information Center for Georgia’s Fight against Corruption in Batumi, told Interpressnews that Georgians contacted

News

Saakashvili’s apparatus accused of bribing voters

by | April 20, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili's administration is accused of bribing voters, after several closed meetings with the population in different cities in Georgia, Maestro TV reports. The meetings were held to introduce the ruling National

In brief, News

Russia concerned over Georgia’s NATO aspirations

by | April 20, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch – Russia's foreign minister Sergey Lavrov says it causes confusion and apprehension for his country that Georgia continues to be a candidate for NATO membership. Lavrov said this after a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council Thursday. “Now, NATO

In brief, News

Tax incentive for Georgians living near the conflict zone

by | April 20, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch – Property close to the occupied territories of Georgia are to be exempted from property tax. The government proposes to amend the tax code so that land which is owned by a person or property lands that are located near the occupied territories,

Economy, News

Seeds of prosperity between Georgia and Armenia?

by | April 20, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - How can Armenia and Georgia create more growth – literally – in their border region? Agriculture was the topic of a conference Thursday at Courtyard Marriott Hotel in Tbilisi. The goal was to exchange information on local planning and

In brief, News

Tougher sentences for family violence

by | April 19, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - Family violence may become a crime in Georgia. Systematic physical, psychological violence or force by one family member against another, which causes physical, psychological or moral pain or suffering for the victim, will be punished by a fine or

News

New leader inaugurated in Tskhinvali

by | April 19, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - South Ossetia Thursday inaugurated its newly elected de facto president, former local KGB head Leonid Tibilov. The second round of president elections in the Georgian breakaway region was held on April 8. Tibilov competed against David Sanakoyev,

In brief, News

Political pressure on opposition activists in Eastern Georgia

by | April 19, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - The pressure group Georgian Young Lawyer's Association says supporters of the opposition Georgian Dream coalition are regularly subject to pressure in the eastern Kakheti region of Georgia. Spokesperson for GYLA's Kakheti office told Interpressnews

Society

Abkhazians go to Georgia for medical treatment

by | April 19, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - The de facto president of Georgia’s breakaway region Abkhazia recently said a veteran from Abkhazia had died in a Georgian hospital. The government here in Tbilisi has not commented of given any details. DF Watch visited a few large hospitals

News

German-Georgian relations reaffirmed in Tbilisi

by | April 18, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - Germany is satisfied with how the negotiations between Georgia and the EU are going, to work out an association agreement. Cornelia Pieper, Germany’s Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister, said this after a meeting with her Georgian colleague. Pieper

News

The trouble with American military laboratories

by | April 18, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - A new U.S. financed biological laboratory opened in March 2011 near Tbilisi. It will have American military researchers working there. Is it a problem? According to the website of the Central Public Health Reference Laboratory, it “will belong to an international

In brief, News

Another suicide reported in case of Abkhazian attackers

by | April 18, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - Another suspect in the attack on de facto Abkhazian president is reported to have committed suicide. Ria Novosti reports that Temur Khutaba hanged himself. He was one of the men suspected in the failed assassination attempt on Alexander Ankvab on

In brief, News

Suspect in Ankvab assassination attempt commits suicide

by | April 18, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - A former Interior minister suspected of participating in the attack on the de facto president of Abkhazia on February 22, committed suicide on Tuesday. Abkhazian news agency Apsnypress reports that operational units of the co-called Interior Ministry

In brief, News

Roki tunnel to be closed the next three years

by | April 18, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - The tunnel carrying the only road connecting Russia and Georgia’s breakaway region South Ossetia will be partly closed for the next three years, starting April 24, Russian media reports. The Roki tunnel runs through the greater Caucasus mountain range

News

Georgian Railways is to be listed on London stock exchange

by | April 18, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - Georgian Railways is set to be listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE), becoming the second Georgian companies to achieve a listing, after Bank of Georgia. Prime Minister Nika Gilauri said April 12 that the government was planning to place several

In brief, News

German foreign affairs official visits Georgia

by | April 17, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - Germany's Minister of State under Foreign Minister Cornelia Pieper visits Georgia. Announcing the visit Tuesday, Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister Nino Kalandadze said that Pieper will arrive today on April 17 and have meetings here April 18 and 19.

In brief, News

Clinton visit is certain, but date not set

by | April 17, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - That Hillary Clinton is coming to Georgia is now certain, as the two countries have completed agreeing on formalities around the visit. But the exact date for the U.S. Secretary of State's trip still has to be decided, says Nino Kalandadze, Deputy

In brief, News

Georgian interior ministry in the dark about cesium traffickers

by | April 17, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - Georgia has no detailed information about the three Turkish citizens who were arrested for smuggling radioactive material to Turkey. The three had driven by car from Russia, transiting through Georgia, and were arrested on April 11, carrying

In brief, News

Democracy topic of U.S.-Georgia strategic partnership talks

by | April 17, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - The fifth meeting of the working group on democracy within the U.S.-Georgia Strategic Partnership Charter was held on April 16 in Washington. The Georgian Foreign Affairs Ministry informs that parties discussed ongoing and already implemented

News

Russia protests Georgia’s withdrawal from treaty

by | April 17, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - Russia considers Georgia’s decision to terminate its obligations under the Open Skies treaty with respect to Russia a flagrant violation of the treaty. “The Treaty does not provide any discriminatory restrictions on the rights of any state party.

Opinion

Eavesdropping without judicial oversight is no longer permitted

by | April 17, 2012

On 28th of February 2012, the Constitutional Court of Georgia upheld the complaint of Georgian Young Lawyer's Association and repealed article 8.2 of the Georgian law on “operative investigative activity.” Only if the investigative authority has obtained judicial

Society

Strict rules leave rail passengers in Tbilisi for the holidays

by | April 17, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - Saturday morning, the day before Easter, there is a large crowd at the railway station in Tbilisi. All of them have bags of luggage and are trying to find their tickets for the train or are buying them. The Easter holiday lasts four days in Georgia

Economy, News

Taxi drivers in Tbilisi hit by rising fuel price

by | April 14, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - Givi Maisuradze (41) is one of many independent taxi drivers in Georgia’s capital Tbilisi. He works day and night and has been a driver since the 1990s, a period he calls 'the dark times', because the whole city was in darkness at night. Today,

In brief, News

Azerbaijan warns against visiting Georgia’s breakaway regions

by | April 14, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - The Azerbaijani government warns its citizens about visiting Georgia’s occupied territories. The warning is more matter-of-fact than a previous warning from the Kremlin to Russians who might be tempted to go to Georgia after a visa is no longer needed

In brief, News

Slovakian visas to be issued in Georgia

by | April 14, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - The Georgian Foreign Minister met his Slovakian colleague on Thursday during a visit to Bratislava. The ministers discussed bilateral and multilateral cooperation, including important issues for both countries ahead of the NATO summit in Chicago

News

Ivanishvili reluctantly agrees to run as a French candidate

by | April 13, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - Georgian billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili continues his struggle to be allowed to stand for election for parliament in October. His lawyers say a recently proposed constitutional change to allow non-Georgians to hold office has not made the

News

Georgia calls Russian travel warning a made up danger

by | April 13, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - Russia warns its citizens of going to Georgia, while Georgia responds that the dangers are made up. Russian travel advice for those of its citizens who plan to vacation in Georgia is not the usual notes about vaccines and visas; it warns that

In brief, News

Six detained for assassination attempt on Abkhazian leader

by | April 13, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - The de facto authorities in Abkhazia yesterday detained six suspects in the case about the assassination attempt on the president in February. On February 22, Alexander Ankvab’s car was fired on with machine guns and a

News

Allegations of a plot against Ivanishvili not taken seriously

by | April 13, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - The government in Georgia does not take seriously allegations about the existence of a plan to kill President Saakashvili’s main competitor, Bidzina Ivanishvili. Full transcript here But one of the politicians in Ivanishvili’s coalition says that

News

Opposition party in Georgia says EU is not distrusting them

by | April 12, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - A comment by the EU's Ambassador to Georgia was interpreted as casting doubt on claims by the opposition Georgian Dream bloc about the government secretly building a paramilitary force. But now Georgian Dream blames a Georgian

Media, News

Media regulatory body denies harassment

by | April 12, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - The media regulatory body in Georgia Thursday said a cable station was trying to politicize the situation in order to divert attention from its own violations. The body has fined Trialeti TV 5 000 lari (about USD 3 000) for broadcasting on a

News

Media alliance in Georgia protests against harassment

by | April 12, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - A group in Georgia asks the media regulatory body to stop putting pressure on independent media outlets in the country. The alliance behind the appeal is called Solidarity for Freedom of Media and was formed in early February in the wake of the takeover of

In brief, News

Court removes licence requirement for cable broadcasters

by | April 12, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - Georgia's Constitutional Court made a decision in favor of canceling the requirement of a license for cable broadcasting. But a license is still needed for satellite broadcasting. The court partly satisfied an appeal by the Public Defender, who

News

Georgia protests destruction of royal grave in Moscow

by | April 12, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - The Georgian Foreign Ministry has formally protested against how Russia is treating a royal cemetary in Moscow. Tbilisi believes that authorities in Moscow are going ahead with construction work on the cemetary, which contains the graves of the

News

Arab Spring negotiator comes to Tbilisi for talks

by | April 11, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - Frank Wisner, former US Ambassador to the UN, who last year negotiated with Hosni Mubarak to defuse the Egyptian crisis, is in Georgia to hold meetings. Wisner arrived on invitation of Bidzina Ivanishvili, the Georgian president’s main political

Media, News

Youth protested against the fining of a TV station

by | April 11, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - Around ten youth activists today protested outside the Georgian National Communication Commission against the fining of a regional television station. Irakli Beraia, one of the activists, says the fine is an attempt by the government to suppress

News

Ivanishvili will not apply for double citizenship

by | April 11, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - Georgia’s richest is not going to apply to the president for double citizenship. Bidzina Ivanishvili's citizenship issue is still unresolved. Six months has passed since the president revoked it, which happened four days after the businessman released

In brief, News

U.S. brings mine-resistant vehicles to Georgia for training

by | April 11, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - The U.S. Department of Defense has brought 28 mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles (MRAP) to Georgia to train Georgian troops. The U.S. embassy in Tbilisi released a statement saying that the vehicles will be transfered from the

News

New South Ossetian leader to seek a union with Russia

by | April 11, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - The newly elected leader of South Ossetia, a former local KGB head, promises to continue the course of closer relations with Russia, on a course towards uniting South and North Ossetia. South Ossetia, or the Tskhinvali region, which was occupied

In brief, News

Bust honoring Lech Kaczynski unveiled in Tbilisi

by | April 11, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - A bust of Poland’s late president Lech Kaczynski was opened Tuesday here in Tbilisi. The square where it is located is near the street named after him by Tbilisi City Council to honor him after his tragic death two years ago. Zaal Samadashvili,

News

Saakashvili defends reservist plan opposition labeled paramilitaries

by | April 11, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili Monday defended a new network of voluntary reservists which the main opposition bloc has warned are paramilitaries meant for starting a civil war. Saakashvili, speaking at an event to mark 23 years since

News

Georgia enforces ban on entering breakaway reps the wrong way

by | April 10, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - Tbilisi City Court has sentenced a Russian businessman to pay a fine of about USD 1 200 because he had visited Abkhazia before coming to Georgia. The court found that the businessman had violated a law which bans travel across the borders

News

70% increase in Russian visitors to Georgia

by | April 10, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - About 30 000 Russians have entered Georgia since visa restrictions were lifted February 28. This is seventy per cent higher than the same period last year. Before President Mikheil Saakashvili the liberalized visa rules for Russians, there was visa

News

Cleared away mourners and needy to make room for Saakashvili

by | April 10, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - They came holding candles to commemorate the twenty people who died here twenty three years ago. But police cleared them away to make room for President Mikheil Saakashvili's April 9 event. Just before Saakashvili was to hold his speech, police

In brief, News

Saakashvili warns against the enemy within

by | April 10, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - Speaking on April 9, officially known as The Day of National Unity, President Mikheil Saakashvili warned against his country's enemy within. Addressing soldiers in the yard of the parliament building on the important public holiday dedicated to unity,

News

Georgia tests new domestically produced drone

by | April 10, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - President Mikheil Saakashvili announced the test flight in a speech April 9. The date is symbolically significant as a peaceful demonstration for independence was attacked by Soviet troops here in Tbilisi in 1989. Saakashvili made reference to

News

April 9 remembered in Tbilisi, 23 years later

by | April 9, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - April 9 is 21 year anniversary for the restoration of Georgia’s independence and 23 years since the Soviet Union used soldiers to disperse a peaceful protest in Tbilisi. Georgian society, government and opposition remembered this day on Rustaveli

News

Russian sanitary official concerned about Tbilisi laboratory

by | April 9, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - Russia's chief sanitary inspector is concerned about the deployment of U.S. military laboratories at former Soviet medical institutions in Ukraine and Georgia. According to NEWSru, a Russian news website owned by Gazprom, Gennady Onishchenko

News

Georgia to amend constitution in Ivanishvili case

by | April 9, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - President Mikheil Saakashvili’s main competitor will be allowed to participate in the parliamentary elections in October, after the government agreed to amend the constitution. Following the amendment, EU citizens can run in elections in Georgia.

In brief, News

Museum in Stalin’s hometown to focus on history of stalinism

by | April 9, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - The museum dedicated to Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin in his hometown of Gori in Georgia will change name to the Museum of Stalinism. The Ministry of Culture is behind the idea that the museum will offer visitors a historical account of stalinism,

News

Dzhioyeva forms opposition party in South Ossetia

by | April 9, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - In South Ossetia, the opposition leader Alla Dzhioyeva has decided to set up a new political party. April 7, an organizing committee for the new party called 'Iriston - Freedom Square' met at Dzhioyeva’s headquarters, Ekho Kavkaza reports. "We

In brief, News

Ex-KGB officer wins in South Ossetia

by | April 9, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch – A former local head of the KGB in South Ossetia has won the presidential elections in the breakaway region. Leonid Tibilov received about 55 percent of the votes beating competitor David Sanakoyev, presidential human rights commissioner. The

Opinion

The Truth about Denial of Citizenship

by | April 9, 2012

A couple of days ago the Government of Georgia denied the Georgian billionaire Bizdina Ivanishvili the Georgian citizenship for which Mr. Ivanishvili, a child of Georgian parents, one who was born, grown up and educated in Georgia, applied in early January 2012.

News

High turnout in South Ossetian election

by | April 8, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - More than 13 percent of voters in Georgia’s breakaway region South Ossetia had cast their vote in the presidential election by 10:00 in the morning. The Central Election Commission of the region says this is a higher turnout than in the first

In brief, News

South Ossetia to go to the polls again

by | April 7, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - The de facto republic South Ossetia tomorrow holds the second round of its second presidential elections. The first election was held in November 2011. The Kremlin favorite and an opposition leader got through to the second round, in which the

News

Ombudsman calls for reduced number of prisoners

by | April 7, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - The Public Defender in Georgia believes the time has come to reduce the number of prisoners in the country. The ombudsperson said this at a joint session of parliamentary committees to discuss his report about the human rights situation last year.

News

Groups call for end to xenophobic slurs

by | April 7, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - Georgian non-governmental organizations call on Georgian politicians to stop making xenophobic statements and ask the media not to spread such comments. “The authors of such statements probably try to play on ethnic and religious feelings

Opinion

Answer to Marine Chitashvili regarding NDI’s survey

by | April 6, 2012

  Marine Chitashvili, Thank you for your letter and for citing many of the interesting issues that the survey brings to light. We also thank you for your comments supporting our representative sampling methodology on the March 26 showing of "Tskheli Khazi." As my

News

Georgia wants election observers to come immediately

by | April 6, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - Georgia's Foreign Ministry today invited international organizations to send a long-term observation mission 'immediately' ahead of the parliamentary elections in October. Normally, long-term observers would arrive about six weeks before the election,

Opinion

I am ready to talk again

by | April 6, 2012

In a press conference held in Tbilisi on 5 April the Georgian Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Nino Kalandadze, has attacked me for adopting unfriendly positions regarding her Government's policy line, in particular for critisizing as „illusionist“ official

Opinion

Open letter to Mr. Navarro, NDI – Georgia

by | April 6, 2012

  Dear Mr. Navarro, From March 21 to 30 I was honored to be named by you as a local expert supporting the methodological part of your recent sociological survey published at 03.21.2012. First of all, I want to express my gratitude for regarding me as an expert or a trustworthy person,

News

South Ossetia makes Russian a second state language

by | April 6, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - Georgia’s breakaway region South Ossetia makes Russian its second state language. The region’s elected assembly adopted a constitutional law called "On State Language of the Republic of South Ossetia", which obliges the de facto state’s bodies

News

Georgia to no longer allow Russian observation flights

by | April 6, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - Georgia will no longer let Russia conduct observation flights over its territory, and has suspended its obligations under a post-Cold War treaty which provide countries with mutual openness in each other's military activities. The Georgian Foreign

News

Christian Democrats want to change the law in Ivanishvili case

by | April 6, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - The Christian Democrats propose a new law which will allow Saakashvili’s main opponent to participate in elections without being a Georgian citizen. His citizenship issue is still unclear. The Georgian president revoked billionaire businessman

News

Georgia snubs German diplomat over alleged Nazi comment

by | April 6, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - Georgia has broken off relations with a distinguished German diplomat, alleging he compared the Saakashvili regime to Nazi Germany. Dieter Boden, who negotiated a peace plan for how to solve the conflict with breakaway Abkhazia ten years ago, told

Opinion

NDI’s survey and its influence on Georgian politics

by | April 5, 2012

The survey which was implemented in March of 2012 in Georgia, by the one of the leading and authoritative organization in the World - The National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDIIA or NDI) has caused a hard discussion in Georgian society, writes

News

Ivanishvili says he will get back political rights

by | April 5, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - Yesterday, he was denied having his political rights restored, but today Georgia’s richest man vowed to regain his citizenship, form a political party and launch himself as candidate for Prime Minister within just over two weeks. Georgian

News

Abkhazia gathers its de facto parliament for first session

by | April 5, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - The de facto parliament of Georgia’s breakaway republic Abkhazia has elected a Speaker of Parliament. The first session of the new breakaway Abkhazian parliament was held yesterday, April 3. Valery Bganba was elected as new Speaker of Parliament.

News

U.S. Ambassador criticizes journalism in Georgia

by | April 5, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - The U.S. Ambassador to Georgia, John Bass, says there is a deficit of curiosity and questioning among Georgian journalists. He said this in Batumi while meeting with the media. Bass says he sometimes is surprised by the lack of curiosity among

News

Ivanishivli denied political rights, continues fight

by | April 4, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - Georgian authorities today denied the billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili of becoming a citizen of his native country. Today's decision by the Civil Registry to deny him citizenship by naturalization ends the last legal avenue the opposition

In brief, News

Finland’s foreign minister visits Tbilisi

by | April 4, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch – Finland’s Foreign Minister is on a working visit to Georgia within the frames of a tour of the region. Erkki Tuomioja arrived in Georgia on April 3, the 20 year anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Finland and

Opinion

The American Institutes’ Surveys and Georgian Politics

by | April 4, 2012

As for many things in Georgia, the fate of sociology is dramatic in Georgian politics, writes Ramaz Sakvarelidze, political commentator. The culmination of this drama was the so-called exit poll on election day in 2008. The results of this survey were nearly identical to

News

Georgia’s foreign minister concerned about Russian exercise

by | April 4, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - Georgia's foreign minister Grigol Vashadze says he too is concerned about a major military exercise Russia is planning to hold right before Georgia's parliamentary election in October. Russia's exercise "Kavkaz 2012" will for the first time take place

News

Saakashvili commits to having extra election observers

by | April 4, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - The Georgian president calls on the international community to send ultra long-term election observers to his country before the parliamentary elections in October. Rights groups and part of the opposition have been appealing to the world to send

Opinion

Torture still happens in Georgia

by | April 4, 2012

Giorgi Okroporidze – a convict, who suffered from something that authorities maintain “no longer happens”. He was tortured, writes Mikheil Ghoghadze, lawyer at Georgian Young Lawyer's Association. In late December 2011, Giorgi Okropirize’s mother came to us.

In brief, News

NATO chief reaffirms membership pledge to Georgia

by | April 3, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - NATO once again underlines that the decision that Georgia will become member of Alliance stands firm. Anders Fogh Rasmussen, NATO Secretary General, said this today during a press conference with Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili at the

News

Georgian official warns of new war with Russia

by | April 3, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - A top Georgian security official warns that there could be another war with Russia. Russia and Georgia fought a brief war in August 2008 over two breakaway republics. Now the secretary of Georgia's National Security Council warns that an

In brief, News

40 % growth in visitors to Georgia

by | April 3, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - The number of visitors to Georgia in the first quarter of 2012 was 680 000. This is a 40 per cent increase compared to the same period last year. The new statistics were released by the Interior Ministry on April 2 and is based on data from custom’s

In brief, News

Georgia saves second citizen from hanging in Malaysia

by | April 3, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch – The second of two Georgians has been saved from execution for drug crimes in Malaysia. Babutsa Gordadze had her death sentence changed into eight years in jail. She has already served two years in a Malaysian jail. Earlier, Darejan Kokhtashvili,

News

Ivanishvili counting days till political rights restored

by | April 3, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - The billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, who is considered the main competitor of the Georgian government, is counting the days left until his Georgian citizenship is restored, giving him full political rights. The final date for when the government

In brief, News

Saakashvili to attend NATO Georgia commission

by | April 3, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - The Georgian president will participate at the session of the NATO Georgia commission on April 3 in Brussels. According to the president's administration, Mikheil Saakashvili will meet NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, and the two will

News

Saakashvili welcomes foreign election observers

by | April 2, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - President Mikheil Sakashvili says Georgia as never before needs many foreign observers. “We need many international observers not only on the day of the elections but today, tomorrow, and the day after. The sooner observers arrive from the

In brief, News

Mobile company in Georgia “recognizes” Abkhazia as a country

by | April 2, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - A Russian mobile operator in Georgia portrays Georgia’s breakaway region Abkhazia as an independent country on its website. It's Beeline, which is owned by the Russian mobile company VimpelCom, which now suggests to readers of its website

In brief, News

Borisov to Saakashvili: Bulgaria backs Georgia’s EU approach

by | April 2, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - Bulgaria expresses its full support for Georgia's integration process towards NATO and the EU. Boyko Borisov, Bulgarian Prime Minister, said this Sunday during a meeting with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili. Specifically Borisov said his

News

Solidarity action in Tbilisi Saturday brought out many

by | April 2, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - Marking a break with single issue campaigning, rights groups in Tbilisi Saturday held a demonstration for solidarity and people power. The demonstration was called Civic Solidarity Campaign and consisted of six human chains on six squares in the capital,

News

Planned Mosque in Batumi focus of popular unrest

by | April 2, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - Three thousand locals massed in Batumi Saturday to protest the planned construction of a mosque honoring the historic Turkish leader Aziz. The decision to construct the mosque is part of an agreement reached by authorities in Tbilisi and the Turkish

In brief, News

One Georgian saved from execution in Malaysia

by | April 1, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - Georgian authorities have succeeded in saving one of their citizens from being executed for drug crimes in Malaysia. The news comes in a statement released by Georgia's Prosecutor General's office. It says a Malaysian court has overturned Darejan

News

NDI Georgia defends poll which shows Ivanishvili losing

by | April 1, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - A new poll by the National Democratic Institute (NDI) shows the opposition Georgian Dream led by Bidzina Ivanishvili reduced to only 10%. Mikhail Saakashvili's National Movement party receives 47%. NDI has been in hot waters locally over the poll,

Browse our archive by date

April 2012
M T W T F S S
« Mar   May »
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30  
ads
ads
ads
ads