TBILISI, DFWatch--Disagreement over a cemetery led to exchange of insults between Muslims and Christians in a village in southern Georgia on Monday. Samkhretis Karibche, a local online newspaper, reported that the locals verbally insulted each other.
TBILISI, DFWatch--The regional Court in Sighnaghi in eastern Georgia is considering the case of a 25 year old man who married a 15 year old girl who is pregnant. A few weeks ago, the couple showed up at a talk show on Imedi TV called the Gia Jajanidze Show. The man told of how he and the girl found
TBILISI, DFWatch--Two Georgian citizens who barely avoided being hanged in Malaysia for drug-related crimes returned to Georgia on Sunday. Babutsa Gordadze, who was arrested in Malaysia along with Darejan Kokhtashvili, was convicted of illegally
TBILISI, DFWatch--The Prosecutor General’s Office in Georgia has launched an investigation two weeks after allegations were put forth by a member of parliament about election fraud in last year’s by-election in Sagarejo in eastern Georgia. Gogi Topadze, leader
TBILISI, DFWatch--Activists demand putting halt a large construction project amidst environmental, urban, social, and conflict-of-interest controversies. Up to 400 activists gathered on Tbilisi’s Freedom Square on 27 February in order to protest against the construction
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian Azerbaijani activists marked the anniversary of the Khojaly tragedy and called for its recognition as a genocide. On 25 February, a conference on the Khojaly (Xocalı) genocide was held in Tbilisi. The event was organised
TBILISI, DFWatch--Activists demonstrated in front of the headquarters of Georgian Industrial Group in Tbilisi in solidarity with the miners who are on strike in Tkibuli. In the evening of 26 February, a group of up to 200 protesters
TBILISI, DFWatch--Doctors say former government official and now opposition member Alexi Petriashvili is in a stable condition. He was shot in the legs and abdominal area on Friday at a cemetery in Tbilisi. The director of the Republican Hospital
TBILISI, DFWatch--Nino Ananiashvili, a former prima ballerina at Moscow’s Bolshoi Theater, was criticized in Georgia for performing at the theater in the Russian capital on February 25, because in her home country, the day is observed as the Day of Soviet Occupation.
TKIBULI, DFWatch--More than two weeks have passed since coal miners in Tkibuli in western Georgia began standing watch day and night in front of the company’s office, demanding higher salaries. So far, without results. Their demand is to increase their salaries
Tbilisi, DFWatch - Aiup Borchashvili admits links to Umar ash-Shishani, but denies direct involvement in recruiting people to fight in Syria and Iraq. Telavi District Court heard Aiup Borchashvili in the case of
TBILISI, DFWatch--A former member of government and secretary of an opposition party was shot by unknown attackers on Saburtalo cemetery on Friday afternoon. His injuries are not life-threatening. Aleksi Petriashvili was shot at and wounded at the Saburtalo
TBILISI, DFWatch--Russian border police detained a 31-years-old inhabitant of Tbilisi in the vicinity of the South Ossetian boundary line, Sputnik Ossetia reported. The man was detained on 24 February near the village of Akhmaji (Akhmadz in Ossetian) in Akhalgori (Leningor)
TBILISI, DFWatch--Coal miners on strike in a small mining town in the west of Georgia broke into the offices of the company that owns the mines Thursday evening. Workers came in through the windows of the offices of Saknakhshiri GIG in Tkibuli, with the support of locals.
Tbilisi, DFWatch - Pictures and documents from the period of Bolshevik terror in Georgia marked the anniversary the tragic events of 1921. A photo exhibition in front of the Parliament building in Tbilisi marked the Soviet Occupation Day,
TBILISI, DFWatch--For more than ten days, miners have been on strike in Tkibuli, a town in western Georgia, demanding increased pay to compensate for their community’s loss of favorable tax conditions. The Ministry of Labor and Health
TBILISI, DFWatch--One more person was arrested on Tuesday in connection with the suspected ‘bridenapping’ in Tbilisi’s southern Ponichala district. Earlier on Tuesday, police in the capital arrested a Russian teenager, who is suspected of abducting
TBILISI, DFWatch--A man of about 50 years was murdered on Wednesday in the village Vardisubani near Telavi. A suspect was apprehended the same day. The victim, Vepkhia Glurjidze, had a disagreement with the suspect, who then stabbed him. Glurjidze took
TBILISI, DFWatch--The field meeting on the perimeter of the South Ossetia region went ahead as planned on Wednesday, and some of the topics discussed were irrigation water and detention of people for border violations. The meeting was held in Ergneti, a village
TBILISI, DFWatch--Police in Tbilisi detained a teenager on Wednesday who is suspected of abducting a 17 year old girl and keeping her for four days. The detainee is a citizen of Russia, and like the victim also a minor. He was arrested by officers from the central Tbilisi
TBILISI, DFWatch--Nino Burjanadze, leader of the Georgian opposition party Democratic Movement, recently visited Moscow and met with Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin. The parties did not disclose the topic of the meeting. Her party’s press
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia still struggles with issues connected to its justice system, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, rights of LGBTI people, and cases of torture and other ill-treatment. Amnesty International (AI) has released the
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian fighters affiliated with the Islamic State commemorate three men who died earlier this year in Syria. A new Georgian-language video produced by Furat, a media company affiliated with the Islamic State, has been circulated
TBILISI, DFWatch--The chief judge at Tbilisi City Court was fired on Tuesday, sparking speculation that it might have something to do with his recent statements about corruption in the court and other controversial topics. Twelve members of the High
TBILISI, DFWatch--Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili promises that the motorway through Georgia currently under construction will be completed by 2020. The transit road east-west through Georgia, connecting the border with Azerbaijan with the Turkish
TBILISI, DFWatch--Tbilisi City Court ruled in favor of former Mayor Gigi Ugulava on Tuesday, lifting a 50,000 lari bail imposed on him and a freezing order on the house of his mother-in-law. But the lifting of Mr Ugulava's bail won't mean that he can walk free. He is currently serving a four and a half year prison sentence in another case.
Tbilisi, DFWatch - Kist, Chechen, Ingush activists and Georgian sympathisers commemorated victims of 1944 deportations with screening of a Chechen film depicting details of the tragedy.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and government representatives Monday discussed the possibility of creating an independent body to investigative crimes committed by law enforcement. The discussion revealed disagreement
TBILISI, DFWatch--Russia last week detained two American members of non-governmental organizations (NGO) for violating visa rules and holding ‘non-tourist meetings.’ DF Watch spoke to Temur Kobalia, director of the NGO Georgian-Russian Forum,
TBILISI, DFWatch--A 17 year old girl who was abducted several days ago was returned to her family on Monday and questioned by police. Relatives say the kidnapper left Samira Bayramova at a supermarket near her home in Ponichala, a settlement
TBILISI, DFWatch--A conference about sexual minorities had to be moved to another location after Tbilisi State University (TSU) refused to let it be held on February 22 following protests by extreme traditionalists. The protest was staged by a group which has often
Soghanlughi, DFWatch - Global Shia–Sunni conflict found its way into a small Azerbaijani community on the outskirts of Tbilisi.What started as a local tension in the predominantly Muslim settlement of Soghanlughi (Soğanlıq in Azerbaijani), which is a part of Ponichala district in the southeast of Tbilisi, escalated into a conflict informed by events in the Middle East, proving increasingly divisive for the community.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Things did not change for the better when Davit Vanishvili’s house ended up on the other side of the border with Georgia’s breakaway region South Ossetia several years ago. DFWatch recently visited some of the villages on the administrative boundary
TBILISI, DFWatch--Relatives of a 17 year old girl who was abducted three days ago protested outside a police station in Tbilisi on Sunday, demanding that something is done to find the kidnap victim. Samira Bairamova (17) from the predominantly ethnic
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s foreign trade turnover in January was USD 528 million, a 24 percent drop compared to the same month last year. According to the new monthly report by the National Statistics Department, GeoStat, export was USD 122 million;
TBILISI, DFWatch--Coal miners in Tkibuli in western Georgia are continuing their strike, which began more than a week ago. They demand increased pay and better working conditions, particularly warm working clothes in winter. Mindeli and Dzidziguri mines are affected by the strike.
Tbilisi, DFWatch - Film starring late transgender activist Bianka Shigurova is a powerful social commentary on transphobia in Georgia. Short film The Gospel of Anasyrma was screened yesterday in headquarters of
TBILISI, DFWatch--Irish budget airline Ryanair is interested in entering the Georgian market. The news comes a few days after another budget airline, Wizz Air, announced its new routes out of Kutaisi. Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili met Thursday
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili is suing Credit Suisse for losing 100 million Swiss francs, according to reports in Swiss press. Ivanishvili has filed a lawsuit at Geneva court against the financial manager of Credit Suisse Group AG, for embezzling
TBILISI, DFWatch--Plans to open a high-end luxury casino in downtown Tbilisi have been aborted because the Hong Kong based operator, Melco International Development, was unable to reach an agreement with UAE Dhabi Group about leasing of space. The casino
TBILISI, DFWatch--An ethnic Armenian member of the Georgian parliament criticized some of his colleagues on Wednesday for voting for a controversial Council of Europe resolution regarding access to water in Nagorno-Karabakh. Samvel Petrosyan,
TBILISI, DFWatch--The S-3 road was closed in a mountainous area north of Tbilisi on Thursday because of strong wind and poor visibility. According to the Road Department, the road is closed for all traffic between Gudauri and Kobi. On the same road, trailers,
TBILISI, DFWatch--The prison minister in Georgia supports a proposal by the head of the National Bank to merge the Prison Ministry with the Justice Ministry to save money. “The more we reduce government offices, the more effective the system will be,”
TBILISI, DFWatch--Intermittent power supply ended two days ago in the breakaway region Abkhazia. The reason for the recent power cuts is low water level in the Inguri reservoir. Georgia is now importing electricity from Russia in order to compensate
Tbilisi, DFWatch - As of September, Kutaisi will be connected with cities in Bulgaria, Cyprus, Germany, Greece, and Italy. Wizzair, a Hungarian cheap airline, announced seven new flight destinations operating from the David the Builder Kutaisi International Airport to Berlin,
Tbilisi, DFWatch - As allegations of ethnic cleansing emerge, Russia and South Ossetia back off from cooperating on August 2008 war crimes investigation by the International Criminal Court. Emotions in Tbilisi, Tskhinval (Tskhinvali),
TBILISI, DFWatch--The president of the National Bank suggests reducing the number of ministries in Georgia in order to save public money. In an interview with Rustavi 2, Giorgi Kadagidze drew attention to Switzerland, a developed country which has eight ministries,
TBILISI, DFWatch--The Finance Ministry’s investigative service Tuesday detained three people for selling counterfeit salt. The three made profit by systematically selling salt, according to a short statement put out by the service. The statement said they packed
TBILISI, DFWatch--Parliament is considering introducing a ban on children accessing porn websites. Dimitri Khundadze, head of the parliamentary committee on healthcare and social issues, suggests creating a commission to craft a draft law.
TBILISI, DFWatch--A Georgian member of parliament has unexpectedly withdrawn a draft law that would make it a crime to insult religious feelings. In a short explanatory note, MP Soso Jachvliani explained that the issue is so important that more consultations are necessary to refine
TBILISI, DFWatch--Three Iranian airlines will enter the Georgian market in February and March, according to the airport operator TAV Georgia. The company announced that regular flights between Tbilisi and Tehran will be launched in the end of February. TAV Georgia,
Tbilisi, DFWatch - Georgian experts focus on security aspects of countering Russian propaganda in the debate on reviving a Russian-language TV channel. An initiative to create a Russian-language TV channel in Georgia was voiced by Paata Zakareishvili, minister of reintegration and civic equality, during the cabinet meeting on 11 February, Novosti Gruziya reported.
South Ossetian KGB detained a 42-years-old Georgian following citizen's arrest by a local man near Tskhinvali. An uneditified Georgian man was detained in South Ossetia for crossing ‘the border’ (administrative borderline), South Ossetian news agency Res reported. The agency writes that according to the South Ossetian KGB (Committee for State Security), a South Ossetian man from the village of Dmenisi near Tskhinvali made a citizen’s arrest on a Georgian man who was trying to hitchhike into the republic’s capital city. The man was reportedly born in 1974 in the city of Rustavi. ‘The inhabitant of the village of Dmenis[i] said that the citizen of Georgia stopped a passing car with an intention to arrive at the bus station in the city of Tskhinval[i]’, the KGB’s statement reads. ‘The inhabitant of South Ossetia found it out in the course of a conversation, following which he decided to take the man to the Border Service of the KGB of the Republic of South Ossetia, where the citizen of Georgia was detained.’ According to the KGB, the man crossed the border on February 13. A formal investigation has ...
Andrey Makarevich, leader of a Russian cult rock band Mashina Vremeni, and a vocal critic of the Kremlin will play a concert in the Tbilisi Concert Hall on March 9. Mashina Vremeni was founded in 1969 and is the oldest among active Russian rock bands. During the war in Donbas, Ukraine, in August 2014, Makarevich performed for internally displaced people in the Ukrainian town of Svyatohirsk in Donetsk Oblast, which caused a backlash in mainstream Russian media. The controversy led to a call for stripping him of Russian state honours made by Russian MP Yevgeniy Fyodorov, who described his performance as ‘partnering with fascists’ and ‘siding with the Russian Federation’s enemies’. Andrey Makarevich was described as ‘a traitor’ in some Russian pro-government media outlets and was banned from entering Crimea by the de facto local authorities following his criticism of Russia’s annexation of the peninsula. In June 2015, Makarevich openly criticised Russian policy towards Ukraine and said that Vladimir Putin wasn’t ‘worthy of being Russia’s leader’. A couple of days ago, Makarevich accused President Putin’s plenipotentiary to Ural Federal District Igor Kholmanskikh of being involved ...
Georgian citizens can enter Iran visa-free for up to 90 days, while most foreign nationals can obtain 30-days visas at Iran’s airports. Iran has reintroduced visa-free regime for Georgian citizens, Iran’s deputy ambassador to Georgia Mohsen Kebriaizadeh told journalists on Monday. The decision follows a phone conversation between Georgian Prime Pinister Giorgi Kvirikashvili and Iranian President Hasan Rouhani, during which regional development and closer cultural ties were discussed and restoration of visa-free travel between the two countries was agreed. On 14 February, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran announced that Iran’s international airports would from now on issue 30-days on-arrival visas for citizens of 180 countries. ‘Based on new Cabinet’s resolution, all airports having joint tourist border with Iran are obliged to issue visa. It is an important step to boost tourism industry and to facilitate entry of tourists to Iran’, Head of Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organisation Masud Soltanifar was quoted as saying. Countries whose citizens still need to arrange their visa through consular services beforehand are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Canada, Iraq, Jordan, Pakistan, Somalia, UK, and USA. Citizens of Azerbaijan, Bolivia, Egypt, Georgia, Lebanon, ...
TBILISI, DFWatch--Ex-Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili halted work at Tsikhisdziri on Saturday, where three giant trees are being prepared to be carried by ship and replanted in a garden further north on the Black Sea coast. An environmental group joined
TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian breakaway region Abkhazia may have its electricity supply cut off because of low water level at the Enguri Dam, which straddles the de facto border. Since January 25, Abkhazia’s electricity supply has been
TBILISI, DFWatch--A man was arrested Friday in the west of Georgia accused of triple murder. Three men who had been missing for several days were found dead in a river in Zugdidi with gun shot wounds to their head and chest region. The killing took place
TBILISI, DFWatch--Abkhazia is introducing a new exception from its own 'visa' rules. Citizens of countries that have recognized the Georgian breakaway region may freely visit. In practical terms, this means for Russian citizens. The current law, adopted in 2005, says
TBILISI, DFWatch--Rainbow Europe’s LGBTI rights ranking praises positive developments in Georgia despite major setbacks. Georgia was placed in the middle of a ranking of European countries which assessed each country’s legislation regarding
ADIGENI, DFWatch--Two mosques in the south of Georgia were Monday granted cultural heritage status. We went to the Samtskhe-Javakheti region to see how religious minorities are living there. One of the mosques designated as cultural heritage lies in the middle of the village Adigeni.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Five people were killed in a car crash in eastern Georgia Thursday evening. Several people are injured, two of them are in a serious condition. The accident took place in the village Badiauri, near Sagarejo. A minibus smashed into a small
TBILISI, DFWatch--Five people were detained Wednesday during a rally in Tsikhisdziri on the Black Sea coast near Kobuleti. They were protesting against the removal of three giant old trees which they suspect will be hauled by boat 40km up the coast
TBILISI, DFWatch--A new report suggests that a number of rights are violated when people are detained. They are not read their rights and have problems getting an interpreter and a lawyer during their first questioning. These are the findings in a new
TBILISI, DFWatch--A TV host on the Georgian Public Broadcaster says she was fired without explanation and plans to sue her employer. Eka Mishveladze, one of the hosts on Channel 1, says her open-ended contract was terminated with no explanation and she
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s Interior Ministry on Wednesday explained a proposal to place video cameras in unmarked police cars, which was criticized the day before. “Recently, the media have purposely replicated the opinions of the so-called
TBILISI, DFWatch--A picture of a young man hangs in the yard of the Shia mosque in Ponichala, a suburb of Tbilisi known as Soghanlughi, or Soğanlıq in Azeri language. A note is attached to it, saying: ‘Your blood will annihilate Wahhabism and wash it off this land’.
TBILISI, DFWatch--A proposal to put cameras in unmarked police cars and use video recordings to fine drivers for traffic violations is met with suspicion in Georgia. According to the bill, police will be entitled to install secret video cameras in unmarked patrol
Tbilisi, DFWatch - LGBT rights organisations condemn Giorgi Tatishvili’s initiative for same-sex marriages as a provocation and accuse pro-Russian political and radical religious forces of interference. On 27 January, Giorgi Tatishvili, an activist
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia exported 13 percent more wine in January, compared to the same period last year. According to the National Wine Agency, Georgia exported wine to 19 countries around the world. 1,521,802 bottles were exported, worth USD 2.62 million.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia and Iran are considering reopening mutual visa-free travel for each other’s citizens, according to the Georgian prime minister. Such an arrangement existed between January 2011 and summer of 2013, until Georgia cancelled
TBILISI, DFWatch--A new terminal building will be built at Tbilisi Airport, due to an increase in passenger numbers. The new terminal will be finished within an year. Giorgi Molodinashvili, Deputy Director of the Georgia’s Airports Union, told DF Watch that in spring,
TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian defense minister says there has been too much focus on her country being approved for a formalized plan toward NATO membership, called a MAP, since the alliance can accept Georgia as a member directly, she argues. NATO
TBILISI, DFWatch--A 36 year old man died in Georgia on Saturday after having contracted the H1N1 virus. He became the tenth victim of the swine flu outbreak. The deceased was from Gali in Abkhazia, and had come to Zugdidi to receive medical treatment.
Tbilisi, DFWatch - New legislation doesn’t solve the problems of Abkhazia’s Georgians, who still find themselves in limbo of no right to vote and own property. ‘Issuance of new passports for inhabitants of Abkhazia
TBILISI, DFWatch--Tbilisi international will be closed during daytime for four months, starting from March 1, 2016, due to maintenance work on the runway. During dayttime, scheduled flights will either be cancelled or delayed. According to preliminary
TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian TV company Maestro has been taken over by two brothers, one a rock singer and the other a former presidential candidate, but staff won’t let them into the building. Maestro’s majority owner is now Giorgi Gachechiladze, a rock singer
Tbilisi, DFWatch - 24-years-old Aslan Tsutsashvili from Pankisi valley accuses Akhmeta police of physical assault on ethnic grounds. The incident allegedly
BATUMI, DFWatch--Muslims gathered at the Orta Jame mosque in Batumi on Thursday and presented over 12,000 signatures in support of constructing a new mosque. Orta Jame is the only mosque in Batumi, Georgia’s second largest city, and it has been overcrowded
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian military police is preparing to send a team to the Central African Republic to investigate alleged sexual crimes committed there by Georgian soldiers. Defense Minister Tina Khidasheli said Wednesday that investigators require some
TBILISI, DFWatch--A transgender woman was found dead in her apartment in Tbilisi on Thursday. She had apparently suffocated due to a gas leak. The Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) confirmed the death of Bianka Shigurova and said an investigation has been
TBILISI, DFWatch--The director of a construction company was detained on Thursday accused of embezzlement of more than 1.5 million laris. According to the Finance Ministry’s investigation service, the company Construction-Commercial Corporation
TBILISI, DFWatch--Gogi Topadze’s use of handicapist language provoked reaction from Georgia’s top politicians and a demonstration in Tbilisi’s center. MP Gogi Topadze’s use of Down’s syndrome as a term of abuse provoked a variety of reactions
TBILISI, DFWatch--Swine flu has claimed its ninth death in Georgia, according to National Center for Disease Control (NCDC). A young woman died two days ago in the Adjara region in the southwest of Georgia, and laboratory tests confirmed that she
TBILISI, DFWatch--A Georgian parliament member Wednesday used Down’s syndrome as a term of abuse. Gogi Topadze, previously known for his praise of Stalin a few months ago, claimed that the president in his national address compared the Georgian
TBILISI, DFWatch--The S-3 road between the winter resort Gudauri and the village Kobi is closed due to high winds and poor visibility. Between Aragvispiri and Gudauri, and between Kobi and the Russian border at Larsi, trailers, semi-trailers and vehicles with
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s eighth swine flu victim was a young man who had an accompanying disease. Amiran Gamkrelidze, director of the National Center of the Disease Control (NCDC), said the man died because he received treatment too late.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia might bring in a new law that makes it a crime to offend ‘religious feelings’. A member of parliament from the ruling Georgian Dream coalition has submitted a bill in parliament which was supported by the human rights committee. The bill
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian Minister of Defence conducted a series of meetings with Armenia’s prominent politicians and commented on issues linked to Armenian–Georgian cooperation. Minister of Defense of Georgia Tinatin Khidasheli concluded her three-day
TBILISI, DFWatch--A controversy is brewing in Georgia over whether it should be written into the Constitution that a marriage is union between a man and a woman. The idea has been around at least since former Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili suggested it in March
TBILISI, DFWatch--The president’s annual state of the nation address will be delivered at the opening of the spring session of parliament on February 3. Giorgi Kverenchkhiadze, who is parliamentary secretary for President Giorgi Margvelashvili,
TBILISI, DFWatch--The ruling Georgian Dream coalition won the by-local election in Gardabani on Thursday. The election was necessary to find a replacement for Garsevan Nioradze, the recently deceased gamgebeli or head of municipality of Gardabani,
TBILISI, DFWatch--A man who died of swine in Georgia on Saturday did not suffer from any other disease. But there is no reason to panic, authorities say. “Unfortunately, we had one case when the virus resulted in the death of an almost healthy person,
TBILISI, DFWatch--As Tbilisi Opera House was reopened Sunday after more than five years of rehabilitation works, protesters decried that the first performance was invitation-only. Protesters who had gathered at the entrance did not like the policy to not have tickets