News

Stalin monument dismantled in Georgia

by | December 31, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--A Stalin monument in Telavi, Georgia, has been dismantled. The same day as it was installed in September, 2013, the statue was paint bombed by unknown persons, who also painted other Stalin monuments in other Georgian villages, erected after the change

News

Georgia’s chief prosecutor resigns

by | December 31, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Chief Prosecutor of Georgia has resigned, nearly a week after he was targeted by the National Movement party for a robbery conviction in Germany in 2001. Otar Partskhaladze Monday evening issued a statement saying that due to the questions which

News

EU integration main goal of Georgia’s governing coalition

by | December 31, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia's parliament speaker said Monday that the country's main political priority is signing the Association Agreement with the EU and that all the other issues are subordinate to this priority. Summing up the year 2013 at a press conference, Davit

News

Georgia starts work on new constitution

by | December 31, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--In Georgia, a new Constitution Commission is preparing a draft of constitutional amendments that will balance the branches of power. It will start work in the second half of January, 2014. Speaker of Parliament Davit Usupashvili said this on Monday

News

Georgia moves plan for new airport closer to Abkhazia

by | December 30, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia plans to build an international airport in Anaklia, a beach resort on the Black Sea next to the breakaway region Abkhazia. Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Minister of Economy, said at a briefing December 25 that a plan developed by the previous

In brief, News

Tbilisi mayor plans to mortgage house to pay USD 30 000 bail

by | December 30, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava plans to mortgage his house in order to pay the bail money in a corruption case. Ugulava was last week suspended by Tbilisi City Court. The mayor is charged with embezzlement of Tbilisi City Hall money and using it to

Economy, News

Georgia’s foreign trade Jan-Nov grew 4%

by | December 30, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia's foreign trade turnover in January-November 2013 was USD 9 681 million. This is four percent more than in the same period last year. USD 2 618 of this was export – 20 percent more than in 2012. Import amounted to USD 7 064 million

News

Georgian president to get a modest pay rise

by | December 30, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--President Giorgi Margvelashvili will get increased salary next year, but the increase is less than previously planned. The president's salary will go up from 4 720 to 6 900 lari (USD 3 900), according to new draft, which parliament is reviewing.

Minorities, News

Language barrier prevents minorities from going into politics

by | December 30, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Participants at a round table discussion organized by DF Watch said lack of language skills is preventing ethnic minorities from engaging in politics in Georgia. The discussion was held on December 28, and the topic was what obstacles there are

News

National Movement demonstrated against mayor’s suspension

by | December 28, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The National Movement on Saturday mobilized thousands of its supporters to protest the removal from office of the Tbilisi mayor. UNM members believe that democracy is in danger in Georgia. Apart from being against the suspension of Ugulava, who is

News

Georgian ombudsman reports mistreatment in prison

by | December 28, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia's Public Defender claims his staff witnessed mistreatment of a prisoner. Ucha Nanuashvili on Friday appealed to the Prosecutor’s Office to start investigation of Prison No 8 in Gldani. The Ombudsman's statement says employees visited the

News

Saakashvili era official charged with Abu Ghraib-style abuse

by | December 27, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--A former official in the Saakashvili regime has been charged in a case involving Abu Ghraib-style sexually degrading treatment of detainees. Megis Kardava, who has held several positions at law enforcement bodies in Georgia, has been out of the country

In brief, News

Tbilisi mayor loses appeal

by | December 27, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--A decision by the city court to suspend Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava pending a corruption trial has been upheld in the Appeals Court. Both the Prosecutor’s Office and Ugulava's defense lawyers appealed the city court's decision. The Prosecutor’s

News

National Movement demands chief prosecutor’s suspension

by | December 25, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The National Movement Party in Georgia has exposed that the Chief Prosecutor was convicted of robbery in Germany in 2001. Otar Partskhaladze confirms that he had certain incident with police in Germany, but claims that he was not subject to coercive

News

Saakashvili barred from entering Ukraine

by | December 25, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Ukrainian government has barred former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvil from entering the country after he visited the protesters in Kyiv. Saakashvili's name appears along with 29 Georgians on a list published by the Ukrainian foreign

News

Rough debate about rough interrogation methods

by | December 24, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--A lawmaker from the National Movement party in Georgia has threatened to sue her colleague from the Georgian Dream coalition for defamation during a debate about rough interrogation methods. The quarrel broke out during a session of the parliamentary

News

Ivanishvili tells Forbes he won’t return to politics

by | December 24, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Former Georgian prime minister Bidzina Ivanishvili told Forbes he is sure he won’t return to politics. In an interview with the Russian edition of the publication, he explained that he would keep his promise to stay out of politics. "I guarantee

In brief, News

Georgian PM to visit US in first half of 2014

by | December 23, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian prime minister Irakli Gharibashvili plans to visit the US in the first half of 2014, according to the country's foreign affairs minister. Maia Panjikidze announced the visit while summing up events the last year on Monday, but did not

News, Politics

National Movement reacts to mayor’s suspension

by | December 23, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The National Movement party went on the offensive on Sunday and demanded an investigation into claims that the Prosecutor's Office pressured two judges in a corruption case against Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava. Ugulava was Saturday night suspended from

News

Vice mayor takes over as acting Tbilisi mayor

by | December 23, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Vice Mayor Sevdia Ugrekhelidze will take over as acting mayor of Tbilisi, after a decision by Tbilisi City Court to suspend Mayor Gigi Ugulava. Gigi Ugulava said on Sunday that this follows by law. "According to Georgian law, the first vice mayor

News, Politics

National Movement party resumes work in parliament

by | December 23, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The National Movement party will resume work in the Georgian parliament on Monday after being absent since December 11. The party's delegates went on a boycott after a scuffle between one of their MPs and one from the Georgian Dream coalition, which

Minorities, News

Group criticizes Georgia for handling of religious conflicts

by | December 23, 2013

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

News

Georgian Dream leaders are most trusted

by | December 22, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--A new poll shows that the top people in the Georgian Dream coalition are the most trusted public figures in Georgia, after the patriarch. The results are part of a wider survey of public attitudes organized by a US agency that builds democracy

News

Tbilisi mayor removed from office pending corruption trial

by | December 22, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava was Saturday night stripped of his authority by the city court. Ugulava was informed about the court's decision at 1 am Sunday. The decision was made without a hearing and came hours after the court had issued him bail

News

Saakashvili to teach governance at Tufts University

by | December 21, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The former president of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili will join Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in the US from January. He will hold lectures about European governance and other contemporary international and regional issues,

News

EU moves forward signing of agreement with Georgia

by | December 21, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--EU is willing to move forward the signing of the Association Agreement with Georgia and Moldova to August 2014 or earlier. This is the content of a statement by European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, published December 20, 2013. "This

News

Anti-Russia demonstrators detained in Tbilisi

by | December 21, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Four members of the organization Free Zone were detained on Friday during a protest against a meeting at Hotel Vere-Palace in Tbilisi dedicated to closer relations between Georgia and Russia. Demonstrators blocked the road as they blew whistles and

News

National Movement boycotting parliament

by | December 20, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The minority National Movement party has been boycotting parliament for more than a week and refuses to continue work in the assembly. The party's delegates left the session hall as a sign of protest when a scuffle broke out between MP Giorgi

News

Asian Development Bank funds infrastructure in Georgia

by | December 20, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia on Thursday signed agreement with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) about financing infrastructure projects. According to the Ministry of Finance, Minister Nodar Khaduri and Klaus Gerhaeusser, ADB's General Director, signed the agreement,

Interviews

What is being discussed at the Geneva talks?

by | December 20, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The talks between the parties in the 2008 Georgia-Russia war will meet in Geneva for another round of talks on March 25-26. It is known that the OSCE heads of the meeting this time will be from Switzerland. The last round of Geneva talks was held

News

A thousand prisoners are on hunger strike in Georgia

by | December 20, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--1 032 prisoners are now on hunger strike in several prisons in Georgia, according to the Prison Ministry. This is the most recent information as of 19:00 on December 19, and the majority – 946 prisoners – are on hunger strike at Geguti No

In brief, News

Georgia becomes member of UNESCO committee

by | December 20, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia has been elected as member of the Hague Committee for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict. According to the Foreign Affairs Ministry, the election was held on December 17 at UNESCO headquarters during the 5th

News

Poll: Georgians think country is getting more democratic

by | December 19, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--54 percent of Georgians say their country has democracy now, while 35 percent say there is no democracy in Georgia, according to a poll by National Democratic Institute (NDI). These numbers show a clear upward trend; in September, 44 percent said

In brief, News

Poll: 66% of Georgian want athletes to participate in Sochi

by | December 19, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--66 percent of Georgians approve of the decision by the government that Georgian athletes will participate in the upcoming Sochi Winter Olympics, while 17 percent disapprove of this decision. 16 percent didn't answer. In September 2013, 76 percent supported this

News

Two former Tbilisi officials released on bail

by | December 19, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The former gamgebeli of Old Tbilisi and his deputy were Wednesday released on 400 000 lari (USD 234 000) bail each. Prosecutors wanted to keep them in detention, but Tbilisi City Hall disagreed. Defense lawyers for Lasha Purtskhvanidze and Koba

Opinion

Seeing Georgia plain

by | December 19, 2013

Almost two centuries ago, the Scottish poet Robert Burns wrote in an oft-cited verse “And would some Power the small gift give us/To see ourselves as others see us! /It would from many a blunder free us, /And foolish notion:/What airs in dress and gait would leave us, /And even devotion!”

News

Former interior minister says he was threatened by prosecutor

by | December 18, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Former Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili accuses Chief Prosecutor of harassing him. The National Movement party asks to have the case investigated and that the responsible officials are dismissed. The government claims Merabishvili’s accusations

Minorities, News

Georgia introduces law against discrimination

by | December 18, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian Ministry of Justice has prepared a draft law on anti-discrimination. The proposal aims at eliminating all forms of discrimination, Justice Minister Thea Tsulukiani explained as she met human rights organizations, representatives of

In brief, News

Georgian president pardons 75 prisoners

by | December 18, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--President Giorgi Margvelashvili signed his first decree to pardon 75 prisoners on Wednesday. According to the head of the president's administration Lasha Abashidze, 54 of the prisoners were released, 14 got their sentence reduced to half, while

News

Tbilisi mayor questioned in embezzlement case

by | December 18, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Mayor of Tbilisi Gigi Ugulava was on Wednesday questioned at the Prosecutor’s Office in case about embezzlement of City Hall money by employees. The Prosecutor’s Office on Wednesday explained charges to the mayor which may lead to him being

Economy, News

Georgia to invest in Shah Deniz

by | December 18, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia plans to invest USD 400-700 million in the Shah Deniz project in Azerbaijan, according to Energy Minister Kakhi Kaladze. Kaladze was in Azerbaijan December 16-17 along with a delegation from the Georgian government who signed a resolution

Media, News

Georgian lawmaker fined for defamation of Imedi investor

by | December 17, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--A member of parliament from the National Movement party was fined 50 000 lari (USD 30 000) on Monday for defamation of businessman Joseph Kay. Kay is the investor who took over the control of Imedi TV after the owner, Badri Patarkatsishvili, died

News

Saakashvili is living in New York

by | December 17, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--A month after leaving office as president of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili has revealed that he is currently living in New York and working on reform programs with several major US universities. Appearing on Ukrainian TV 112, Saakashvili said he is

Environment, News

Power cuts continue in Georgia ten days after snowfall

by | December 17, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Ten days after snow fell in the eastern Adjara region of Georgia, frustration is growing as there are still problems with supply of electricity, natural gas and water. December 13, people demonstrated in Batumi against what they feel is a lack of

News

Two detained for money laundering in Tbilisi

by | December 17, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--In Georgia, two former officials in the city administration in Old Tbilisi were detained on Monday. The detained are the former gamgebeli of Old Tbilisi and his deputy. They are charged with illegal participation in industrial activity and money laundering. The charges are that they manipulated the prices of trees and plants for green areas in Tbilisi through a company called Greenservice Ltd. Investigators say Lasha Purtskhvanadze and Koba Kharshiladze employed a creative redistribution of shares and used the company for money laundering. Both risk from nine to twelve years in jail.

Environment, News

Georgia creates crisis management centers

by | December 16, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The government in Georgia on Sunday created two new bodies to address urgent problems. The first one is a temporary center for crisis management to deal with the problems caused by bad weather and earthquakes. The second state body is a center to

In brief, News

Georgian PM on visit to Azerbaijan

by | December 16, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili on Monday began an official visit to neighboring Azerbaijan. Gharibashvili will meet President Ilham Aliyev, and December 17 participate in a conference about the financing of the second phase of Shah

News

EU funds education reform in Georgia with €27 mill

by | December 16, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia will receive 27 million euros from the EU which is to be spent on reforms in education, professional training and employment. The EU will allocate 35 million euros for Moldova and 25 million euros for Armenia. According to Štefan Füle,

News

Activists in Georgia demand to have justice restored

by | December 15, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Activists on Sunday gathered in front of the old parliament building in Tbilisi demanding the creation of a committee to go through miscarriages of justice during former President Saakashvili. The demonstration was organized by the organization

In brief, News

Former Defense Ministry official detained

by | December 15, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Police in Georgia Saturday detained a former official in the Defense Ministry and charged him with illegally owning and keeping a weapon. Alexandre Ninua, former head of the purchasing department at the ministry, was placed in pre-trial detention the same day.

News

Pardon commission approves 54 applications

by | December 15, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The president's pardon commission gave a positive recommendation in 54 of recent applications from prisoners. The commission which is one of two such bodies, the other one part of the government, was recently staffed by the

News

Parliament asks to investigate violations during Saakashvili

by | December 14, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--In Georgia, the parliament has asked the government to investigate crimes committed during the Saakashvili regime. The bureau of parliament on Friday recommended the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Prosecutor’s Office

Economy, News

British, German and Hungarian pharma to enter Georgia

by | December 14, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Foreign pharmaceutical companies are preparing to enter the Georgian market, according to the Health Ministry. Health Minister Davit Sergeenko said on Friday that foreign pharmaceutical companies plan to start operating in Georgia and negotiations

Society

Prisoners in Georgia overcoming isolation by making handicraft

by | December 13, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--An exhibition of handicraft art made by prisoners at the women’s facility is open for visitors until December 15 at the Europe House in Tbilisi, Freedom Square. More than 250 pictures crafted from felt is on a display, as well as accessories like

Environment, News

86 schools closed in Georgia due to snow

by | December 13, 2013
snow_storm_batumi_2013-12-09_-_009

TBILISI, DFWatch--86 schools in Georgia are closed due to bad weather, according to the Education Ministry. 69 of them is in the Adjara region – Keda, Shuakhevi and Khelvachauri. Four schools are closed in Guria, six in Imereti, four in Svaneti, one school in Kakheti, one in

News, Politics

Georgia gets new governors in nine regions

by | December 13, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Gharibashvili on Friday appointed new governors in nine of the country's regions. The new governors are Irakli Shiolashvili, lawyer, in Kakheti, Zaza Meparishvili, engineer and lawyer, in Imereti, Zurab Rusishvili,

Environment, News

Skating arena collapses in Georgia

by | December 13, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--An ice skating arena in Batumi, Georgia, collapsed Thursday due to heavy snowfall. The last five days there has been an electricity problem in Batumi, in the Adjara region, as transmission lines and poles were damaged due to the amount of snow in recent

Europe, News

Georgia signs on to many new EU programs

by | December 13, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia Thursday signed a protocol with the EU about participating in several programs within health care, science, culture and business. The signing took place in Brussels and was carried out by Lithuania's Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius and

News, Politics

Georgia to spend more on health and education in 2014

by | December 12, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The new Georgian government has presented a 9 billion lari (about USD 5 billion) budget for 2014 which prioritizes health care and education. The budget bill was approved by 86 votes against 0 at a plenary session on Wednesday. Members of the

Environment, News

150 000 households still without electricity in Georgia

by | December 12, 2013
snow_storm_batumi_2013-12-09_-_005

TBILISI, DFWatch--Batumi, one of the largest cities in Georgia, has been without electricity and heating four days due to a snow storm. There is still more than one and half meter snow cover in Batumi and the rest of the mountainous Adjara region. Some streets

Europe, News

Georgians rallied in support of Kyiv protesters

by | December 12, 2013
dsc_0048_copy

TBILISI, DFWatch--Hundreds of people demonstrated in the streets of Tbilisi Wednesday to support the protesters in Kyiv. Georgians, as well as Ukrainians living in Georgia, gathered in the evening outside Tbilisi concert hall, waving the flags of Ukraine, EU and Georgia,

Europe, News

Georgian parliament declares support for Ukrainian people

by | December 12, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The parliament in Georgia Wednesday passed a statement supporting the demonstrations in the Ukrainian capital. "The Georgian parliament declares its complete solidarity with the Ukrainian people in its struggle for freedom of choice. It expresses

Society

UNICEF report exposes weak child protection in Georgia

by | December 12, 2013

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

News

Scuffle breaks out in Georgian parliament

by | December 11, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--A physical scuffle broke out in the Georgian parliament on Wednesday. Soso Jachvliani, MP from the Georgian Dream coalition, scolded Giorgi Baramidze from the National Movement. His microphone was switched off. This lead to a physical confrontation

News

Georgia charges two more for prison death

by | December 11, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Prosecutors in Georgia have charged two more persons with causing the death of a prisoner last May. December 11, the Prosecutor’s Office charged Nugzar Bechuadze and Shota Sinauridze in connection with the death of Levan Kortava. Bechuadze is

News, Politics

Georgia increases the president’s salary

by | December 11, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The government in Georgia has decided to raise the president's salary by 2 500 lari (USD 1 450). There has been talk about increasing the president’s pay for the last week and on Tuesday the governing Georgian Dream coalition asked parliament

News

Georgia appoints seven new ambassadors

by | December 11, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia has seven new ambassadors abroad, after President Giorgi Margvelashvili last week signed their appointment. The new ambassadors are the ones to Bulgaria, Uzbekistan, Germany, Japan, China, Iran and Jordan. According to the Foreign Affairs Ministry,

Legal reform, News

Local government reform modified after criticism from patriarch

by | December 11, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Speaker of Parliament Davit Usupashvili has managed to convince the government to amend a disputed passage in a draft bill about local government reform, as promised. The government prepared a draft law to regulate the country’s territorial

Economy, News

Investments in Georgia up 20% in Q3 year-on-year

by | December 10, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The amount of direct foreign investments in the third quarter of 2013 was USD 239 million, up three percent from the second quarter. Investments in third quarter of 2013 was 20 percent more than the same period last year. Foreign investments

News

Georgia cleaning up prison mafia in wake of inmate death

by | December 10, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Prosecutor’s Office in Georgia has charged prisoners and prison administration employees with causing the death of Levan Kortava, who was allegedly killed by the so-called thieves in law inside prison. Kortava died May 23, 2013, at the prison hospital,

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

Environment, News

Two die as greenhouse collapses near Batumi

by | December 10, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Two persons have died after a roof of a greenhouse collapsed in Georgia because of bad weather. The accident happened Monday evening in the village Salibauri in the Adjara region and was caused by strong wind and heavy snowfall. Two women, aged 35

News

Access to cemetery discussed at SO border meeting

by | December 10, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The parties in the 2008 Russia-Georgia war Monday discussed the installation of warning signs and fences in the villages Ghogheti and Bershueti on the border to the breakaway region South Ossetia. This was the 40th meeting of the Incident Prevention

In brief, News

Direct flights between Tbilisi and Sochi during Olympics

by | December 9, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian Airways will offer direct flights between Tbilisi and the Olympic village Sochi from February 4, 2014, in connection with the upcoming Winter Games. There will be flights between Tbilisi and Sochi every Tuesday and Thursday until May. The

Environment, News

Snow storm causes electricity blackout in Georgia

by | December 9, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--155 000 households are left without electricity in Georgia, according to the Energy Ministry. Deputy Energy Minister Irakli Khmaladze said at a briefing that the bad weather has created problems mainly in the regions in the west of Georgia, and that the damage is caused by snow and blizzard.

Europe, News

Supporters of Ukraine’s protesters gathered in Tbilisi

by | December 9, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Supporters of the protesters in Ukraine gathered Sunday in Tbilisi to support a mass mobilization in the Ukrainian capital. The gathering outside the former parliament building started at 14:00, the same time as the demonstration in Ukraine. Georgians

Environment, News

NGOs call for new impact assessment of gigantic power dam

by | December 9, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Georgia ask the government for answers about the construction of Khudoni hydro power station. There are many questions regarding environmental and social issues. Friedrich Ebert Stiftung and an

In brief, News

Former deputy prosecutor placed in pre-trial detention

by | December 9, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Tbilisi City Court has placed a former deputy chief prosecutor in pre-trial detention. Davit Chkhatarashvili, the former deputy of former Chief Prosecutor Murtaz Zodelava, was December 7 detained and charged with organizing staged torture videos

News

Prison Ministry asks inmates to end hunger strike

by | December 8, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Prison Ministry in Georgia Saturday called on prisoners to put an end to a hunger strike that has been joined by 146 prisoners all across Georgia. In Prison No 6 in Rustavi, 20 km away from the capital, about a hundred

Europe, News

Saakashvili addressed Ukrainian pro-EU demonstrators

by | December 8, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili on Saturday addressed the protesters gathered in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv. His speech to the movement which started two weeks ago, when President Viktor Yanukovich refused to sign an Association Agreement with the

Minorities, News

Increasing discrimination of religious minorities in Georgia

by | December 8, 2013

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

News, Prisoner abuse

Georgia charges former deputy prosecutor with staging torture

by | December 7, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Police in Georgia have detained a former deputy prosecutor and charged him with participating in filming videos of staged torture at a prison in Tbilisi. The Prosecutor’s Office charges Davit Chkhatarashvili, the former first deputy of ex-Chief

News, Sport

Georgia to not send officials, only athletes to Sochi Olympics

by | December 7, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian athletes will participate in the Sochi Winter Olympics, but the country will not send an official government delegation. Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili said a few days ago in an interview with Russia Today that only Georgian athletes

News

Georgian wine-making technique listed as world heritage

by | December 7, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s age-old method for making wine is now listed on UNESCO's World Heritage list. On its eighth session, UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Committee for the Protection of Non-Material Cultural Heritage decided to list Georgia’s traditional

Elections, News

Georgia to hold local elections in June 2014

by | December 6, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The local elections in Georgia will be held in June 2014, instead of May, the parliamentary majority says. The last local elections were held on May 30, 2010. Davit Berdzenishvili from the Georgian Dream coalition said on Friday that the local

News

Tender announced to dismantle Stalin statue

by | December 6, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The local government in Telavi, a town in the Kakheti region, has announced a tender for the dismantling of a statue of Joseph Stalin. According to Information Center of Kakheti, the local government allocated 1 121 lari (USD 660) for the dismantling

Legal reform, News

Georgian patriarch against local government reform

by | December 6, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian parliament has postponed the adoption of a landmark bill that will drastically change local government, after the draft Self-Governance Code was harshly criticized by the influential head of the Georgian Church. The bill should have been

Minorities, News

Two fined for interrupting Hanukkah celebration in Tbilisi

by | December 6, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Tbilisi City Court has fined two persons who tore down posters announcing Hanukkah. Wednesday night, two people tore down the posters and damaged the tribune that had been prepared for the Jewish holiday Hanukkah. They were fined 100 lari (USD 60)

News

Georgian gov’t sets out goals for improving democracy

by | December 6, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The government of Georgia will two months from now approve a strategy of protecting human rights. The document will be complex aiming to establish a high standard of democracy. This is one of the results of a human rights conference in Tbilisi

In brief, News

23 % more visitors to Georgia in Jan-Nov

by | December 5, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--4 973 632 people visited Georgia in January-November, 2013 according to the Interior Ministry. This is 22.6 percent more than the same period last year, and 12.3 period more than the total number of visitors in 2012. The highest number of visitors

News, Security

NATO top: Georgia can seek membership and be friends with Russia

by | December 5, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen says it is possible for Georgia to have good relations with Russia and at the same time move towards NATO membership. Rasmussen said there are examples of nations that are member of NATO and

Europe, News

Georgian president says Russia cannot stop moves towards EU

by | December 5, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian president Giorgi Margvelashvili says Russia has no means of influence that could divert Georgia from its course toward integration with Europe and interrupt the signing of the Association Agreement next year. In a TV interview on Tuesday,

News

Bacho Akhalaia acquitted in abuse case, two others convicted

by | December 4, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Appeals Court in Georgia has acquitted former Defense Minister Bacho Akhalaia, but sentenced the others who were charged in the same case to 3 years and nine months in jail. Bacho Akhalaia, Giorgi Kalandadze, former head of Joint Staff and Zurab

Europe, News

Georgians defy frosty weather to support Ukraine

by | December 4, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--People gathered in Tbilisi again on Tuesday to show support for Ukraine despite the frosty temperatures and cold wind. About 50 people showed up outside the old parliament building carrying Ukrainian flags to express support for the Ukrainian people,

News

Georgia gets worse ranking on corruption index

by | December 4, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia has slightly worsened its ranking on Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index - from 51st to 55th place. In 2012, Georgia ranked 51st among 176 countries, but in 2013 it is in 55th place among 177 countries. The organization

Environment, News

Futuristic service center damaged by storm in Tbilisi

by | December 4, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The House of Justice in Tbilisi was Tuesday evacuated as a result of high winds which damaged the roof of the building. No-one was injured, but the building remained evacuated throughout the day. The roof was damaged at the entrance of the building,

News

Inquest into Georgia’s cooperation with Chechen rebels progressing

by | December 3, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Public Defender in Georgia says an independent inquest into a border skirmish in 2012 has revealed many interesting details. But ombudsman Ucha Nanuashvili refrained from saying specifically what has been revealed and says this will be published

Environment, News

Bad weather in Georgia, power cuts, road closure

by | December 3, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--More than 70 000 households in Georgia are left without electricity due to strong wind and snow according to the utility company Energo-Pro Georgia. Electricity was switched off as the lines are damaged and technical crews are now working to rectify

Europe, News

GUAM countries support EU’s Eastern Partnership

by | December 3, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Parliamentary Assembly of GUAM adopted a document during the sixth session in Tbilisi, which reflects major aspirations and goals, which the countries of the union have. The document also focuses on supporting the EU's Eastern Partnership. The sixth

In brief, News

Ukrainian MP breaks off Georgia trip due to political crisis

by | December 3, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Ukrainian opposition MP, Ruslan Koshulinski, who is deputy speaker of parliament, broke off his visit to Georgia due to the protests in Kyiv. Koshulinski visited Georgia in order to attend the sixth session of the parliamentary assembly of GUAM;

Europe, News

Pro-Ukraine rally in Tbilisi again Monday

by | December 3, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--People rallied in Tbilisi again Monday in support of the Ukrainian people. As on Sunday, they gathered in front of the old parliament building, and vowed to continue protesting and also hold support rallies in other parts of Georgia. Participants

News

Anti-Putin protests in Yerevan

by | December 2, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Armenians protested on Liberty Square in Yerevan Monday against Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, who is visiting. Blognews Armenia informs that the protesters brought posters reading 'Stop Russia', 'Serzh the Betrayer' and shouted ‘Stop Russia’

In brief, News

Georgian premier blasts former ruling party on RT

by | December 2, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili has strongly criticized the former ruling party, the National Movement, in an interview on Russia Today, the state-owned Russian television station. It's a bit difficult to understand the opposition, they

In brief, News

Putin visiting Armenia

by | December 2, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit Yerevan today for the first time in five years. Russian media report that during his visit, Putin will meet with his Armenian counterpart Serzh Sargsyan. There will also be held a Russia-Armenia regional

News

South Ossetia spokesperson: ‘Razor wire will be dismantled’

by | December 2, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The razor wire bundles along the de facto border will eventually be changed into wire-mesh fences, a spokesperson for the South Ossetian KGB's press service told the online news service Caucasian Knot. According to Wikipedia, razor wire blades are

Europe, News

Rally in Tbilisi in solidarity with the Ukrainian people

by | December 2, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Tens of people gathered on Sunday in Tbilisi wearing yellow and blue to support people in Ukraine and express solidarity with them after a violent dispersal in Kyiv. "Our Ukrainian friends need support, they mustn’t be alone facing impudent violence,"

News

Council of Europe imposes sanctions against Georgia

by | December 1, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has imposed sanctions against Georgia after a Russian election observer was denied entry before the presidential election a month ago. The organization has decided not to hold any committee

In brief, News

GUAM to meet in Tbilisi on Monday

by | December 1, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Representatives from the GUAM countries will meet in Tbilisi on Monday. The occasion is the sixth session of the Parliamentary Assembly of GUAM, a cooperation between Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova. Zurab Abashidze, chairman of the

Browse our archive by date

December 2013
M T W T F S S
« Nov   Jan »
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  
ads
ads
ads
ads