News

Russia-Georgia border reopened after landslide

by | August 31, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--The road through Dariali Valley in Georgia is reopened for traffic with some restrictions, ten days after it was hit by a landslide. The road itself, and Larsi border crossing, will be opened from 07:00 to 18:00 without restrictions, but the rest of the time,

In brief, News

Georgia to ask Interpol help detain Saakashvili

by | August 31, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Prosecutor’s Office in Georgia is preparing to ask Interpol to issue a red alert for ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili and declare him internationally wanted. In mid-August, Georgia announced a domestic search for Saakashvili, which means that

News

Ukraine support rally demands more forceful response from Tbilisi

by | August 30, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--People demonstrated in front of the old parliament building in Tbilisi Friday in support of Ukraine and against Russian aggression. Demonstrators called on the international community to make more efforts to help Ukraine in the ongoing crisis.

Economy, News

Georgia’s growth up 7.2% in July

by | August 30, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s estimated real GDP growth in July 2014 was 7.2 percent more than in the same period last year, according to preliminary results from Georgia’s Statistics Department, GeoStat. Estimated GDP growth in the second quarter of 2014 was 5.1

In brief, News

Azerbaijan fires four customs guards after record heroin seizure

by | August 30, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Four employees of Azerbaijan’s customs service have been fired following the seizure in Georgia of 2.8 tons of liquid heroin in July. According to the Azerbaijani newspaper Eni Musavat, the four fired employees were working at the custom’s check-point

News

Grand Mufti of Caucasus visits Georgia

by | August 29, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Grand Mufti of Caucasus, Haji Allahshükür Hummat Pashazade, arrived this morning for a two day visit to Georgia. Pashazade, who is based in Baku, Azerbaijan, was greeted at the airport by Georgian Patriarch Ilia II, who hosted him at the main

In brief, News

Three men shot dead in Georgian village

by | August 29, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Three men were killed Thursday night near Adigeni in southern Georgia. The suspect is a local public registry official. A brother of one of the three murder victims was also injured. The killing took place in the village Karatubani, where there was

News, Sport

Georgian takes gold medal in World Judo Championship

by | August 29, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s Avtandil Chrikashvili, 23, won a gold medal in the 2014 World Judo Championship on Thursday in Chelyabinsk, Russia. Chrikashvili won six fights and in the end defeated Antoine Valois-Fortier from Canada in the men’s half middleweight

News

Georgia’s government coalition has lost popularity

by | August 29, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--The government coalition and its leading figures have lost popularity, according to a new poll by National Democratic Institute (NDI). 42 percent of the questioned say the Georgian Dream coalition is closer to them, while 11 percent say they feel

Minorities, News

Religious summer camp brings children together across confessions

by | August 28, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--A ten-day summer camp was organized in mid-August for about one hundred Georgian Muslim and Christian children. The camp is aimed at making friends, train and educate, as well as breaking down prejudices about religion. Giorgi Jaiani, 15, came

News, Sport

Georgia qualifies for EuroBasket with 71-59 win against Portugal

by | August 28, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s basketball team won 71-59 against Portugal on Wednesday and is qualified for FIBA 2015. The Georgian team is now on top of Group E with four wins and two losses, followed by Czech Republic, Hungary and Portugal. Georgia’s

In brief, News

Georgian health minister in Ukraine developing aid plan

by | August 28, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Health Minister Davit Sergeenko started his visit to Ukraine by making several agreements about offering assistance to Ukraine as result of the crisis there. A bilateral working group is being created to coordinate the assistance. Sergeenko Wednesday

News

Georgia ends visa free rules for 24 countries

by | August 28, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia is ending visa free rules for citizens of 24 countries from September 1. But people from 94 countries can still visit the country without a visa. However, those who are allowed to stay in Georgia without a visa, may now only stay for 90 days,

In brief, News

Second body found after Dariali landslide

by | August 27, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--A second person has been found dead on Wednesday, after the massive landslide in Dariali Valley on August 21. Two people died in the disaster, one was a citizen of Turkey and one a Georgian citizen. Both were working in a tunnel when a landslide hit

News

Georgia’s health minister to visit Ukraine, offer assistance

by | August 27, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian health minister Davit Sergeenko will go to Ukraine on Wednesday in order to learn what kind of assistance Ukraine needs and how Georgia can help. After a government session on Tuesday, he said that Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili

News

Less Georgians think Russia is a threat

by | August 27, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--42 percent of Georgians think Russia is a real and existing threat to Georgia, according to a new survey. The survey by National Democratic Institute (NDI) shows that 36 percent think Russia is a threat to Georgia, but an exaggerated one. 15 percent

News, Youth

KaZantip festival in Georgia a failure, may be cancelled

by | August 27, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--The long-awaited music festival KaZantip turned out a disappointment for some visitors and the head organizer. The electronic music festival, which has been held for the last decade in Crimea, was moved to Georgia’s Black Sea coast after Russia’s

News

Suspect in Girgvliani murder avoids jail time after plea deal

by | August 26, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--A court in Tbilisi has offered one of the suspects in the Girgvliani murder a plea bargain, after he pleaded guilty more than a week ago. Oleg Melnikov, former Interior Ministry official, recently admitted guilt in the murder of Sandro Girgvliani in 2006.

News

NDI survey looks at Georgians’ views on Church’s influence

by | August 26, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Jobs, poverty and territorial integrity are the most important national issues, as Georgians see it. 3 percent of those questioned in a new survey say that the number of jobs in Georgia increased after the parliamentary election in 2012.

Minorities, News

How Georgians view minorities: Protect minority groups but not gays

by | August 26, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--63 percent of Georgians think it is important to protect the rights of minorities, but they don’t want such protection extended to sexual minorities. National Democratic Institute (NDI) on Monday published the results of its newest survey of public

News

Khajimba won disputed election in Abkhazia

by | August 25, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--On Sunday, there was held de facto presidential election in the Georgian breakaway region Abkhazia. Preliminary results show that Raul Khajimba won with 50.57 percent of the votes, according to Batal Tabaghua, head of the region’s election

News

Three Georgians detained near South Ossetia

by | August 25, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Russian soldiers last week detained three Georgian citizens at a village bordering with the breakaway region South Ossetia. According to Channel 1, Russians detained a father and son, Avtandil and Shota Atskarunashvili, and later also Ilia

News, Sport

Georgia’s basketball team won 79-59 against Hungary

by | August 25, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s national basketball team won 79-59 against Hungary on Sunday, in a qualification match for the 2015 FIBA EuroBasket. The Georgian team was only losing for one quarter of Sunday’s match. Tornike Shengelia played best among the teammates

Interviews

Interview with Kenneth Yalowitz, former US ambassador to Georgia

by | August 24, 2014

DFWatch: What’s your prediction, how will the situation around Ukraine evolve? Kenneth Yalowitz: What worries me is that you have a situation where the Ukrainian side is doing better militarily in Eastern Ukraine and we don’t know how the Russians are going

News, Youth

26,000 passed university entrance exams in Georgia

by | August 24, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--More than 26,000 candidates have been accepted as students this year, according to the head of Georgia’s National Exam Center. Maia Miminoshvili told journalists that about 35,500 entrants took their test exams this year, but 9,000 failed to pass.

News

Human chain outside Ukrainian embassy in Tbilisi

by | August 24, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--The National Movement demonstrated outside the Ukrainian embassy in Tbilisi on Saturday, to mark the 25 year anniversary of Freedom Chain, an anti-Soviet protest, and to express solidarity with Ukraine. Demonstrators called on the government

News

Abkhazia to hold presidential election August 24

by | August 24, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--August 24, there will be held presidential election in the breakaway region Abkhazia. Four candidates are standing in the election, all of whom have general’s rank. Raul Khajimba, the key figure in the toppling of former de facto president

In brief, News

Armenia’s gas supply restored, pipeline repaired after landslide

by | August 23, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Gas began flowing again Saturday in a pipeline that runs through a Georgian mountain valley which was hit by a landslide on August 21. The pipeline through Dariali Valley brings Russian natural gas to Armenia. According to Georgia’s Gas Transport

Environment, News

Conflict erupts about illegal tree-cutting in Georgia

by | August 23, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Locals demonstrated Friday in a Georgian village because of strict rules about the cutting of trees for fire wood. People in Khaishi, in the northern part of Georgia, blocked the Zugdidi-Mestia highway because of sanctions introduced

News

Ice bucket challenge spreads to Georgia

by | August 22, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian celebrities, including politicians and journalists, are joining the international charity movement Ice Bucket Challenge, which aims gathering donations to support treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS. ALS is a disease

News

Fight between inmates in Gardabani prison

by | August 22, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Two prisoners clashed at Prison No 6 in Gardabani on Friday. The fight took place at 01:00 at night. Relatives and family were gathered at the prison, and some of them told journalists that law enforcement entered the prison, but the Prison Ministry

Environment, News

Danger of more landslides in Dariali

by | August 22, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--There is a danger that more snow may come loose from Devdorak glacier and trigger another landslide in Dariali Valley, Georgia’s Environment Ministry warns. Experts working for the National Agency of Environment have visually surveyed

In brief, News

One person found dead after landslide in Georgia

by | August 22, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--One person has been found dead after the landslide catastrophe in Georgia on Thursday. The body was found on the bank of the river Tergi near the village Larsi on the Russian side of the border. According to head of Kazbegi municipality Givi

News

Georgian prosecutors examining finances of former parliament speaker

by | August 22, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian Prosecutor's Office wants to study the income of Davit Bakradze, former Speaker of Parliament and MP for the National Movement. The office said in a statement on Wednesday that information reported by the media about Bakradze indicates

Environment, News

New catastrophic landslide hits Georgia’s Dariali Valley, two missing

by | August 21, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Three months after a landslide disaster in a Georgian valley near the Russian border, another landslide struck Thursday, severing the only road across the Caucasus mountain range and cutting gas supply to Armenia. Two people are missing.

Europe, News

Delayed ratification of Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine’s EU treaties

by | August 21, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Two members of the European Parliament on Wednesday called on member states to accelerate the ratification of the association agreements signed with Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine in June. Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine signed association agreements

News, Youth

KaZantip opens as conservatives protest

by | August 20, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Conservative groups continued protesting against KaZantip Wednesday as the music festival opened at 9 pm in the evening. Those opposed to the festival are radical Orthodox Christians and small opposition parties. On Wednesday one such group held a protest

In brief, News

Georgian PM visits Armenia August 21-22

by | August 20, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili will visit Armenia on August 21-22. After meeting his Armenian colleague, Gharibashvili and the rest of the Georgian delegation will meet with Armenian government representatives. Prime Minister Hovik

News

Saakashvili returns clothes after embezzlement charge

by | August 20, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili on Tuesday returned clothes to the government in Georgia, after being charged with inappropriate spending while in office. A few days ago, the Prosecutor’s Office charged Saakashvili with

News

Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan strengthen energy transport security

by | August 20, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--The defense ministers of Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan met Tuesday in the Azerbaijani enclave Nakhchivan, a landlocked region on the border between Armenia and Iran. This is the first time defense ministers from the three countries hold a trilateral

Minorities

Mosque issue in Batumi remains unresolved

by | August 19, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Years have passed without a solution to the need for a new mosque in Batumi. The governments keep promising Muslims that they will make a decision, but according to Muslims, both the central and the local government are attempting to delay

News, Security

Government wants to reduce president’s power as commander in chief

by | August 19, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--The government in Georgia wants to limit the power of the president as commander in chief. The draft bill will take away the president’s power to approve the regulation of the Joint Staff, and the head of the Joint Staff will become subordinate

News

Georgian president rejects ex-interior minister’s citizenship application

by | August 19, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--President Giorgi Margvelashvili has rejected former Interior Minister Kakha Targamadze’s application for Georgian citizenship. The decision follows a call by the National Movement to not approve the application by the controversial

Economy, News

Georgia’s foreign trade turnover Jan-Jul ’14 up 14 %

by | August 18, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s foreign trade turnover in January-July 2014 was USD 6,480 million. This is  14 percent more than in same period last year. Preliminary data published by the Statistics Department on Monday show that import in the first seven months

News

Georgia’s Orthodox Church signs agreement with Defense Ministry

by | August 18, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia's Ministry of Defense on Sunday signed a memorandum with the country's Orthodox Church. The agreement was signed at Trinity (Sameba) Cathedral by Defense Minister Irakli Alasania and Patriarch Ilia II and is about ‘spiritual,

Environment, News

Health minister warns about heat wave in Georgia

by | August 18, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian health minister warns people against staying too long out in the sun as temperatures many places in Georgia will surpass 40 degrees Celsius (104 F), according to the national environmental agency. Health Minister Davit Sergeenko

News, Sport

Georgia’s basketball team won against Portugal

by | August 18, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s national basketball team Sunday evening won against Portugal in a qualification match for FIBA EuroBasket 2015 played at Arena Dolce Vita in Ovar. Georgia won 90-91, which was quite surprising as the team was losing the game almost before the fourth

News

Defense ministers of Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan meet Monday

by | August 18, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--The defense ministers of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey will meet in Azerbaijan on Monday. Georgian Defense Minister Irakli Alasania said Sunday this is the first formal meeting between the three ministers and has been planned for a long time.

News

Georgian prosecutors publish more details about Saakashvili’s spending

by | August 17, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s Prosecutor’s Office on Saturday published more details about what ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili spent money for that was meant to be used for the security force SSPS. Saakashvili is charged with embezzlement of more than eight

News

Ambulances in Georgia need frequent repair, causing late response

by | August 16, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Ambulances in Georgia will begin responding to calls from patients according to the severity of their cases instead of who called first, according to the Health Ministry. In many cases, especially in villages and regions outside of population centers,

Interviews

German film director Stefan Tolz on living in Georgia

by | August 15, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--"Full Speed Westward" (Vollgas gen Westen) – this is the title of a new movie by German film director Stefan Tolz.  The movie opened in Georgia a few months ago and was well received. It is a documentary about Georgian reality, which shows

News

Saakashvili says spending was necessary

by | August 15, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili again denies the new corruption charge about embezzling eight million lari from the security force SSPS. Prosecutors say instead of using the money on the SSPS, Saakashvili spent it on vacations, presents,

News, Youth

KaZantip organizer to priests: ‘We have a no drugs policy’

by | August 15, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--The manager of KaZantip has offered to meet priests and conservative activists to discuss the music festival, claiming that they are misinformed. Orthodox activists demonstrated near the festival site Thursday using biblical slogans warning

In brief, News

Search order issued for ex-President Saakashvili

by | August 15, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia has issued a domestic search order for ex-President Mikheil Saakahsvili. Georgia’s Prosecutor’s Office prepared the order and has forwarded it to the Interior Ministry. This means that if Saakashvili enters the country,

News

Georgian conservatives demonstrate against KaZantip

by | August 14, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian conservatives continue trying to stop the music festival KaZantip from going ahead in Georgia and Thursday organized another rally, this time attempting to enter the festival compound. Orthodox clerics and followers a few days ago

In brief, News

38 died in fires in Georgia Jan-Jun ’14

by | August 14, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--There were 1,703 fires in Georgia in the first half of 2014. 38 people died and 61 were injured, according to the Interior Ministry. In 1,005 of the cases, the reason for the fire could not be determined. In 333 cases, the cause was negligence,

News

Georgia tightens regulation of prescription drugs

by | August 14, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--In an extremely controversial move, Georgia’s Ministry of Health is tightening the regulation of prescription drugs. Seen as a step away of the former government’s deregulation stance, the initiative by the Ministry of Labor, Health

News

Saakashvili denies embezzlement charge in Facebook post

by | August 14, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili denies new charges that he spent money meant for the special protection service on his own lavish life style. Prosecutors in Georgia charged him Wednesday with having spent 8.8 million lari (USD

Minorities, News

Yazidis in Tbilisi call on the world to stop ISIS

by | August 14, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--'Stop ISIS' was the slogan of a rally organized by the Yazidi community in Tbilisi as a show of solidarity with their besieged countrymen in Iraq, who suffer from ruthless savagery by the terrorists from Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

News

Saakashvili charged with embezzlement of security force money

by | August 14, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Prosecutors in Georgia have brought further charges against former President Mikheil Saakashvili about embezzlement of public money. The case describes embezzlement of about 8.8 million lari (USD 5.2 million) meant to be used for the protection

In brief, News

180 died in traffic in Georgia Jan-Jun ’14

by | August 13, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--180 people died in traffic accidents in Georgia in the first half of 2014, according to new figures from the Interior Ministry. The figures published Tuesday show that an upward turn in road accidents has stopped, but numbers remain high compared

Environment, News

A hundred houses flooded in Georgian village Kvishkheti

by | August 13, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--A hundred houses were flooded in a small Georgian village Tuesday night. Due to heavy and long rain, villages were flooded in an area near Khashuri in the central parts of Georgia. The flood hit hardest in Kvishkheti, which

News

Stalin bust in Akura, Georgia, taken down

by | August 13, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--A bust of Stalin was Tuesday dismantled in a small village in Georgia, less than a day after it was put up. It is still unknown who placed the monument in Akura, in the eastern part of the country, but the same bust has been erected several times in two

In brief, News

Georgia to take part in humanitarian effort in Ukraine

by | August 13, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia is to join an international humanitarian effort in Luhansk, Ukraine. This became known on Tuesday. Last week, Georgian Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze said Georgia is not planning to join the international sanctions EU and the United

News

Disputed Stalin bust goes up again in Georgian village

by | August 12, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--A bust of Joseph Stalin was re-erected in a Georgian village Monday night. It is unknown who put it there. The reemerged bust is located in Akura, a village in Eastern Georgia. After the change of government in Georgia in late 2012, busts and

In brief, News

Scuffle outside Tbilisi City Hall as people queue to meet mayor

by | August 12, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--There was a quarrel outside Tbilisi City Hall on Monday between people who wanted to meet the mayor and tell him about their problems. Newly elected Mayor Davit Narmania decided to set aside one day to meet with citizens. Hundreds of people turned

News

Merabishvili loses appeal in May 26 case

by | August 12, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Appeals Court in Georgia upheld the City Court's guilty verdict against former Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili for the May 26, 2011, violent dispersal of anti-government protesters. Tbilisi City Court in February sentenced Merabishvili

News

Suspect in Girgvliani case pleads guilty

by | August 12, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--A former government official in Georgia has pleaded guilty in the murder of bank employee Sandro Girgvliani in 2006. The 28-year old Girgvliani was brutally murdered after a scuffle at a cafe in Tbilisi, during a birthday party for an Interior Ministry

News

Georgian president accuses prosecutors of releasing classified document

by | August 11, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili accuses the Prosecutor’s Office of publishing a document which was classified as top secret, but the office denied this. August 8, Margvelashvili expressed concern about the publishing of

News

Georgian village hasn’t had running water for two decades

by | August 11, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Locals demonstrated in an eastern Georgian village on Monday, demanding to get running water installed. People living in the village Ninigori in the Lagodekhi region claim they have been without running water for more than 20 years. During all this time,

In brief, News

Police officer detained in Georgia for receiving bribe

by | August 11, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--A police employee was Sunday detained in Batumi, a city on Georgia’s Black Sea coast, accused of receiving a bribe two days prior. According to the Interior Ministry’s press department, the general inspection detained an employee of the patrol

Opinion

From Europe to the Caucasus: hunting time, then and now

by | August 11, 2014

There is indeed a civilizational cleavage between “Europe” and the South Caucasus. To encapsulate this cleavage in a single metaphor, one could say it is the difference between youth and age: the European sense of time seems youthful, with the certainty that

News, Sport

Georgia beats Czech Republic 73-62 in EuroBasket qualifier

by | August 11, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s basketball team won 73-62 against the Czech Republic on Sunday in a qualification match for FIBA EuroBasket 2015. There was a scuffle during the match. On one of the tribunes, Georgian fans started a quarrel. It didn’t last long,

News

Georgian FM criticized for not clearly supporting Russia sanctions

by | August 10, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s foreign minister is criticized by opponents for saying that the economic sanctions against Russia will not solve the Ukraine crisis. The minister says she was misinterpreted. Maia Panjikidze on Thursday said that sanctions against Russia

News, Politics

Georgian president defends decision to use lavish palace

by | August 10, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili last year thought the presidential palace was too luxurious for him to use, but now he defends his decision to make it his place of work. In the presidential election campaign in October, 2013, Margvelashvili

News

Georgian leader attacks Swedish foreign minister

by | August 9, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--A war of words developed between Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt and Georgian PM Irakli Gharibashvili on Friday as the two spoke on the phone. In the conversation, Gharibashvili called Bildt, as well as Lithuanian FM Linas Linkevicius, members

News, Politics

Georgian president rebuffs MP for criticizing Bildt

by | August 8, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia President Giorgi Margvelashvili has rebuffed a parliamentarian in his own coalition for criticizing a tweet by Sweden's Foreign Minister Carl Bildt. The controversy started when Bildt criticized the criminal charges against former President Mikheil

News

Georgia’s Patriarch Ilia II gives white horse to PM

by | August 8, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian Patriarch Ilia II on Tuesday gave Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili a white horse. The event took place at the end of a visit by the PM to the Patriarch's hometown Sno in Kazbegi, northern Georgia. The two visited Larsi checkpoint,

News

Georgian minister: sanctions not proper way out of Ukraine crisis

by | August 8, 2014

Tbilisi, DFWatch - Georgia’s Foreign Minister says that western sanctions against Russia and reciprocal moves by the Kremlin are not proper way out of the Ukrainian crisis and that conflict should be solved rather by the negotiations. Maia Panjikidze,

News

Georgian foreign minister criticizes Carl Bildt’s tweet

by | August 7, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s foreign minister says Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt is putting to perssure on the courts in Georgia by a statement criticizing the investigation of former officials. Foreign Minsiter Maia Panjikidze said this on Wednesday

In brief, News

Georgians injured in bus accident in Turkey

by | August 7, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--There was an accident on Wednesday in Rize, Turkey, which left ten passengers injured, including citizens of Georgia. Representatives of the Health Ministry of Adjara left for Turkey to see citizens of Georgia. According to Deputy Health

News, Youth

Discussion: Georgian youth and higher education

by | August 7, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--DF Watch last week organized a discussion about education and the problem of self-realization among youth. The discussion included representatives of the youth wings of political parties. Tako Kakabadze, chair of the youth wing

News

Outgoing NATO chief writes critical send-off to partner Russia

by | August 7, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen writes that Russia has stirred up conflicts in Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia. In an opinion piece published in Financial Times, Rasmussen writes that after the collapse of communism, NATO has made

News

Mine worker dies of electrical shock in Chiatura, Georgia

by | August 6, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--A mine worker died from electrical shock Tuesday night in Chiatura, a manganese mining town in western Georgia. Engineer Zaliko Tkemaladze was trying to repair a damaged locomotive at night in the Shukruti mine when the accident happened.

NGO news

Georgian PM criticizes NGOs for being biased

by | August 6, 2014

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

In brief, News

Saakashvili’s appeal turned down

by | August 6, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Appeals Court in Georgia left in force a decision by Tbilisi City Court to place ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili and former officials in pre-trial detention in a case concerning the violent dispersal of an anti-government demonstration on November 7, 2007.

News

New charges against Saakashvili

by | August 6, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Prosecutor’s Office in Georgia has brought further charges against ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili and other former officials in a case concerning an attack on a former parliamentarian. Prosecutors say Saakashvili and former Interior

NGO news

Georgia introduces stricter regulation of secret surveillance

by | August 5, 2014

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

News, Sport

Rights groups want tougher reaction to chauvinistic football fans

by | August 5, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--A number of human rights organizations in Georgia have united under the name ‘No to Phobia’ and want the government to show a tougher attitude to what happened during a football match between Georgian and Azerbaijani teams a few days ago.

News

New rules for visitors to Georgia from September

by | August 5, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--From September 1, Georgia introduces new rules for foreigners who wish to stay for shorter or longer periods of time. The new rules are about visa and residency permit, and about procedures for expelling illegal immigrants. The government recently

Opinion

Lingering concerns over implementation of Georgia’s anti-discrimination law

by | August 4, 2014

Earlier this summer the UN Human Rights Committee published its concluding observations on Georgia’s fourth periodic report. The report praises the Government of Georgia on a number of positive steps, both at the legislative and the institutional level. Nevertheless,

In brief, News

Georgia preparing for visit by Angela Merkel

by | August 4, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian government has begun preparing for a visit by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, even though the exact date of her visit is still unknown. Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze on Sunday met with the German ambassador

News

4,000 people in Georgia have had no running water for two months

by | August 4, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--People demonstrated on Sunday in a Georgian village where 4,000 people have been without running water for two months. Locals in Velistsikhe near Gurjaani claim the head of municipality Gia Gergidze is doing nothing to solve the water problem.

Minorities, News

Georgian government official gives details about UN committee’s work

by | August 4, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--A government official in Georgia has provided details about the internal work of a United Nations committee tasked with overseeing the human rights situation in member countries. Levan Isakhanyan, Head of the Department of Legal Affairs, Relations

News, Youth

Georgian Church plans big demonstration against KaZantip

by | August 4, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Clerics in Georgia plan a big demonstration against the music festival KaZantip, and have started information work and preparing the Church and clerics. Archimandrite Antimoz on Sunday told Interpressnews that the rally is going to be peaceful

News

Azerbaijan postpones enforcement of car standards

by | August 3, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Azerbaijan has postponed the introduction of new restrictions on cars entering from Georgia until August 16. Georgian officials say the reason is a need to inform Georgians about the new rules. Azerbaijan decided in January, 2014,

In brief, News

Saakashvili given pre-trial detention in absentia

by | August 2, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Tbilisi City Court on Friday evening decided to issue a pre-trial detention order for ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili, although he is not in Georgia at the moment. After leaving office in November 2013, the former president has not been in Georgia.

News, Sport

Georgian and Azerbaijani football supporters clash in Baku

by | August 1, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch-UEFA has issued a 15,000 euros fine to a Georgian football team after its supporters clashes with supporters of an Azerbaijanian team in Baku. The clashes took place during and after a qualification match for UEFA Europe League. After the match, another

News

Georgian and Russian diplomats talk on phone about trade

by | August 1, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--A Georgian diplomat says the reason Russia decided to suspend its free trade agreement with Georgia is that Georgia is not member of the Russia-initiated Customs Union. Zurab Abashidze, Prime Minister’s Special Representative for Russian

In brief, News

Two Georgians detained by Russian soldiers

by | August 1, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Russian soldiers have detained two Georgian citizens outside the village Kveshi, near Gori, which borders on the South Ossetian breakaway region. According to Interpressnews, the detainees are Zakro Butkhuzi, from Kveshi, and his guest Buta

News

New bill to regulate sale of agricultural land in Georgia

by | August 1, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Liberal Academy Tbilisi foundation addresses parliament with a draft bill about Georgia regarding regulations of selling lands to the foreign citizens. The organization on Thursday held a presentation of the draft and a study conducted by the

Economy, News

Georgia downplays impact of losing free trade with Russia

by | August 1, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Government officials in Georgia claim it will not bring serious financial harm to the country if Russia suspends its free trade agreement with Georgia. On Wednesday, the Russian Duma was reported to be preparing a draft bill about suspending

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