Tbilisi, DFWatch - Appeals court on Tuesday postponed hearing of Rustavi 2 case for Friday, June 3, and its CEO fears the same day the court will issue its decision in favor of the former owner, who, they believe, will strip the Georgia's main opposition channel its independence.
The 2016 Independence Day parade was different from any other. It was different in form and in content. It was, I would like to claim, a parade that most adequately reflected the Georgian spirit. It was both international and originally Georgian. It struck the right
Tbilisi, DFWatch - Teams from twelve stateless peoples and regions without international recognition will compete in a football championship in Abkhazia’s capital of Sukhumi, while ordinary Abkhazians express polarised opinions about the event.
Ivanishvili accuses Int. organizations’ ‘certain representatives’ of being ‘deeply engaged’ in UNM ‘lie machine’by DFWatch staff | May 30, 2016
Tbilisi, DFWatch - ‘Certain representatives’ of the international organizations were ‘so deeply engaged in the lie machine’ of the previous government that assessment of the ongoing events in Georgia used to be written by the leaders of the United National Movement, rather than by foreign experts, asserts former PM Bidzina Ivanishvili in his lengthy open letter published on Monday by 2030, a news agency affiliated with him.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Crops were destroyed by a hailstorm in several municipalities of Georgia’s Shida Kartli province on May 26. In the hardest hit village Ebnisi the harvest was almost completely devastated. The local municipality is now estimating the cost of the damage.
Tbilisi, DFWatch - About thirty people, Tbilisians as well as number of foreigners, gathered on Sunday to take an unusual tour of the capital – Tbilisi Ugly Walk – which was aimed at exposing the city’s recent architectural history with three different political periods - ‘Shevardnadze Era’ (1993-2003), ‘Saakashvili Era’ (2003-2012) and ‘Ivanishvili Era” (2012 to present).
Tbilisi, DFwatch - Zviad Tkhelidze, reporter at news program 2030 at the GDS TV, died as result of a tragic accident during his journalistic assignment on Saturday.
Tbilisi, DFWatch - The newly former political party led by Paata Burchuladze, famous operatic bass, held a rally at Tbilisi central sports arena on Saturday
Tbilisi, DFWatch - Annual unemployment rate in Georgia declined by 0.4 percent in 2015 compared to the previous year, according to the new report published by The National Statistics Office of Georgia (GeoStat).
Tbilisi, DFWatch - Police arrested an 18-year-old man, who allegedly stabbed two men, one minor, on possibly homophobic grounds.
Tbilisi, DFWatch - The de facto leadership of South Ossetia issued a statement saying that the referendum on joining Russia would be conducted in 2017, instead of, as previously planned, in August this year at latest.
Tbilisi, DFWatch - The Tbilisi Appeal Court announced yesterday that it upheld the verdict of the Tbilisi City Court, which ruled in August 2015 that Levan Kochlashvili wasn’t guilty of the murder of the transgender woman, Sabi Beriani.
As a tradition, an oath taking ceremony was held on Freedom Square, however for the first time it was also held in other places - in Kakheti, Samegrelo, Samtskhe-Javakheti, Imereti and Adjara. Totally 432 recruits all over Georgia took an oath.
Tbilisi, DFWatch - Investigators of Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine and masked and armed members of Security Service (SBU) conducted searches in the office and premises of Odessa Regional Governor, Mikheil Saakashvili’s adviser on Thursday.
Tbilisi, DFWatch - Svan campaigners declare that their protests will continue as long as no alternatives to the current project assuming flooding of their native valley are presented.
Tbilisi, DFWatch - Auditorium 115, students’ movement at the Tbilisi State University resumed rallying against students’ union tvitmmartveloba demanding its abolishment on Wednesday, a day after one of its members was beaten allegedly by the Union members. Auditorium 115 organized protest in the front of TSU main building and soon moved towards students’ union office in the same building. After a overcoming 20-minutes long resistance by TSU guards, Auditorium members and supporters eventually broke into Union's office and announce its 'abolition'. On Tuesday Auditorium 115 raised ultimatum to the government to disband the students’ union immediately, otherwise threatening with 'permanent' sit-in protests. Auditorium 115 is now waiting for government meeting planned on Friday, which will decide on norms regulating students’ unions activities. Auditorium 115 demands downright abolishment of tvitmmartvelobas in every higher educational institution in the country. The Ministry of Education and Science responded referring to students' ultimatum as 'unacceptable'. “The ministry is ready to continue the working process and invites all the interested parties to meet on May 27 at 10:00, where we would discuss achieved results and plan future steps,” the statement released ...
Tbilisi, DFWatch - United National Movement has announced its decision to suspend its activities in the parliament until all involved in violent incident in Kortskheli were punished.
Tbilisi, DFWatch - The student movement Auditorium 115, which was set up in the beginning of March during the sit-in protests at the Tbilisi State University (TSU), informed on Tuesday evening that members of the student union tvitmmartveloba attacked one of its members. However, tvitmmartveloba claims it was a provocation.
Tbilisi, DFWatch - The former president of Georgia and the current governor of Ukraine’s Odessa region, Mikheil Saakashvili declared in an interview for Rustavi 2 that he’d return to Georgia and engage in the campaign before the parliamentary elections in October.
Tbilisi, DFWatch - Joint Georgian-American-UK military exercise Noble Partner 2016 was finalized on Tuesday with tanks firing and helicopters simulating battlefield rescue of the wounded soldiers in Vaziani field, near Tbilisi.
Tbilisi, DFWatch - The Ministry of Internal Affairs investigates the violent incident in Kortskheli, Samegrelo under the 125th article of Criminal Law Code. So far, no-one has been arrested in connection to the case.
Tbilisi, DFWatch - A foundation was laid on Monday to the construction of a technologic institute, which the government vows, will be ‘the fifth largest in the world after the same kind of facilities in Italy, Switzerland, Japan, and Austria’.
TBilisi, DFWatch - Two cases of likely homophobic violence were reported in Tbilisi on Saturday. Koba Bitsadze, the executive director of LGBT organisation Temida,
Tbilisi, DFWatch - A group of Georgian and Circassian activists commemorated the symbolic anniversary of the ethnic cleansing of Circassians by the Russian Empire in the 19th century, marked internationally on 21 May. The activists from the Circassian Cultural Centre in Tbilisi visited the monument dedicated to the victims of the Circassian Genocide in the village of Anaklia, right at the border with Abkhazia, where they laid wreaths.
TBILISI, DFWatch--The Central Electoral Commission (CESKO) announced the preliminary results of the by-elections to Sakrebulos (‘municipal assemblies’), which were held on 22 May in nine majoritarian electoral districts.
Tbilisi, DFWatch - On evening of May 10 two activists disappeared in Baku, Meydan TV reported. Then on May 12, the Khatai District Court placed Bayram Mammadov and Qiyas Ibrahimov under a four-month arrest for drug-related charges.
TBILISI, DFWatch--In a statement released on Saturday, Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia laid out its version of the tragic event of May 19, and announced it would appeal to the court demanding detention in absentia of Rashid Kanciogli, identified as a person who allegedly
Tblisi, DFWatch- Members of the opposition United National Movement, including several high profile figures at the party, were brutally beaten in Samegrelo on Sunday. The scuffle broke out in Kortskheli, a village near Zugdidi, administrative center of Samegrelo-Zemo
TBILISI, DFWatch--Tamaz Mechiauri, an outspoken member of Georgian Dream, known for his anti-NATO and anti-gay statements, left the ruling party, yet retains the post as chair of parliament’s finance and budget committee until the next elections in the fall of 2016.
An ethnic Georgian man was fatally wounded by an Abkhaz border officer in an incident that occurred at the Khurcha-Nabakevi checkpoint at the de facto border with Abkhazia, inside the territory under control of Georgian authorities. The video (+18) from a surveillance camera distributed by Rustavi 2 shows how four men in uniforms assault on a young man in civilian clothes. One of them punches and then kicks the man, while other approaches him apparently with a pistol and shoot at him point-blank. The wounded man, identified as Giga Otkhozoria, 30, died on his way to the hospital in Zugdidi. He was native of Abkhazia's Gali district. Aleksi Chikvaidze, the representative of the de jure Abkhazian government in Samegrelo–Zemo Svaneti, told DF Watch that Giga Otkhozoria lived in an IDP settlement in Zugdidi. At the time of the incident, he was escorting a relative to the village of Nabakevi, which is located on the territory controlled by the de facto Abkhazian authorities. The body of Mr Otkhozoria was transferred from the Zugdidi Hospital to Kutaisi for an autopsy. A relative of Mr ...
Tbilisi, DFWatch - The head of the Poti Police was dismissed for alleged of sexual abuse case on Wednesday. The alleged victim is a female police detective whose identity hasn't been disclosed.
Georgia’s State Agency for Religious Issues is accusing NGOs of fomenting radicalisation and terrorism in the country. Others, however, consider civil society vital in any attempt to prevent it.
Tbilisi, DFWatch - Six Russian military personnel were killed and further sixteen suffered injuries in a bus accident in South Ossetia, Sputnik Ossetia reported. The accident happened today near the village of Kanchaeti on the
Tbilisi, DFWatch - Georgia’s Black Sea coast is among the European regions which are at the highest risk of a Zika virus outbreak during late spring and summer, a statement made by the World Health Organisation (WHO) reads.
Tbilisi, DFWatch - A Salafi imam from Pankisi valley met with Georgian public in order to explain the community’s views on religion, the role of the state, the role of media, sources of radicalism, and gender equality.
Tbilisi, DFWatch - Stairs of a theatre in Ozurgeti, administrative center of Guria, Western Georgia, was painted in rainbow colors on May 17, International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT), Guria news reported.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Environmental activists interrupted a speech by Tbilisi Mayor Davit Narmania on Tuesday during a session of the City Council, accusing him of being an ‘enemy of the city’. The activists protested the recent selling off of a part of the city’s botanical garden,
The International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) marked internationally on 17 May once again sheds light on existing tensions between the LGBTQI community, the authorities, and the Church. Activists arrested for vandalism Levan Berianidze, the executive director of LGBT Georgia posted information around 5 a.m. saying that a group of activists were detained for making stencils by the police. ‘As I have been informed the police was violent and brutal — activists were physically attacked, dragged along on ground and the police vocabulary was extremely aggressive!’ Mr Berianidze wrote. Ten activists were detained. According to the information provided by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, seven of them were detained by undercover police for attempting to apply a stencil saying ‘All love is equal’ on the wall belonging to the Patriarchate of the Georgian Orthodox Church. Three activists who were detained for painting a zebra crossing in rainbow colours were already released. The other seven are awaiting trial. Stencils, which were in rainbow colours, have been covered by the paint soon after the activists were detained. A small group of feminist and LGBTQI activists rallied in front of ...
The Public Defender of Georgia released a statement on International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT), May 17, in which he deplores that “no effective measures have been taken for raising public awareness or establishing the culture of tolerance in the country.” “A timely, efficient and accountable investigation of hate crimes is still a problem. Three years have passed, however, nobody has been held responsible for the criminal acts committed on 17 May, 2013,” the statement reads. Ucha Nanuashvili, the Public Defender, states his pity to the fact that LGBTI rights activists have no opportunity to celebrate IDAHOT in the open air “due to lack of safeguards to be protected from possible threats of violence, they refrain from a public appearance. It is worrying that homophobic attitudes in the society threaten realization of a constitutional right.” “Given all the above, I call on the public agencies to do their best to prevent hate-motivated violence and manifestation of homophobic actions, as well as to promote unconditional implementation of constitutionally guaranteed rights and freedoms of LGBT persons. “Public Defender’s authorized representatives will be observing developments in ...
TBILISI, DFWatch--There were 611 cases of marriage involving a minor last year, compared to 665 in 2014, according to the latest figures from the Ombudsman’s Office. 95 percent of the minors were girls. The report says that there were 408 pupils in Georgia
Tbilisi, DFWatch - Free Democrats of former Defense minister Irakli Alasania announce a rally on Saturday to protest ruling of the Tbilisi City Court by which 5 officials have been sentenced to 7 years in prison each. Free Democrats will switch to ‘emergency mode’
Tbilisi, DFWatch - Five Defense Ministry officials who were detained in 2014 on embezzlement charges and released on the basis of personal guarantees from several MPs, have been sentenced to 7 years in prison each by Tbilisi City Court on Monday.
A small group of Georgian feminist activists organised a protest in front of Radisson Blu Hotel in downtown Tbilisi, where the World Congress of Families (WFC) was taking place on Sunday.
The 10th edition of the World Congress of Families (WCF) opened in Tbilisi yesterday, bringing together conservative Christian activists from four continents.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili, who was elected as a leader of Georgian Dream – Democratic Georgia party on Saturday, told Imedi TV that he has candidates to replace ministers from the Republican Party in case they resign. A few weeks ago,
Tbilisi, DFWatch - Georgia will mark Independence Day on May 26 in most of the cities and towns all over the country by organizing different events.
Tbilisi, DFWatch - Georgia’s foreign trade turnover in the first four months of 2016 was USD 3,287 million. This is 8 percent more than in the same period last year.
Tbilisi, DFWatch - Jonjoli picking season began in Georgia, which means more Georgians will face detentions for crossing the “border” with breakaway South Ossetia, as on Friday Russian caught 9 inhabitants of Sachkhere district.
Tbilisi, DFWatch - A wave of protests and civil activism erupted in Svaneti against a planned gold mining project, while the people behind it remain hidden in offshore shadows. The tiny village of Eli, more commonly known by its Svan name Ieli,
TBILISI, DFWatch--The State Security Service on Thursday arrested a Georgian citizen for bribery and stealing silicon manganese slag. The Anti-Corruption Agency and the State Security Department of the State Security Service conducted a joint
TBILISI, DFWatch--The National Forensic Bureau has confirmed the authenticity of an audio file which appears to show that a well-known Georgian journalist threatened to ruin the career of an actress working for him if she did not sleep with him. Tatia Samkharadze
TBILISI, DFWatch--The human rights of gays, lesbians and other sexual minorities are being less protected in Georgia, according to the organization ILGA, which monitors the situation internationally. International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex
Tbilisi, DFWatch - Gal Hirsch, an Israeli suspect in bribing the former minister of defence, Davit Kezerashvili, was questioned under caution by the Israeli Police’s fraud squad, Haaretz reported. Mr Hirsch was a brigadier general at the Israeli
Tbilisi, DFWatch - The head and other senior staff members of the Central Election Commission of Georgia have been accustomed to get enormous bonuses, according to the recent report by ISFED, a Georgian NGO focused on monitoring electoral processes in Georgia.
Tbilisi, DFWatch - Georgia exported 45 percent more bottles (0.75 L) of wine in the first four months of 2016, compared to the same period last year. Increase in revenues in the same period is 15 percent.
TBILISI, DFWatch--A bust of Stalin was paint-bombed pink and later dismantled in the village Ateni in Gori, the hometown of Joseph Stalin, on Monday. The bust of Stalin was erected for the 71th anniversary of victory over fascism, on May 9. It was dismantled
TBILISI, DFWatch--A 27 year old man was killed by an avalanche on Tuesday in Tusheti, in the northeast of Georgia. A 44 year old man was also injured and taken to the hospital in Telavi, in the Kakheti province. The victim was from the village Kistauri, near Akhmeta.
TBILISI, DFWatch--A Georgian politician who was deputy justice minister during Mikheil Saakashvili’s presidency has left the National Movement and plans to start a new party. Giorgi Vashadze is perhaps best known for having overseen the reform known as
Global launch of the Offshore Leaks database revealed names of eighty-five Georgian citizens, some of who might potentially be implicated in illegal financial activities. On Monday, 9 May, an event organised by the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) Caucasus celebrated the global launch of the Offshore Leaks database prepared by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) based on data on almost 320 thousand offshore entities found in the Panama Papers. The database doesn’t give access to the actual documents, although it reveals names and ID numbers of people and their networks of connection to offshore entities. Earlier this year, DF Watch published reports based on information found in the Panama Papers which potentially implicates former politicians Bidzina Ivanishvili and Davit Kezerashvili in criminal activities. The latest release was accompanied by the publication of eighty-five Georgian names which figure in the database in connection to offshore companies. ‘It doesn’t necessarily mean that these people had anything to do with offshore’, Dave Bloss from OCCRP Caucasus explained. ‘If someone wants to open an offshore and they’re classified as a PEP — “politically exposed person”, which ...
TBILISI, DFWatch--The student movement Auditorium 115 plans to file a lawsuit with the Constitutional Court demanding to amend several regulations in the law about higher education. Members of the organization which was created during protests
Tbilisi, DFWatch - NGO and Muslim activists slam the State Agency for Religious Issues for accusing the civil society of fostering Islamic terrorism and radicalism by pointing out structural violence on behalf of the state and the Georgian Orthodox Church.
TBILISI, DFWatch--On May 9, Georgia marked the 71st anniversary of Victory Day, the day Nazi Germany surrendered to the Soviet Union. As usual, there were events all over Georgia. World War II veterans came to the memorial in Tbilisi’s Vake Park, where
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s top prosecutor says no-one is charged in the case of four compromising sex videos of politicians which were posted on the Internet. Speaking at a conference about juvenile justice reform on Friday, Chief Prosecutor
TBILISI, DFWatch--Irakli Alasania, the former defense minister who was fired after some of his staff were detained for embezzlement, Friday issued an ultimatum: If the court finds the detainees guilty, he will mobilize people and launch protest rallies
TBILISI, DFWatch--Six people, including a member of Tbilisi City Council, were detained on Saturday during a rally against construction projects by companies affiliated with former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili. Around 150 activists gathered near the Botanical
TBILISI, DFWatch--24 non-governmental organizations and several opposition parties plan a rally against former PM Bidzina Ivanishvili on May 7. The venue is near the office of GDS TV, on Kojori road on the southern
Tbilisi, DFWatch - The French right wing politician has been tentatively announced as a speaker at the conference which will bring together conservative activists from four different continents to Tbilisi. The French right-wing MP, Marion Maréchal-Le Pen,
Tbilisi, DFWatch - Amidst fierce debates, Georgian Parliament’s Human Rights Committee on Thursday almost unanimously (only one MP abstained, no one voted against) approved the bill of constitutional changes to define marriage as a voluntary union of a man and a woman.
Tbilisi, DFWatch - Strong hail affected parts of Kakheti and Shida Kartli yesterday, destroying early crops in a number of villages. Villages in Gurjaani and Kvareli regions of Kakheti suffered most,
Tbilisi, DFWatch - Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia Thursday charged two former officials with torture and property appropriation of a businessman, who was murdered later.
Tbilisi, DFWatch - The number of troops is not important, what’s crucial is to have a professional army, as Georgia will never be able to win any war by the number of soldiers, Minister of Defense Tina Khidasheli said in a talk show 2030 at GDS pro-governmental TV channel Wednesday evening.
Tbilisi, DFWatch - Representatives of ten NGOs and one media outlet issued a statement in which they urged the government to ban twelve Russian TV channels in Georgia. The activists, roughly half of them former officials
Tbilisi, DFWatch - American tanks and armored vehicles arrived for joint American–British–Georgian military exercises to be held between 11–25 May. American heavy military equipment arrived to Georgia for a joint
TBILISI, DFWatch--Patriarch Ilia II has endorsed a controversial ‘pro family’ congress to be held in Tbilisi in May and is expected to deliver a keynote speech. The leader of the Georgian Orthodox Church, the Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia, Ilia II gave his blessing to the 10th World Congress of Families which will be held in Tbilisi on May 15-18,
TBILISI, DFWatch--The 2014 census sheds light on issues related to ethnic, linguistic, and religious minorities in Georgia. The size of all ethnic minorities fell drastically. While Georgia has lost 15% (658 thousand) of its population since the 2002 census, the number
TBILISI, DFWatch--Public discussion about amending the constitution to define marriage as the union between a man and a woman are over and parliament will start discussing the bill next week. The amendment will determine marriage as a voluntary
TBILISI, DFWatch--Two MPs from the parliamentary majority have proposed adding to the Criminal Code a separate offense called femicide, which is the premeditated murder of a woman on the basis of her gender. The bill sets punishment
TBILISI, DFWatch--MPs from the parliamentary majority in Georgia accuse members of the National Movement of hindering the process of achieving visa-free travel with the Schengen area. Georgian Dream members claim that two MPs from the former
TBILISI, DFWatch--Over a hundred people in Kobuleti, a town on the Black Sea coast, have surrounded the house of a 65 year old man who they claimed wanted to rape an 11 year old girl. People gathered outside the house and attempted to break in. They demand
TBILISI, DFWatch--20 sheep were killed when a police car plowed into their flock near Dedoplistskaro in eastern Georgia a few days ago. Information Center of Kakheti reported that the incident happened on Sunday on the central highway in the village Gamarjveba,
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian media reported about three cases of homophobic violence which took place last month in Tbilisi. The Facebook user, Jemal Beridze wrote on 23 April that he was assaulted by three unknown attackers for wearing an earring.
TBILISI, DFWatch--There are 223 deserted villages in Georgia, according to the census conducted in 2014 and published last week by the National Statistics Office (GeoStat). In 2002, when the previous census was conducted,
TBILISI, DFWatch--42 people died at work in 2015, while 82 people were injured, the public defender informed on May 1, the International Worker’s Day. According to his statement, in 108 cases, a criminal investigation was launched, but it was halted in 42 of the cases.
TBILISI, DFWatch--One more Georgian soldier is reported to have died in the war in Ukraine. Revaz Tsiklauri was reported dead late on Sunday. Tsiklauri died in the town Abievkaa, near Donetsk. A facility he was in was shelled. Tsiklauri was from the village Lapankuri,