In brief

Number of hospitalized after wedding poisoning scandal rises to 40

by | August 31, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--About 40 people - 22 of them children - are still in hospital after being poisoned during a wedding in Georgia. Nearly 200 people were poisoned on Monday at a wedding in Sadakhlo, a village in the south of Georgia near the border with Armenia.

News

Georgia and Turkey call off search for two missing military divers

by | August 31, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--After eleven days, the search operation for two missing soldiers has been called off in Gonio on Georgia’s Black Sea coast. The two are believed to have drowned on August 16 during a military exercise.

In brief

Court issues detention order for policeman charged in suicide case

by | August 31, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--A court in Georgia on Tuesday issued an order to detain a policeman who is accused of having caused the suicide of a 22-year-old man. The wanted police officer Goderdzi Tevzadze has gone into hiding, and Kutaisi City Court therefore issued the ruling ‘in absentia’.

News

Parties promise higher pensions, allowances without explaining how to fund it

by | August 31, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--As barely a month remains until the parliamentary election, political parties in Georgia are falling over each other to promise increased pensions and social allowances. “Today, social allowances are distributed

News

200 wedding guests poisoned – 21 still hospitalized

by | August 30, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--Almost 200 people were taken ill with food poisoning at a wedding in the south of Georgia on Monday, 28 of them children. The mass poisoning took place in the village Sadakhlo, near Marneuli. The affected wedding guests mostly complained about feeling sick and disoriented.

News

Georgian PM’s latest election promise: a new road to Russia

by | August 30, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian PM Giorgi Kvirikashvili on Tuesday promised to build a new highway that will improve the road connection between Tbilisi and the Russian border. “Within the next four years, we plan to build a highway from Mtskheta to Vladikavkaz,”

Politics

Should Georgia’s foreign policy alignment be defined in the Constitiution?

by | August 30, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--Two proposals to define Georgia’s foreign policy alignment in the Constitution were postponed by a parliament committee because not enough MPs showed up. The rebellious opposition leader who started the debate now claims parliament has violated election rules.

News

Policeman on the run – charged with causing 22-year-old’s suicide

by | August 30, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--A police officer in Georgia was Monday charged with causing a young man to commit suicide. The police officer, Goderdzi Tevzadze in the western Georgian town Samtredia, has gone into hiding and was charged in absentia. He is charged with abusing his official powers

News

More details emerge about Georgia pipeline plot

by | August 30, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--Monday, the newspaper Kviris Palitra published an interview with the person who tipped off the State Security Service about a plot to blow up a pipeline which brings natural gas from Russia to Armenia. Seven persons were arrested on August 22,

Interviews

Russian-Turkish détente nothing that Americans should be concerned about: Former US Ambassador to Turkey

by | August 30, 2016

Ross Wilson, former US Ambassador to Turkey, currently Director of the Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center at the Atlantic Council in Washington, DC summarizes latest developments in the Turkey-US and Turkey-Russia relations. The interview excerpts ran on the Voice of America’s program. Below is a transcript as recorded by Anna Kalandadze of VoA’s Georgian service.  What are some of the concrete results in US-Turkey relations after the Vice-President Biden’s latest trip to Ankara, has it resolved some of the difficulties in the bilateral context and will it solve the remaining ones? Ross Wilson: From the press accounts, it appears that the VP’s visit has helped to diffuse the idea in Turkey that US was somehow involved with the coup attempt.  Also, it seems it has helped with the Gulen issue - how specifically, I cannot really tell. But it’s important to me that the US Justice Department officials have met with the Turks several days ago to engage with them on the issue of Gulen and hopefully look forward to resolving that problem.  And third, on Syria, the visit has helped to clearly ...

Sport

Georgia’s Nino Khomeriki 2nd time European chess champion

by | August 29, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s Nino Khomeriki has become European youth chess champion for the second time. Yesterday’s win at the European Youth Chess Championship in Prague, Czech Republic, is the second time Khomeriki claims the title.

News

Foreign tourists spend 450 laris a day in Adjara

by | August 29, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--A new report shows that foreign tourists spend 450 laris a day in Adjara, a Black Sea region of Georgia heavily reliant on tourism. Over a thousand tourists were asked about their stay as they left the country, and the results draws a picture

News

Fire devastates vineyards and hazelnut gardens in Kakheti

by | August 29, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--Fire devastated 50 hectares of agricultural land in the vicinity of Akhalsopeli, a village in Kvareli Municipality, Kakheti. 5 hectares of vineyards and hazelnut gardens had been almost totally destroyed, while in other areas the damage was not so serious,

News

WATCH TRAILER: New TV series about Saakashvili regime’s crimes

by | August 29, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--The first episode of a new TV series about the crimes of the Saakashvili regime premiered at Rustaveli Theatre in Tbilisi on Saturday (watch trailer below). Georgian filmmaker and political activist Goga Khaindrava finished work on the documentary TV series,

News

Two tourists rescued in Mestia, one man missing at sea

by | August 27, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--One Israeli and one German tourist were rescued Saturday in Mestia, a picturesque mountain region in the northwest of Georgia. The two tourists were heading for the Tetnuldi peak, but not heard from. A search was immediately started after they

Minorities

Can Caucasus become one? Festival opens where three countries meet

by | August 26, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--The One Caucasus Festival kicked off in Georgia on Thursday, bringing together tourists and young people from all over the country, from different ethnic backgrounds, in order to enjoy music performances by local and foreign artists. One Caucasus

Environment

Tbilisi mayor’s speech interrupted by protesters against tree-felling

by | August 26, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Tbilisi mayor defended his conduct in the tree-felling scandal at an extraordinary City Council meeting Friday but had to halt his speech because of interruption by protesters. Environmentalists claim Mayor Davit Narmania

Crime

21-year-old’s stabbing rampage in Kobuleti leaves one dead

by | August 26, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--A man died Thursday night after a street fight near Kobuleti, a town on Georgia’s Black Sea coast. Four others were taken to hospital with injuries, including a policeman. Police arrested a 21-year-old who is suspected of stabbing a 20-year-old man in the chest,

News

Republicans’ 9 muses: More women in politics means more solidarity

by | August 26, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--Under the slogan ‘Let’s break free’, the Republican party has nominated nine women candidates for parliament under the single-seat majoritarian system for the October 8 election. “We have to break free of a lot of things.

News

Campaign against family violence not working, women still afraid

by | August 25, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--The stigma attached to family violence is still keeping women from seeking help. The campaign is simply not working, a Georgian human rights group has said. In 2009, the United Natioins carried out a survey which showed that one in every 11 women in Georgia

News

Goodbye, Narmania! UNM begins no-confidence proceedings against mayor

by | August 25, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch --The National Movement faction in Tbilisi City Council initiated a motion of no-confidence against Mayor Davit Narmania on Thursday, following protests against a controversial tree-felling to make room for two new apartment blocks. "Today we officially start procedure of no-confidence in the City Council against the mayor of Tbilisi. We call on the majority [Georgian Dream, ed.] whose signature is required for this procedure, to take responsibility for the activities of the mayor of Tbilisi," UNM’s Irakli Abesadze said. The UNM needs 24 signatures out of 47 City Council members and in order to succeed 34 votes are needed, which is barely feasible as Georgian Dream faction numbers 16, plus some other factions close to the GD. The tensions ran high after a construction company cut down trees in a small park on Kazbegi Avenue to build two multi-storey residential buildings. Many Tbilisians have had it with this kind of moves by the city's mayor, and this was the last straw. Cutting down healthy trees requires a special permit from Tbilisi City Hall, which the company had. City Hall insists that the trees were sick. Environmental activists doubt this, as it has been common ...

Environment, News

Anti-tree felling protester in Tbilisi hospitalized after hunger strike

by | August 25, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Guerilla Gardening group is continuing their protest outside City Hall against the recent tree-cutting in the capital. One of the group’s leaders was hospitalized on Wednesday after being on hunger strike for seven days, but she was replaced by another activist.

News

Georgia pipeline plot suspect denies link to Ukraine

by | August 25, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--One of the seven men arrested in Georgia for planning to blow up a Russian gas pipeline has denied any links to Ukraine. The suspect Beka Bekauri is still in hospital after suffering serious head trauma. He has had an operation and his condition is now stable.

News

PM vows to tighten Constitution’s marriage definition after election

by | August 24, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s prime minister on Wednesday again promised that Georgian Dream will amend the Constitution after the October 8 election in order to change the definition of marriage. Now that the president has rejected a proposed

News

Death of military divers may lead to criminal charges: Defense minister

by | August 24, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s defense minister says a crime may have been committed when two soldiers disappeared while diving off the Black Sea coast eight days ago. Their bodies have still not been found. Levan Izoria said Tuesday that there are possible

News

21-year-old IS militant from Georgia dies in Syria air raid

by | August 24, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--A 21-year-old man from Georgia has died fighting alongside ISIS in the Syria war. Sultan Gumashvili was from Pankisi Gorge. Georgian media outlets are reporting that the deceased militant’s father Adam Gumashvili is also fighting for ISIS in Syria and is a prominent

News

Traffic accidents claimed 7 lives in 7 days

by | August 23, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--In the last week, three traffic accidents have claimed the lives of seven people in Georgia, including a 12-year-old boy, while three were injured. The latest accident took place August 21, on the Gori highway near the so-called Tskhinvali bridge.

News

Beaten Georgia pipeline plot suspect questioned at the hospital

by | August 23, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--One of the men suspected of planning an act of sabotage against a natural gas pipeline in Georgia was questioned at the hospital on Tuesday. Yesterday, lawyer Maia Chrelashvili said that her client was unable to attend a hearing

News

Journalist Merab Metreveli leaves opera star’s new party

by | August 23, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--Journalist Merab Metreveli Monday left opera singer’s Paata Burchuladze’s party because he was dissatisfied with being allied with former National Movement members. The opera star was joined by a more politicians on August 18,

News

Terror suspect was beaten, according to lawyer

by | August 23, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--The lawyer of one of the men who is accused of planning a terrorist attack against a gas pipeline in Georgia claims her client has been severely beaten in detention. Seven men were arrested on Monday, accused of planning to blow up a pipeline

News

Sabotage against a major pipeline prevented in Georgia, 7 arrested: State Security

by | August 22, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--The State Security Service of Georgia (SUS) claims it has prevented an attempt to blow up a gas pipeline connecting Russia and Armenia. Five people planned to set off explosives at the portion of pipeline that crosses

In brief

Three die in car crash in Gori

by | August 22, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--Three people died in a serious car accident on Sunday in Gori, a town 80km west of the capital. A small Mercedes car and a truck crashed. The driver of the truck survived and was taken to hospital. But all the occupants of the small car

News

Georgian PM declares support for Turkey after wedding terror blast

by | August 22, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--The head of government in Georgia on Sunday in a written statement expressed concern about the recent terrorist attack in Turkey and voiced support for the people of Turkey. Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili says in the statement

Sport

Geno Petriashvili wins bronze in men’s frestyle 125kg wrestling

by | August 21, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--Geno Petriashvili from Georgia won bronze in men's freestyle 125 kg wrestling in the Rio Olympics on Saturday. This is Georgia’s seventh medal in the games: two gold, one silver and four bronze medals. In the final, Petriashvili won against Tervel Dlagnev

Youth

Protesters blame Georgia’s drug policy for young man’s suicide

by | August 21, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--Activists clashed with police in a town in western Georgia on Saturday. The protesters blame the government’s drug policy for driving a 22-year-old man to take his own life. Protesters gathered in front of the Samtredia

Sport

Georgia’s Khinchegashvili wins Olympic gold in freestyle wrestling

by | August 20, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s Vladimer Khinchegashvili won gold in men's freestyle 57 kg wrestling at the Rio Olympics on Friday. Georgia now has two gold medals in the games. In the final, Khinchegashvili faced Japan’s Rei Higuchi, who got silver. The first round

News

Former first lady Sandra Roelofs UNM candidate in Zugdidi

by | August 19, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s former first lady Sandra Roelofs is a candidate for parliament for her husband’s National Movement party for Zugdidi election district in the west of Georgia. Unlike her husband, Roelofs is not wanted by Georgian law enforcement,

News

More groups coalescing around Georgian opera star

by | August 19, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--Opera star Paata Burchuladze expanded his followership on Thursday as more politicians joined his party, State for People. The merger with the New Rightists brings in politicians from a party that has a long presence in Georgian politics, but

News

Georgian drivers can now check if their car is radioactive

by | August 19, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian drivers can now get their car examined for radioactivity. But why would they want to do that? The new radiation control service became available on Wednesday and will be handled by the agency for nuclear and radiation security

News

Four men found guilty of bride kidnapping in Georgia

by | August 18, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--A court in Georgia on Wednesday sentenced four men to up to 8 years in jail on Wednesday for bridenapping. The bride kidnapping took place in Kobuleti, a town on the Black Sea coast, in November last year. In her court testimony,

Minorities, News

Jehovah’s Witnesses recorded 51 cases of discrimination in 2015

by | August 18, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--On November 23 last year, shots were fired at a building used by Jehovah’s Witnesses in Vazisubani, a district in the Georgian capital Tbilisi. When bullets slammed into the building again one week later, a lawyer representing the religious community wondered

Economy

200 tons of produce enters Akhalgori every day

by | August 18, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--Every day, about 200 tons of agricultural products is brought from Georgia into the Akhalgori district of South Ossetia, Sputnik Ossetia reports. Akhalgori is a part of the breakaway region which was under Georgian control until the war in 2008. Many people cross

In brief

Flooded river brings Tbilisi Zoo a new baby lynx

by | August 18, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--Tbilisi Zoo has a new baby lynx, which was recently discovered in Lagodekhi in eastern Georgia. The animal was discovered by ranger Gogita Khunashvili in Lagodekhi nature preserve in July, after the river Shroma was flooded, carrying

Economy

Foundations being laid for second terminal at Tbilisi airport

by | August 17, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--The construction of the second terminal building at Tbilisi International Airport is proceeding as planned. Currently, the foundation is being laid, a spokesperson for the airport told DFWatch. The need for a second terminal is evident in the steady

News

Military spox claims safety rules not violated when two divers drowned

by | August 17, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Defense Ministry claims safety regulations were not violated when two Georgian soldiers went missing Tuesday during a military exercise at sea, off the Black Sea coast. Two soldiers never made it up to the surface during a course in combat diving.

Sport

Miraculous weightlifter wins first Gold for Georgia in Rio, beating World Record

by | August 17, 2016

  TBILISI, DFWatch--A Georgian weightlifter competing in the heaviest, +105 kg, category won the country's first Olympic gold in these summer games, setting a new world record, while his teammate from the same weight category won bronze. Lasha Talakhadze,

Sport

Wrestler Bolkvadze wins bronze, Georgia’s third medal in Rio

by | August 17, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s Shmagi Bolkvadze took bronze in the Rio Olympics Tuesday in the Men's Greco-Roman 66 kg wrestling. Georgia now has two bronze and one silver medal. The two other medals were won in Judo. Bolkvadze competed against Japan’s Tomohiro Inoue,

News

Two military divers missing off Georgia’s Black Sea coast

by | August 17, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--Two Georgian soldiers are missing after diving off the Black Sea coast of Georgia during a military drill. The Defense Ministry said the two failed to resurface near Gonio in southwest Georgia near the border with Turkey. A search was immediately launched

Security

Russia begins military exercise in South Ossetia involving 5000 troops

by | August 16, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--Russia began a military exercise in Georgia’s breakaway region South Ossetia on Monday, which will involve 5,000 soldiers, rockets and artillery. The pro-government news agency RES reports that the exercise is taking place at seven different training grounds.

News

Georgia’s CEC revokes registration of pro-Russian party

by | August 16, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Central Election Commission (CEC) in Georgia has revoked the registration of a micro-party which used its right to free advertisement to call for Russian pensions and dual citizenship, accompanied by a portrait of Vladimir Putin and Russian tanks and flags.

Politics

Free Democrats promises to decriminalize all drug use

by | August 16, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--Irakli Alasania’s Free Democrats promises a liberal drug policy and the decriminalization of all forms of drugs if they come to power. But the punishment for drug dealing will be tougher, the party’s healthcare strategist Nikoloz Pruidze

Politics

GD nominates candidates for parliament from Tbilisi districts

by | August 16, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--The ruling Georgian Dream party on Monday nominated its majoritarian candidates in most of Tbilisi’s 21 electoral districts. The exception was the downtown Mtatsminda district, where GD refrained from nominating a candidate to support

Economy

Direct foreign investments in Georgia down 11% in 2015

by | August 15, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--Direct foreign investments in Georgia was 11 percent less in 2015 than in 2014, according to precise data published Monday by Georgia’s National Statistics Department, GeoStat. According to the report, the amount of investments

In brief

Two Georgians detained by Russians while fishing

by | August 15, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--Two Georgians were detained by a Russian border patrol on Saturday while out fishing along a river close to the breakaway region Abkhazia. Levan Morgoshia and Pridon Matkava were apprehended while standing on the left bank of the river Inguri.

In brief

16 rescued from sea during the storm: MIA

by | August 15, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--16 people, among them several foreign tourists, have been rescued in Adjara after a strong storm hit the Black Sea coast of Georgia on Sunday, according to a statement by the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The rain lasted several hours, flooding

Politics

Election ad featuring Putin causes outcry in Georgia

by | August 15, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--A ten seconds long election video has caused a strong reaction from Georgia’s political establishment and calls for using legal means to stop the party behind it. The provocative advertisement ran on the Public Broadcaster’s Channel 1 Saturday night

Crime

Murdered U.S. tourist was spotted arguing with suspect

by | August 14, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--Witnesses in the village where a U.S. citizen was stabbed to death Thursday night reported seeing the tourist in an argument with the suspected murderer two hours before his body was found. The motive for the murder is still unknown, but Imedi TV

Crime

U.S. tourist stabbed to death in eastern Georgia

by | August 13, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--An American man of around 40 was stabbed to death in a small village in eastern Georgia Thursday night. Police have arrested a 20 year old man who is suspected of the murder. The victim, a U.S. citizen, was found dead on a road in Lechuri,

News

Census shows only 7% Georgians living in South Ossetia

by | August 13, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s breakaway region South Ossetia has published results of a census showing that only 7 percent of the population there are ethnic Georgians. The region from which tens of thousands fled in the 2008 war today has only 3,966 Georgian residents

Crime

Suspect arrested for murdering woman and burying body in wine tank

by | August 13, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--Police in eastern Georgia arrested a man on Friday who is suspected of bludgeoning an elderly woman to death and burying the body in a wine-making tank. The 28 year old man, who was arrested in Telavi in the Kakheti region,

News

Aslan Abashidze, Adjara’s former ruler, sentenced in absentia to 15 years’ jail

by | August 13, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--Aslan Abashidze, the ruler of breakaway Adjara who fled the country after the Rose Revolution, was Friday sentenced in absentia to 15 years in jail for a murder 25 years ago and other crimes.

Politics

National Forum politician’s home broken into

by | August 13, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--The home of a candidate for parliament from the National Forum was broken into Thursday night, a few days after the party’s office was robbed. Tamar Tsikhiseli told journalists that the burglars didn’t steal anything. She thinks the people

Minorities, Youth

New cafe offers youth a place to meet in Pankisi

by | August 12, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--A new café in Pankisi Gorge will offer young people a place to gather. Locals say they cannot remember ever having had a place for young people to get together. The café opened Wednesday in the village Duisi, the central village in Pankisi Gorge,

In brief

PM promises better mountain roads, starting with Tusheti

by | August 12, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian government is planning to build a new road to the mountainous Tusheti region in the northeast of the country. The current road to Tusheti is bumpy and becomes non-traversable in winter, during which time the only access is by helicopter.

News

Traditionalists furious at president for rejecting marriage referendum – vow massive rallies

by | August 11, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--The group of traditionalists behind the referendum bid to define marriage as a union of a man and a woman are fuming at the president after he shelved their proposal. The activists claim President Giorgi Margvelashvili’s decision

News

Tbilisi’s Turtle Lake ropeway will reopen in September

by | August 11, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--A ropeway connecting the biggest park in Tbilisi with a recreational lake in the hills above will reopen in September after having been closed for seven years. Spokesperson for Tbilisi Transport Company (TTC) Gvantsa Potskhveria told DFWatch

News

Georgian IS militant sentenced to 12 years in jail

by | August 11, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--A Georgian citizen was Wednesday sentenced to 12 years in jail for cooperating with the terrorist organization Islamic State. As most of the Georgians who have joined the Islamic State group, Davit Borhcashvili comes from Pankisi Valley. He was detained in November 2015

Sport

Georgia takes second medal at Rio Olympics

by | August 11, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s Varlam Liparteliani won silver medal in men's 90 kg judo at the Rio Olympics. This is the country’s second medal in the games. Liparteliani defeated Gwak-Dong Han from South Korea in the semi-final, but in the final round, he was

Crime

Elderly woman found buried inside wine tank in her own garden

by | August 11, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--A woman was found dead Wednesday morning, buried in her own garden inside a traditional Georgian wine-brewing tank. The macabre discovery was made in the village Shakriani, in Georgia's eastern Kakheti region. The elderly woman

News

Military police investigating 39-year-old corporal’s death from heart failure

by | August 10, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--A 39-year-old corporal in the Georgian army died Wednesday morning, apparently from heart failure. The deceased is Davit Lomidze, a corporal in 52th Battalion of the 5th Infantry Brigade of the Eastern Command of the Land Forces, the Defense Ministry announced on Wednesday morning.

Sport

Georgia’s triumphant judo win over Russia eight years after war

by | August 10, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia won its first medal in the Rio Olympics on Tuesday, as Lasha Shavdatuashvili claimed the bronze medal in men’s 73kg judo. He defeated Sagi Muki from Israel in the final rounds. Earlier, he defeated Denis Yartsev of Russia in the quarter finals,

In brief

National Forum office robbed in Tbilisi

by | August 10, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--The office of National Forum, a right wing political party, which recently split with Georgian Dream, was broken into overnight in Tbilisi. Members of the party say that the investigation is in progress and yet it is hard

News

Georgian president blocks referendum to ban same-sex marriage

by | August 9, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia will not hold a referendum over whether to have a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. President Giorgi Margvelashvili made it clear Tuesday evening that he does not support the proposed referendum about amending

In brief

John Kerry’s statement on August War 8th anniversary

by | August 9, 2016

Tbilisi, DFWatch - US Secretary of State John Kerry condemned occupation of Georgian territories by Russia by issuing a short statement on 8th anniversary of Russo-Georgian war.

News

Former European wrestling champion shot dead in Kakheti

by | August 9, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--A former European wrestling champion was shot dead in Georgia’s eastern Kakheti region Monday evening. According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA), Nodar Modebadze (66) was shot with a rifle in the village Akura. Police have a suspect

Politics

President meets group who proposed referendum to define marriage

by | August 9, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--President Giorgi Margvelashvili will Tuesday meet the Georgians who proposed holding a referendum about defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Giorgi Abashishvili, head of the president’s administration,

News

8 years since ’08 war: Over 2,000 civilians have been detained on disputed borders

by | August 8, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--As Georgia marked eight years since the war with Russia, figures show that over two thousand civilians have been detained on the provisional borders that were drawn after the end of that war. From 2009 to 2015, the number of people

News

Georgia mulls bringing back compulsory military service

by | August 8, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--Compulsory military service remains a hot topic after resignation of Tina Khidasheli, who actively lobbied a shift toward voluntary service and managed to partly abolish the system during her tenure as a minister of defense.

News

Four tourists found dead on Mount Ushba, northern Georgia

by | August 6, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--Four foreign tourists were found dead on Mount Ushba in northern Georgia on Saturday. The Interior Ministry’s emergency service said the bodies are in the process of being brought down from the mountain. Authorities received notice on Friday

Politics

Former UNM members join New Rightists in bloc called ‘New Choice’

by | August 6, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--Two political parties formed by ex-National Movement members together with an opposition party without representatives in parliament on Friday launched a new election bloc for the upcoming parliamentary election. The name of the new

News

Socialists’ founding congress canceled after slapping incident

by | August 5, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--The new party Socialist Georgia canceled its founding congress on Thursday, after a quarrel with a protester led to the arrest of one of its members. The assembly was planned held at the music school in Telavi, a town in the eastern Kakheti region.

Environment

Borjomi park partly destroyed by flooding after strong rainfall

by | August 5, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--A historical park in the southern Georgian resort town Borjomi was partly destroyed by flooding Thursday evening. Strong rain flooded houses and streets and trees more than a hundred years old were torn down. Infrastructure was damaged.

News

Sudden family feud in southern Georgia leaves one man dead

by | August 5, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--In a small town in the south of Georgia, a disagreement between two politicians' families resulted in the death of a 23-year-old man on July 30. The confrontation took place in the village Nardevani, in the Kvemo Kartli region. The families Tamarian

In brief

Political clash outside UNM office in Batumi, one detained

by | August 4, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--One person was detained in western Georgia on Thursday,  after a fight broke out in front of the local branch office of the National Movement (UNM). Protesters from the organization Our Homeland burned an effigy of ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili,

In brief

One Georgian detained by South Ossetia for violating border

by | August 4, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--The incident took place this morning in the village Kveshi, according to Gori municipality. Locals say 36-year-old Aleko Sheverdashvili was in his garden when armed men came and took him away. They say Sheverdashvili didn’t cross the administrative

News

Georgian PM makes constitutional ban on same-sex marriage a campaign issue

by | August 4, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian prime minister on Thursday promised to change the Constitution so that it specifies marriage as a union between a man and a woman -- if his party wins an absolute majority in the October 8 election.

News

Rapist of pregnant 16-year-old girl may escape justice, group warns

by | August 4, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--The rape of a pregnant 16-year-old girl two weeks ago may go unpunished, because the alleged rapist is not in detention, a human rights group claims. July 8, a 16-year-old married and pregnant girl was raped at knifepoint in Marneuli,

News

Clothes market in Zestaponi partly destroyed by fire

by | August 4, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--A clothes market was partly destroyed by fire in Zestaponi Tuesday night. According to the Emergency Service, more than 1,000 square meters was destroyed by the fire in the center of the western Georgian town. No one was injured.

News

Tbilisi Zoo welcomes three lion cubs

by | August 3, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--Tbilisi Zoo, which was devastated by a flood in June 2015, welcomed three new lion cubs on Monday. The zoo’s administration said the lioness Cleopatra had a complicated and protracted delivery, but it ended happily as both the mother and her offspring

News

CEC approves referendum bid about definition of marriage

by | August 3, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--A bid to define marriage in the Constitution as a union between a man and a woman has been approved by Georgia’s Central Election Commission (CEC) after campaigners collected more than the required 200,000 signatures. Georgia's Civil Code already

Investigative reports

Match Fixing Plagues Georgian Football

by | August 2, 2016

By Giorgi Chaduneli www.ifact.ge  In the last two years, there have been six cases exposed of either successful or attempted match fixing in Georgian football.  Players, referees and entire teams have been fined or in some cases permanently banned from the sport. While one case has been working its way through the Tbilisi City Court system for the past year, two new suspicious matches have been uncovered.

News

PM slams back at outgoing defense minister

by | August 2, 2016

Tbilisi, DFWatch - Comments of outgoing Defense Minister, who criticized appointment of Security Service official in her vacant seat, triggered an angry response from the Prime Minister and a member of government. "(Their) comments were very inappropriate, unfortunately. I am sure that after Batoni Davit and Kalbatoni Tina overcome emotions, they will make different comments,” said to PM Giorgi Kvirikashvili on Tuesday. At the same time, Sozar Subari, Minister of IDPs and Refugees, says that for him Tina Khidasheli’s comment, when she said that the second time Security Service people were taking over Ministry of Defense, was quite strange as Irakli Alasania was also a former Security cadre. "I do not understand an example, when Tina made a distinction between Alasania and Izoria. We all remember very well that one time Alasania was a Deputy Security Minister and, if I'm not mistaken, had pretty high rank of colonel or general... However, I believe that it is an advantage rather than disadvantage,” Sozar Subari said. On Monday Tina Khidasheli state that observes an unhealthy trend when the second time after Georgian Dream took over the ...

News

PM, Refugee Minister slam back at Tina Khidasheli

by | August 2, 2016

Comments of outgoing Defense Minister, who criticized appointment of Security Service official to her vacant seat, triggered an angry response from the Prime Minister and a member of government. "(Their) comments were very inappropriate, unfortunately. I am sure that after Batoni Davit and Kalbatoni Tina overcome emotions, they will make different comments,” said to PM Giorgi Kvirikashvili on Tuesday. At the same time, Sozar Subari, Minister of IDPs and Refugees, says that for him Tina Khidasheli’s comment, when she said that the second time Security Service people were taking over Ministry of Defense, was quite strange as Irakli Alasania was also a former Security cadre. "I do not understand an example, when Tina made a distinction between Alasania and Izoria. We all remember very well that one time Alasania was a Deputy Security Minister and, if I'm not mistaken, had pretty high rank of colonel or general... However, I believe that it is an advantage rather than disadvantage,” Sozar Subari said. On Monday Tina Khidasheli state that observes an unhealthy trend when the second time after Georgian Dream took over the power State Security ...

In brief

Security official appointed as a new Minister of Defense, Khidasheli sees “unhealthy trend”

by | August 1, 2016

Tbilisi, DFWatch - Levan Izoria, a deputy head of State Security Service (SUS), and Ketevan Tsikhelashvili,  deputy minister, were appointed as replacements of the ongoing ministers of defense and reconciliation respectively.

Minorities

Growing tension between Christians and Muslims in Adigeni

by | August 1, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--There is growing tension between the Christian and Muslim communities in the small village Adigeni, west of Akhaltsikhe. The Samtskhe–Javakheti region, where Adigeni village is located, was historically known as Meskheti, after the Muslim Meskhs.

News

UAE Sheikh opens upscale hotel in Tbilisi

by | August 1, 2016

Tbilisi, DFWatch - Emirati minister visits Georgia to pompously inaugurate an upscale hotel in Tbilisi center.

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