News

A shopping mall near the Abkhazian border offers services to people on both sides

by | March 31, 2018

ZUGDIDI, DFWatch--A five hectare shopping mall in Rukhi, only meters from the administrative border line (ABL) with breakaway Abkhazia, is doing good business, says its director David Machavariani, speaking to DFWatch. "Of course, the idea has justified itself, as [the mall] allows people to have more access to the services closer to their homes.

News

Georgia expels one Russian diplomat over UK spy poisoning

by | March 29, 2018

TBILISI, DFWatch--Tbilisi is expelling a Russian diplomat in solidarity with its western allies over the poisoning of the ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the UK. The decision was taken on Thursday by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs after strong pressure from the opposition.

News

Two women accuse the head of Georgia’s Public Registry of sexual harassment

by | March 27, 2018

TBILISI, DFWatch--The head of Georgia’s Public Registry has been accused of discrimination and sexual harassment by at least two of the agency's former female employees. Papuna Ugrekhelidze, the 43 year old chairman of the NAPR, who is currently on a business trip to the US, flatly denied the accusations

Minorities

Integration of ethnic Azeris starts with language

by | March 24, 2018

The Constitution of Georgia stipulates that the state language of country is Georgian. The status of the official language creates grounds for, on the one hand, the social isolation and exclusion from economic and political spheres of people who do not speak Georgian and, on the other hand, the banning on the use of a minority language in administrative domains.

News

Georgia number two in Europe in incarceration rate, only surpassed by Russia

by | March 23, 2018

TBILISI, DFWatch--Only Russia has a higher percentage of its population behind bars among European countries. 256.3 persons per 100,000 inhabitants were incarcerated in Georgia in 2016, according to a new report by the Council of Europe. This means the small Caucasus nation

News

South Ossetia beginning strict control of ‘citizenship’ procedures

by | March 22, 2018

AKHALGORI, DFWatch--South Ossetia is creating a new body that will examine whether its 'nationals' comply with the procedures for obtaining 'citizenship' of the breakaway region. A civic activist from Akhalgori might become the first victim of the novelty.

News

South Ossetia hands over body of deceased detainee

by | March 21, 2018

TBILISI, DFWatch--South Ossetian de facto authorities late Tuesday evening handed over to Georgian law enforcers the body of a Georgian war veteran who died in Tskhinvali under suspicious circumstances. The release of Archil Tatunashvili’s body was facilitated by the Red Cross.

News

Putin received the highest percentage of votes in Georgia’s two breakaway regions

by | March 21, 2018

TBILISI, DFWatch--In two enclaves carved out of neighboring Georgia, Vladimir Putin received the highest percentage of votes in the Russian presidential election: 94 percent of votes in Abkhazia and 93 percent in South Ossetia. The two regions which both have a heavy Russian

News

Far-right activists violently assault TV journalists in Tbilisi, six detained

by | March 20, 2018

TBILISI, DFWatch--Six men were detained after a group of nationalists assaulted reporters working for the opposition leaning TV channel Rustavi 2 in Tbilisi on Monday. At least one journalist was injured. The TV channel’s sports reporter Davit Eradze was hospitalized

Interviews

Georgian President: West Awakening to Russian Security Threat in Historic ‘Now Moment’

by | March 16, 2018

Washington, VOA - Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili is calling for American and European leaders to capitalize on what he calls a palpable, growing international consensus about the scope, magnitude and immediacy of national security threats posed by Russian election interference and suspected assassination attempts on foreign soil.

News

At least eight injured as ski lift fails in Gudauri, Georgia

by | March 16, 2018

TBILISI, DFWatch--At least eight people were injured in an accident in Georgia’s ski resort Gudauri Friday as after a ski lift failed. Two people - a Swedish and Ukrainian national - are in a serious but not life threatening condition, while the others suffered minor injuries, Minister of Health Davit Sergeenko said, speaking to Imedi TV. The police have opened an investigation into the case. The exact cause of the accident is still unknown. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ogdoUccoRI

News

Sokhumi’s lack of a heart clinic leads many to seek treatment in Georgia proper

by | March 13, 2018

GALI, DFWatch--Abkhazia’s de facto authorities have not managed to open a much needed heart clinic in Sokhumi due to the lack of qualified medical staff, a Georgian cardiologist who was involved in the process told DFWatch.

News

South Ossetia lets two Georgians go but still refuses to hand over body of deceased prisoner

by | March 11, 2018

TBILISI, DFWatch--Separatist authorities in control of the South Ossetia region Sunday released two Georgian men who were detained about three weeks ago, but still refused to hand over the body of a third detainee who died in detention.

Minorities

Rally for transgender rights thwarted by egg-throwing ‘family values’ activists

by | March 9, 2018

TBILISI, DFWatch--Anti-gay activists thwarted a demonstration for transgender rights in Tbilisi Thursday. Police detained one person for throwing a raw egg at the group of LGBTQ protesters who had gathered outside the House of Justice to demand smoother procedures

News

Far right group has patrolled Tbilisi streets for the last week

by | March 6, 2018

TBILISI, DFWatch--A far right group in Georgia has been patrolling the streets of Tbilisi for ‘over a week’, wearing armbands and T-shirts with its insignia, the group’s leader confirmed on Monday. Georgian March’s patrols covered an area in the city center including Leselidze Street,

In brief

Georgia’s ruling party allegedly preparing to pick justice minister as candidate for president

by | March 4, 2018

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia's ruling party is going to pick Justice Minister Tea Tsulukiani as a candidate for president, an opposition TV station claims. Rustavi 2 TV claimed Tsulukiani’s candidacy has been approved by former PM Bidzina Ivanishvili.

News

South Ossetia deploys security force to Akhalgori, conducting stop and search

by | March 4, 2018

TBILISI, DFWatch--South Ossetia has imposed strict security measures in Akhalgori, the only part of the breakaway republic inhabited predominantly by ethnic Georgians. Units of the region’s riot police have been deployed to the town of Akhalgori and its surroundings.

News

South Ossetia launches ‘genocide’ accusations as pressure builds to transfer deceased prisoner’s body

by | March 3, 2018

TBILISI, DFWatch--South Ossetia's de facto authorities still refuse to hand over the body of a former Georgian soldier who died after what appears to have been physical abuse by prison guards, and has instead repeated allegations that the 2008 war was a ‘genocide’ against Ossetians.

News

Gülen school manager offered state protection

by | March 1, 2018

TBILISI, DFWatch--The manager of a private school linked to the exiled Turkish preacher Fethullah Gülen was included in the state protection program, his lawyer confirmed Thursday. Mustafa Emre Cabuk, quality manager at Demirel College, was released on bail on February 19

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