In brief, News

Georgia lacks ambassador to 7 countries, Saakashvili hasn’t signed

by | August 31, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia is without ambassador in seven countries, because the president has failed to sign their confirmation. Foreign Affairs Minister Maia Panjikidze said on Saturday that President Mikheil Saakashvili still hasn’t signed the document to confirm

News

Friday prayer in Chela as minaret lies in storage 2 km away

by | August 31, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The minaret that was dismantled in southern Georgia earlier in the week and taken to Tbilisi has been returned to its village, but remains in pieces for the time being. The Revenue Service, which promised to rebuild it where it once stood

News

Russia to simplify visa rules for Georgian citizens

by | August 31, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Russia is to simplify visa rules for Georgian citizens. Zurab Abashidze, the Georgian PM's Special Representative for Russian Relations, told Russian media that visa rules will be simplified for Georgian citizens who are planning to visit Russia

Interviews

Ambassador Yalowitz: Georgia is moving in the right direction

by | August 30, 2013

DFW: Almost eleven months have passed after Georgia’s parliamentary election of October 2012 when the Georgian Dream coalition defeated United National Movement and the entire politics changed. It led to a mixed response from the US. Now almost a year after the elections, what

News

22 Georgians trapped in Damascus

by | August 30, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Foreign Affairs Ministry in Georgia is working on providing a safe route out of Syria for Georgian citizens who are in Damascus. Two days ago, Rustavi 2 reported that there are 22 Georgians in Damascus requesting help from the government. They

In brief, News

Compromise about minaret will create new inter-religious council

by | August 30, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Agreement was reached by Muslim and Christian leaders in Georgia on Thursday about what to do with a minaret which was removed from a mosque earlier in the week. The Georgian Orthodox Church -- the Patriarchate -- and the organizations Muslims of

News, Security

New inquest into how Saakashvili regime trained Chechen rebels

by | August 30, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia's ombudsman Ucha Nanuashvili Thursday announced a separate inquest into the Lapankuri border skirmish in August 2012, which claimed the lives of fourteen people. Nanuashvili told Interpressnews a new inquest is necessary because more than a year has

News

Victims families don’t want Saakashvili to score points on them

by | August 29, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Saakashvili's National Movement is meeting resistance in its efforts to play the crime card in the election campaign. "No-one should be led by Saakashvili to try to score political points in my child's name," says Khatuna Kortava, aunt of Levan Kortava,

News

Head of Adjara region promises to let minaret be reerected

by | August 29, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--On Wednesday, it seemed that a minaret which was taken down, ostensibly for tax audit purposes, would be put back up. Archil Khabadze, head of government in the Adjara region, said the minaret in Chela would be rebuilt on Thursday. Muslims had come

News

Saakashvili calls Ivanishvili a “zoo director” for releasing prisoners

by | August 29, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--President Mikheil Saakashvili called Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili a "zoo director" and compared persons released in an amnesty to animals. Saakashvili said he usually gets a warm welcome in Batumi, and was surprised when there was a demonstration

News

Former prison minister: ‘I didn’t know about abuse until Oct 2012’

by | August 29, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The exiled Saakashvili ally Dimitry Shashkin returned to Georgia on Wednesday to answer questions about the abuse in the prisons. Shashkin was among many officials in the former regime who fled the country after the National Movement's election

In brief, News

Three Georgians released from Tskhinvali detention

by | August 29, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Three Georgians were released on Wednesday by Russian soldiers in South Ossetia, a Georgian breakaway region. Irakli Merebashvili, and the couple Nana Vanishvili, Alexandre Tsertsvadze and their teenage child were detained on August 22 in the village

In brief, News

Georgia releases 429 prisoners who were pardoned

by | August 28, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--429 prisoners were released on Wednesday in connection with the Georgian religious holiday Mariamoba. August 28, Georgia celebrates the assumption of Mary, known as Mariamoba. In connection with the holiday, the president customarily pardons

News

Demonstrations continue after dismantling of minaret

by | August 28, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--All the people detained while protesting against the dismantling of a minaret at a Mosque in the village Chela, in southern Georgia, have now been released. Meanwhile, the protests continue in the village and support rallies are held in the capital

News

Gamgebeli detained in village where minaret was dismantled

by | August 28, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Police in Georgia on Tuesday detained the head of the local government in Adigeni in the south of the country, where a minaret of mosque was recently dismantled. Gamgebeli Simon Parunashvili, who is member of the National Movement, is charged with

News

Saakashvili calls for measures to prevent religious strife

by | August 28, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--President Mikheil Saakashvili has asked the Ivanishvili government for a dialogue to discuss how to establish 'civil peace' after the dismantling of a minaret, but the government rejected the idea, and the vice premier said there have never been

News, Security

Georgia may take part in UN peacekeeping operations

by | August 28, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia may take part in UN-led peacekeeping operations. This is clear after a visit to the U.S. by Defense Minister Irakli Alasania. During the visit, Alasania and Irakli Dzneladze, head of Joint Staff of Georgia’s armed forces, met with Edmond

News

Tension in Bolnisi after vote to impeach gamgebeli

by | August 27, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--There was tension outside Bolnisi municipality building on Monday when some members of the city council wanted to hold a secret ballot and impeach the new head of the municipality, who was appointed in January by the Georgian Dream coalition. 13

In brief, News

EU concerned about Putin’s Abkhazia visit

by | August 27, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The European Union Delegation to Georgia expresses concern about Russian President Vladimir Putin's recent visit to Abkhazia, a breakaway region of Georgia. The EU delegation on Tuesday issued a statement saying that it recalls that the EU doesn’t

Society

Muslims detained for protesting dismantling of minaret in Georgia

by | August 27, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The local municipality in the village Chela in Adigeni in Georgia has started to dismantle the minaret of a mosque, which has caused concern of Muslims. The police was at the site of the minaret from morning and prohibiting local Muslims from

In brief, News

Olympic Committee chairman released on bail

by | August 27, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The former head of Georgia's National Olympic Committee and the founder of Artesi Ltd were released on 200 000 lari (USD 120 000) bail each and will have 30 days to pay the bail. The Prosecutor’s Office asked for 300 000 bail for each of them. 16

News

Reports of frequent police searches in Georgia

by | August 26, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--For the last few days people have been reporting that the police have stopped them in the street and searched them. Some have also been taken to the local police station for further questioning. The incidents have taken place mainly in the capital.

News

Putin visits Abkhazia, celebrates recognition

by | August 26, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Georgia's breakaway region Abkhazia Monday and congratulated de facto President Alexandre Ankvab on the ‘five year anniversary since Russia recognized its independence’. Georgia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry has

Economy, News

Precise data confirm 2% drop in foreign trade turnover Jan-Jul

by | August 26, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Precise data from Georgian Statistics Department (GeoStat) show that Georgia's foreign trade turnover in the first seven months of 2013 was two percent less than in 2012. The total amount of foreign trade turnover in January-July 2013 was USD 5 662

Economy, News

Turkey reduces transit fee for Georgian trucks

by | August 26, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Turkey has lowered the transit fee for Georgian registered trucks to a quarter after several Georgian trucks failed to pay the amount usually paid by every other country. From September 1, so-called panel vans and minibuses will have to pay 150 or 300

News, Youth

Third day of Batumi Summer Set canceled due to bad weather

by | August 26, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The third day of Batumi Summer Set electronic music festival had to be canceled due to bad weather as water flooded the festival area and destroyed equipment. The festival in Georgia's largest Black Sea beach resort started on August 22 with Danish

News

Georgian Olympic Committee chair charged with embezzlement

by | August 25, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Former member of parliament and chairman of the Olympic Committee Gia Natsvlishvili is charged with appropriation of 4 052 108 lari (USD 2.5 million) of public money. He denies guilt. The investigative service of the Ministry of Finance said Saturday

Elections '12-'13, News

How the role of the president will change in Georgia

by | August 25, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia will change from a presidential republic into a parliamentary one after the election on October 27. We give you the details. The new president will start fulfilling his duties as soon as he has been sworn in, and after this ceremony, the

In brief, News

217 prisoners in Georgia recommended for pardoning

by | August 24, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The pardon commission on Friday reviewed the cases of 500 prisoners. 217 were given a positive recommendation. The commission received recommendations from the president, who has the right to pardon prisoners independently or based on the

News, Security

Three Georgians detained by Russian soldiers near South Ossetia

by | August 24, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Russian soldiers Friday detained three Georgian citizens close to the breakaway region South Ossetia. The incident took place as the father of one the detainees, Aleksandre Tsertsvdze, was being driven by his neighbor to the neighboring village,

Media, News

Georgia’s Ivanishvili explains decision to close Channel 9

by | August 24, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili says journalists and employees of TV9 made a mistake when they closed down the channel immediately after his statement. “Journalists didn't come to TV9 from BBC and CNN. Many of them weren't professionals; [they]

News

Mafia has been contained, claims Georgia’s prison minister

by | August 23, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Prison Minister Sozar Subari on Friday responded to accusations made by the National Movement yesterday that the government has allowed the mafia to make a comeback in Georgian prisons. Prisoners with influence over other inmates, called supervisors,

In brief, News

New mosque planned in Kakheti, eastern Georgia

by | August 23, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--A mosque is going to be built in a village in Georgia’s eastern Kakheti region. Badrudin Ibragimov, Chairman of National-Cultural Autonomy of Avar in South Caucasus, told Intepressnews that at the moment, the project is acquiring all the necessary

Elections '12-'13, News

Georgian NGOs want a new CEC head with UN background

by | August 23, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Eleven non-governmental organizations which work on election issues will Friday name their candidate to fill the vacant position as chairman of the Central Election Commission. The NGOs plan to propose Tamar Zhvania, a project manager at

News, Sport

Tottenham beats Dinamo Tbilisi 0-5

by | August 23, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Dinamo Tbilisi lost Saturday’s match against Tottenham Hotspur 0-5. The play-off match for UEFA Europa League was held at Dinamo Arena in Tbilisi. Tottenham scored in the 13th minute and added one more goal in the first half. By the end of the second half, the team scored three more goals; the fifth in the 67th minute. The London team arrived in Georgia on Tuesday and held practice matches at Dinamo Arena. Dinamo Tbilisi and Tottenham will meet again on August 29 at the White Hart Lane in London. Last time Tottenham visited Tbilisi was in 1973, when it met Dinamo Tbilis at Locomotivi Stadium. The match ended 1-1.

News

Mafia controls Georgia’s prisons, claims Saakashvili’s party

by | August 23, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The National Movement blames the government for allowing the mafia to run the prisons in Georgia. Mikheil Ghurtskhaia, spokesperson for the Prison Ministry, does not deny that criminals have power in the prisons, but told DF Watch that when UNM was in

News, Sport

Tottenham plays against Dinamo Tbilisi Thursday

by | August 22, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Dinamo Tbilisi plays against Tottenham Hotspur at 20:00 today at Dinamo stadium in Tbilisi. The London team arrived in Georgia on Tuesday and left the airport without comment. Practicing matches were held at Dinamo stadium. The match is part of the

In brief, News

Georgian soldier dies in apparent suicide

by | August 22, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--A recruit has died at a Georgian military air base near the capital Tbilisi. According to the ministry, the incident happened on Wednesday at a checkpoint while he was on duty. The body of the deceased, Giorgi Mebonia, has been taken to the National

Elections '12-'13, News

Georgia’s finance minister reminds staff of election rules

by | August 22, 2013

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

News, Youth

Batumi Summer Set Festival kicks off Thursday

by | August 22, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s sea resort Batumi is hosting a three-day summer festival of electronic music starting Thursday. Batumi Summer Set Festival runs from August 22 to 24 and will host many well-known names in the genre. Among the headliners are Denmark’s

In brief, News

Armed robbery in Bank of Georgia branch in downtown Tbilisi

by | August 22, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Bank of Georgia was subject to an armed robbery in downtown Tbilisi late on Wednesday. The Ministry of Internal Affairs was tight-lipped about the details, beyond noting that an investigation has been launched and criminal experts are studying the

News, Politics

Saakashvili wants to promote wine industry after end of term

by | August 21, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--President Mikheil Saakashvili plans to open an education center for viticulture, wine-making and vine care in Georgia’s eastern Kakheti region, where he owns a house and vineyards. Speaking in front of journalists at his palace in Tbilisi Wednesday,

News

Witness in Girgvliani case suspended as priest

by | August 21, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian Church, the Patriarchate, has suspended a priest who recently claimed that the Prosecutor’s Office pressured him to give testimony against former Defense Minister Bacho Akhalaia. Mikael Botkoveli, head of the press office at

News

Queue outside president’s palace to get criminal records cleared

by | August 21, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Former prisoners and people on probation crowded outside President Mikheil Saakashvili’s palace in Tbilisi after he offered to pardon them and clear their criminal record. The president said August 19 that people who are probationers or have

News

Georgian hospitalized in Athens, beaten while awaiting extradition

by | August 21, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--A Georgian man is in hospital in a serious condition after being beaten while in detention awaiting his extradition to his home country. The man, Davit Chkhitunidze, was detained at Athens airport on August 14 as he was preparing to fly to Turkey,

In brief, News

Georgia improves listing on failed states index

by | August 21, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia is in 55th place of 178 countries on the Failed States Index for 2013. This is a slight improvement position compared to previous years. On top of the list are Somalia, Congo, Sudan and South Sudan. The least failed countries are Finland,

Elections '12-'13, News

Georgia’s election system: Improvements and pitfalls

by | August 20, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--DF Watch organized a round table on election issues with representatives of two non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and an MP from the ruling Georgian Dream coalition. They discussed amendments to the election legislation and also problems which

Elections '12-'13, News

Georgia’s commission to prevent election fraud holds first session

by | August 20, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia's interagency commission for free and fair elections on Monday held its first session. It was held under the auspices of the Ministry of Justice. The commission was created ahead of last year’s parliamentary election to prevent

Media, News

Several buyers express interest in Channel 9

by | August 20, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Several persons have already expressed interest in buying Georgia's Channel 9, which yesterday stopped functioning. The TV station's director Luba Eliashvili said to employees gathered outside its office building that several persons already have

News, Politics

Tbilisi budget expanded by 4%

by | August 20, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--A majority of Tbilisi City Council has voted for expanding the city budget by 17 million lari (USD 10.2 million) to 740 million lari (USD 445 million) -- a four percent increase. Mayor Gigi Ugulava from the former ruling National Movement party

Media, News

Update: Channel 9 has gone off air from tonight

by | August 20, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--TV9, a channel affiliated with Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, went off air on Monday. It had earelier announced that it would close on September 1. The news program at 21:00 was its final broadcast, with News Director Luba Eliashvili saying goodbye

Environment, News

Landslides in Georgia’s Guria region forced families to flee

by | August 19, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Several families have been forced from their homes in Ozurgeti, in Georgia’s western Guria region, due to a landslide. Valerian Chitashvili, governor of Guria, told journalists that two days of heavy rains in the region accelerated the landslides

Media, News

Georgia’s Channel 9 goes off air September 1

by | August 19, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Channel 9, a TV company affiliated with Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, is to be closed from September 1. Luba Eliashvili, chairman of the TV company's news division, explained that for the last ten months they have been looking for new owners

Opinion

What pension model should Georgia have?

by | August 19, 2013

We often hear pre-election promises of various political parties that envisage increasing pensions to equal the subsistence minimum. Such promises enjoy a positive reaction from society, however the necessity of a pension reform in the country is underestimated and is

Environment, News

22 families cut off by flooding in Georgia’s Guria region

by | August 19, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--22 families are cut off from the outside world due to flood in the village Chanchati, in Georgia's western Guria region. Gulnara Chichua, government trustee in the village, told journalists that the flood also has affected other villages in Guria,

News

Why were youth fighting in Georgia’s Pankisi Valley?

by | August 19, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--A conflict of unknown nature has developed between Kists and local Georgian youth in Pankisi Valley, which lies in the northeast of Georgia, at the foot of the Caucasus mountains. No-one is injured, but the situation is tense and the Interior

Environment, News

Georgian beach resort on the Black Sea hit by flood

by | August 18, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian Black Sea resort Ureki was flooded after heavy rain on Sunday. Part of the population is leaving the place and requesting help from the government. Tens of houses were flooded, and a landslide has blocked the roads. Kote Sharashenidze,

News

Six policemen released on bail in Tamazashvili case

by | August 18, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Tbilisi City Court releasing six policemen on bail who were detained for fabricating evidence to build a case against Interior Minister Irakli Gharibashvili’s father-in-law, Tamaz Tamazashvili. The six are charged with planting a weapon on

In brief, News

Okruashvili detained at Nice airport after scuffle

by | August 17, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Former defense minister Irakli Okruashvili was Saturday briefly detained by French police after a scuffle with another Georgian politician, former MP Merab Samadashvili. The scuffle took place at Nice airport. Okruashvili was later released by airport police.

News

Bacho Akhalaia to be questioned about Girgvliani murder

by | August 17, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Law enforcers are considering another charge against former Interior Minister Bacho Akhalaia and want to question him about the murder of Sandro Girgvliani in 2006. Tbilisi Prosecutor Maya Mtsariashvili told journalists that in the course of the

News, Prisoner abuse

Ex prison minister questioned about torture, claims didn’t know

by | August 17, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Prosecutor’s Office in Georgia Friday summoned the former prison and defense ministers to question them about the torture in the prisons during the Saakashvili regime. According to the Prosecutor’s Office, it has found, after a number

Elections '12-'13, News

OSCE election observers will arrive in Georgia Sept 16

by | August 17, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--OSCE's long term observers for the upcoming presidential election will arrive in Georgia on September 16. Maia Panjikidze, Foreign Affairs Minister, on Friday told journalists that Georgia has received a positive response from the NATO Parliamentary

Education, News

TSU elects former economy minister as new rector

by | August 16, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Vladimer Papava, an economics professor who was economy minister during President Shevardnadze in the 1990s, has been elected as rector of Tbilisi State University. Papava was supported by ten of the board's 12 members, the remaining two voted for Irma

Economy, News

Georgia’s foreign trade turnover down 2% Jan-Jul

by | August 16, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Foreign trade turnover in January-July 2013 fell by 2 percent compared to the same period in 2012, according to preliminary data from Georgia’s National Statistics Department, GeoStat. The total foreign trade turnover in the first seven months

News

Destruction of Georgia’s ‘dirty archive’ delayed again

by | August 16, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia's interior minister says the dirty Soviet-style archive of compromising surveillance videos illegally amassed by the Saakashvili regime will be destroyed in the ‘next few days’, but the date remains unknown. Interior Minister Irakli

Economy, News

Foreign investments in Georgia down by a fifth in 2012

by | August 16, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Direct foreign investments in Georgia fell by almost a fifth in 2012, compared to 2011, according to data from the National Statistics Department (Geostat). In 2012, the total amount of foreign investments was USD 912 million. This is five percent

News, Politics

Georgia’s CEC head goes into politics, may run for president

by | August 16, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Zurab Kharatishvili, head of the Central Election Commission in Georgia, on Thursday explained that he resigned in order to go into politics and may even run for president. On Monday, Kharatishvili applied to parliament for permission to leave as CEC head.

Education, News

TSU students to protest Friday against rector election

by | August 15, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Students at Tbilisi State University are planning a protest on Friday against the system of having the 12-member academic board of the institution elect a rector. Organizers say it is not right that only 12 persons decide this, when there are more

Economy, News

Georgia increases subsidizes for wine industry threefold

by | August 15, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The government in Georgia is subsidizing the grape harvest with 25 million lari (USD 15 million) in the form of cheap loans to wine companies. This is a threefold rise, compared to previous years. Explaining the increased stimulation of the wine

News

Saakashvili writes address to Abkhazians on anniversary of war

by | August 15, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--“The war didn't start between Georgians and Abkhazians – this war was imposed on our people, that’s why we will win together – Georgians and Abkhazians,” President Mikheil Saakashvili said 21 years after the Abkhazian War started. The war

News, Politics

Economy minister and UNM candidate cancel meeting

by | August 15, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--A planned meeting between two top people in the main political blocs in Georgia has been scuttled by a disparaging remark by one of the sides. Economy Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili from the Georgian Dream coalition, and Davit Bakradze, the National

News

Protester detained at Bacho Akhalaia trial released

by | August 15, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--National Front member Giorgi Gabedava, who was detained yesterday at a rally outside Tbilisi City Court, was today released and given a 100 lari (USD 60) fine. He was charged with petty hooliganism and admitted guilt. During the hearing, Gabedava

News

Uzbek citizen charged with murder and trafficking in Georgia

by | August 14, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Prosecutor’s Office in Georgia has charged an citizen of Uzbekistan for human trafficking. The suspect, Nargizbegim Nakhmanova, born in 1984, is charged in absentia for four different violations, according to the Interior Ministry. Apart from

News

Many hospitals to return to public ownership in Georgia

by | August 14, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Hospitals which are owned by Aditti, and the Oncological clinic in Tbilisi, will become government property, the Health Minister Davit Sergeenko says. The Oncological center in Tbilisi was privatized and bought by Canadian Pegasus Pharmaceuticals

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

News, Prisoner abuse

Three detained as anger boils over outside Akhalaia trial

by | August 14, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Three people were Tuesday detained at a rally outside Tbilisi City Court where the case against ex-minister Bacho Akhalaia went on. In a few days, the court will announce its verdict in the final case against Akhalaia which deals with torture

News

Two drowned in Georgia mine accident

by | August 13, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Two mine workers have drowned in a mine in Chiatura as result of an accident as water flowed up while they were drilling in an old mine. Roland Nozadze, 51, shift leader, and Iuza Samkharadze, 49, worker, died as result of an accident. Two other

Elections '12-'13, News

Ivanishvili launches his candidate’s presidential election campaign

by | August 13, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili opened the Georgian Dream coalition’s election campaign on Monday, in the historical town Nokalakevi. The event marked the official launch of the coalition's election campaign and its candidate for president,

News

Ex minister submits US Justice Department report in own defense

by | August 13, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The lawyer of the detained former prime minister Vano Merabishvili demands to stop the criminal prosecution against his client, or at least release him on bail, after the publication of a report commissioned by the US Justice Department.

News, Security

EU calls for restraint after shooting near South Ossetia checkpoint

by | August 13, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--In the morning of August 10, there was a shooting incident close to the so-called administrative border around South Ossetia. A patrol car of Georgia’s Interior Ministry and representatives of EUMM were present. The Georgian Interior Ministry in

Economy, News

Georgia had 26% more tourists so far in 2013

by | August 13, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The number of people who visited Georgia has increased by 26 percent in the first seven months of 2013 compared to the same period last year. Giorgi Sigua, Chairman of the National Tourism Administration, said at a briefing that in the first seven

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

Economy, News

EBRD compliments Georgia on stabilizing bank sector

by | August 12, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) says Georgia’s bank sector is in ‘a very good shape’. Sir Suma Chakrabarti, EBRD President, said in an interview with the Georgian edition of Forbes Magazine that many

Elections '12-'13, News

Georgia’s CEC head resigns

by | August 12, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Two months before Georgia's presidential election, the head of the Central Election Commission (CEC), Zurab Kharatishvili, has resigned. Kharatishvili's reason for leaving is not known. He has published a statement saying that he is leaving, but will

News

Former prisoners demand Supreme Court chair’s resignation

by | August 12, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Former political prisoners and refugees from Abkhazia held a rally in Batumi on Sunday outside the prosecutor’s office in Adjara to demand the arrest of Supreme Court Chairman Kote Kublashvili and the dismissal of Chief Prosecutor Archil Kbilashvili.

Society

Georgian doctors are fed up: haven’t been paid for six months

by | August 11, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Doctors demonstrated in six towns in Georgia Saturday, demanding to have their salaries. Their target is the company Aditti, which has bought many of the formerly state-owned hospitals in the country. Doctors have gone without pay for more than six

News

Three prison staff out on bail in Kortava case

by | August 11, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Three prison staff suspected of wrongdoing in connection with the death of a prisoner in a town in western Georgia were Saturday released on bail. The Appeals Court in Georgia's second city Kutaisi decided to release Giga Kokhodze, Aleko Babunashvili

News

Two ships with Georgian crew in trouble off Croatia and Algeria

by | August 10, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Five Georgian sailors are stuck on a ship in Croatian waters. Seven other Georgians are stuck on another ship off the Algerian coast. The sailors haven’t been paid salary for months and cannot return to Georgia. Owner of both ships is a Slovenian company which

Environment, News

Heavy rain floods 500 houses in Khoni

by | August 10, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Rain water poured into the village Khoni in western Georgia Friday, flooding the basements and first floors of 500 houses and killing poultry. Locals tell journalists they haven’t slept all night but have been out cleaning their houses and saving

News

Saakashvili goes hiking

by | August 10, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--President Saakashvili Friday left the capital for a three day hike at Tobavarchkhila Lake. He brought with him several members of the National Movement. Saakashvili spoke about his trip in an interview with the Public Broadcaster’s channel 1

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

News

Former MP detained for shooting at village official

by | August 9, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Police have detained former MP Tengiz Jgushia, who is suspected of yesterday having shot at the deputy head of a local government near the town Zugdidi, in western Georgia. Jgushia was member of parliament for the Citizen's Union from 1995 to 1999 and

News

Last two defendents in ‘tractors case’ out on bail

by | August 9, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Tbilisi City Court Thursday released on bail the last two persons who had been detained in the so-called tractor case. All in all, seven are accused on charges spanning negligence, state money embezzlement and pressure on experts.

News

OSCE highlights plight of people in conflict areas

by | August 9, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Five years after the war between Russia and Georgia, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has called for action to help the people in the conflict-affected areas. Supporting political negotiations is not enough, the OSCE

Elections '12-'13, News

Bakradze calls for national agreement to ensure stability

by | August 9, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--National Movement presidential candidate Davit Bakradze has put forth a plan called the national agreement and asked the ruling Georgian Dream coalition to make changes to solve the country's economic problems. Presenting his party's initiative

News

One more detained for suspicious prisoner death

by | August 8, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Prosecutor’s Office has detained another suspect in the case of the death of Levan Kortava. Prosecutors at the western regional office detained Iveri Gogoberidze on the basis of a court decision, according to a statement by the Prosecutor’s Office.

News

2008 war remembered in Gori

by | August 8, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Every year after the Russia-Georgia war in 2008 there have been planned different events for the five days the war lasted to pay tribute to the victims. Events were planned today in Gori, a town close to where the war took place. In the morning there

News, Politics

Georgian government says economy is not in crisis

by | August 8, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The government in Georgia has answered its critics who say that the economy is in crisis, assuring them that all commitments and plans will be fulfilled and that the economy is in no danger. Georgian Dream coalition MPs on Wednesday met with the

Economy, News

Georgia and Ukraine to boost bilateral trade

by | August 8, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch-Georgia and Ukraine plan to increase bilateral trade turnover to one billion USD in 2013. This was reported by Ukrainian media after a meeting between Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine Olexandr Vilkul and Georgian Ambassador Mikhail Ukleba. Vilkul said

News, Security

Five years since the Russia-Georgia war

by | August 8, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The situation is still tense in the conflict region five years after the Russia-Georgia war, which resulted in hundreds of deaths and the occupation of two Georgian breakaway territories by Russia. The recent tension was caused by Russian soldiers

News

45 inmates on hunger strike at Rustavi women’s prison

by | August 7, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--45 inmates are on hunger strike in the women's prison in Rustavi, demanding to bring back the recently fired director of the facility. Later today, 80 other prisoners in a sign of solidarity refused to eat bread. They demand that Salome Janelidze

Environment, News

Limestone formation partly destroyed along Kazbegi road

by | August 7, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--A large part of a massive limestone formation in Georgia has been destroyed during repair work on a tunnel. The rock formation is located at a section of road between Gudauri and Kobi, leading up into the Kazbegi mountains in the north of Georgia,

News, Security

Medvedev: Razor wire fences were not agreed with me

by | August 7, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev says that the installation of razor wire close to the so-called administrative border with South Ossetia was not agreed with the Kremlin. In May, Russian soldiers moved a de facto border line around South

News

Medvedev wants Georgia to join Eurasian Union

by | August 7, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev interviewed by Georgian TV five years after the war: 'Georgia should be interested in joining the Eurasian Union, because it is a neighbor of Russia.' “We will never be neighbors with the US whatever happens.

News, Politics

Locals in Bolnisi demand the resignation of municipality head

by | August 6, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Locals of Bolnisi, a town in southern Georgia, demand the resignation of the acting head of the local government, the gamgebeli, because they believe he is not fulfilling any of his duties. People in Bolnisi, in the Kvemo Kartli region, claim that

News

Contradictory new data about crime rate in Georgia

by | August 6, 2013

(New comments added from Prof Jan van Dijk.) TBILISI, DFWatch--The Interior Ministry and the National Statistics Department, GeoStat, have published different statistics of the level of crime in the country. The Statistics Department data says that the number of criminal cases has increased,

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

News

Three detained after suspicious prisoner death

by | August 6, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Three persons have been placed in pre-trial detention for two months pending trial, after a suspicious death of a prisoner. The prisoner, Levan Kortava, died May 23 at the prison hospital after being moved there from Geguti prison, a village

In brief, News

Three prisoners on hunger strike in Ksani prison

by | August 6, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Three prisoners are on a hunger strike at Ksani prison. The Prison Ministry said Monday that August 1 one of its prisoners, a man called Kakha, had sewed his eyelids shut as a sign of protest, as he perceives himself as innocent and demands to

Environment, News

River bursts its banks in Ozurgeti, carries away two people in car

by | August 5, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--A river burst its banks in Georgia's western Guria region Monday and flooded about fifteen houses in the town Ozurgeti. According to local media, the water carried a car with two people inside into the river Shuti. One of them was a pregnant woman.

Opinion

Georgia needs a competent energy strategy

by | August 5, 2013

Georgia is an energy dependent country – with 65% of energy demand being covered from external sources. Despite the richness in hydropower resources Georgia still has a negative balance even in electricity import-export. Energy dependence has a negative impact

Economy, News

Farmer cut down peach field in protest against falling prices

by | August 5, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--A peach farmer in Georgia has cut down his plantation because the government hasn't helped him and his colleagues deal with a slump in the market price. When Gia Shaoshvili , a resident of the village Chumlaki in the eastern Kakheti region, carried

News, Politics

Parliament in Georgia starts to review constitutional amendments

by | August 5, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The parliament in Georgia is starting to review a set of amendments to the constitution that aim to balance powers between the prime minister and the parliament, after a draft has been through a process of public discussion. The hearing process

Environment, News

Protesters demand halt in construction work at Turtle Lake

by | August 5, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--A rally was held on Sunday to protest the planned construction of a new restaurant at Turtle Lake in Tbilisi. Demonstrators say it will destroy a recreation zone. The demonstrations started in late July, when there was first put up a sign

Economy, News

Georgian government contests negative growth figures

by | August 4, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s economy and finance ministries claim that data recently published by the National Statistics Department, GeoStat, showing negative economic growth is not final and will be adjusted twice. On Wednesday, GeoStat published a report about

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

News

Georgian court acquits priest accused of anti gay violence

by | August 3, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Tbilisi City Court on Thursday ruled that there is not enough evidence to prove the guilt of priest Tamaz Bichinashvili in the incidents of May 17, when clerics and their supporters dispersed a peaceful LGBT rally in Tbilisi. When a few tens

News

Stalin statue to be restored at the museum in his hometown

by | August 3, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The monument of Stalin, which was removed from the pedestal in the central square in his hometown Gori in 2010, will be restored in the Stalin Museum in the same town. Georgian government officials deny any notion of rehabilitation of Stalin’s

Elections '12-'13, News

New party financing model to include small parties

by | August 2, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The government in Georgia has presented figures for how political parties are to receive state funding in this year's election campaign. 2 100 000 lari (USD 1 300 000) will be allocated for the seven parties that are represented in parliament; 1 050

Economy, News

Bakradze asks Ivanishvili for meeting to discuss crisis

by | August 2, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Davit Bakradze, the National Movement's presidential candidate, asks Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili for a meeting to discuss how to get the country’s economy out of the crisis. The PM has not yet responded. On Wednesday, the National Statistics

News, Politics

Ivanishvili bloc in parliament loses one member

by | August 2, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Koba Davitashvili, leader of the People’s Party, one of the Georgian Dream coalition partners, on Friday said he is leaving the coalition to run for president. Davitashvili said the reason for his leaving is a systematic disagreement with Prime Minister

Economy, News

Georgia’s new government criticized for economic policy

by | August 2, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The new government in Georgia is coming under fire for its economic policy. Figures from the National Statistics Department, GeoStat, show that GDP in June was negative -0.8 percent compared to same period last year. President Saakashvili’s party

In brief, News

Six Georgians remain in detention in Tskhinvali

by | August 1, 2013

Tbilisi, DFWatch - Russian soldiers have detained one more Georgian citizen in a village close to the breakaway region South Ossetia. Locals say Mikheil Khurievi, 63, was in the village Tsitelubani on Georgian-controlled territory when Russian soldiers approached him.

News

Dirty archive to be destroyed in two weeks

by | August 1, 2013

TBilisi, DFWatch - Authorities in Georgia have set a time frame of two weeks for destroying part of an archive containing illegally obtained surveillance footage during the previous government. Lasha Tughushi, who is member of a commission to monitor

In brief, News

Polish climbers rescued after being trapped for three days

by | August 1, 2013

Tbilisi, DFWatch - Emergency workers in Georgia have saved four Polish climbers who have been trapped for three days atop one of the highest mountains in the Caucasus. The four became trapped on top of the mountain Shkara after one of them fell down when

News

Saakashvili ally and former minister acquitted

by | August 1, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--In a controversial decision on Thursday, Tbilisi city court acquitted former defense and interior minister Bachana (“Bacho”) Akhalaia, of one of the charges against him. The acquittal relates to a charge of abuse of military personnel and illegal

Browse our archive by date

ads
ads
ads
ads