Opinion

Drug control: time to right the wrong policies

by | July 31, 2018

The Parliament of Georgia is currently engaged in a promising debate to reform its drug laws, possibly by ending the criminalization of drug use and possession, and seeking alternatives for low-level actors in the drug trade. This would go a long way to enacting an effective drug control framework that puts individuals first, with great benefits for communities in terms of security and public health.

News

Georgia’s ruling party vows to fill ‘legal vacuum’ after Constitutional Court abolished punishment for cannabis use

by | July 31, 2018

TBILISI, DFWatch--The ruling GD party in Georgia rejects a decision by the Constitutional Court to abolish punishment for marijuana use, arguing that the ruling creates a ‘legal vacuum’ that the government pledges to fill. The Constitutional Court on Monday

News

Abkhazia steps up fight against drug crimes with draconian measures

by | July 28, 2018

TBILISI, DFWatch--Sokhumi responds to the mass outcry over the growing problem of drug addiction by introducing draconian new measures, including capital punishment. Abkhazia's de facto parliament has adopted

News

Villagers clash with riot police over illegal logging in Svaneti, Georgia

by | July 27, 2018

TBILISI, DFWatch--Villagers clashed with police in the highland Svaneti region of Georgia on Thursday. The unrest was triggered by the arrival of the finance police. The confrontation lasted throughout the day during which locals blocked the only road connecting

News

South Ossetia’s leader visits Bashar al-Assad in Damascus

by | July 24, 2018

TBILISI, DFWatch--The leader of South Ossetia, a breakaway republic within Georgian territory, visited Syrian president Bashar al-Assad in Damascus on Monday. During the meeting, South Ossetia’s de facto president Anatoly Bibilov pledged to help the Syrian regime ‘fight terrorism’,

News

Gali residents urged to renounced Georgian ethnicity to acquire Abkhazian passport

by | July 21, 2018

GALI, DFWatch--July 19, a ceremony was held here in Gali to award 'Abkhaz passports' to 139 residents who listened to an appeal by something called the Mirzakan Abkhaz Council. This was was only the latest event organized by the Council in an effort backed by Sokhumi

News

Abkhazia resumes issuing of ‘visas’ as FIFA World Cup ends

by | July 18, 2018

GALI, DFWatch--Sokhumi has resumed the issuing of ‘visas’ used by many Georgians to visit family and do business here in the Gali region in the southeast of the breakaway republic Abkhazia. The issuing of ‘visas’ was suspended about two months ago and locals in this predominantly

News

Four die in coal mine explosion in Tkibuli, Georgia

by | July 16, 2018

TBILISI, DFWatch--Four miners died after a methane gas explosion in a coal mine in Tkibuli, Georgia, Monday morning, prompting the temporary closure of the mine. A further six were injured and brought to hospital. Two of them are still in a serious condition,

News

After years of crime rule, number of robberies finally drops in Gali

by | July 12, 2018

GALI, DFWatch--In the past, robberies were rife here in Abkhazia’s easternmost region Gali, which is predominantly inhabited by ethnic Georgians. But recently, the crime situation has noticeably improved. DFWatch talked to people in Gali about how their situation has changed the last few years.

Politics

New Georgian PM unveils cabinet with three new names

by | July 12, 2018

TBILISI, DFWatch--New Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze unveiled his cabinet on Thursday. The list contains three new names, among them proposed Finance Minister Ivane Machavariani (pictured), while the embattled justice minister gets to keep her seat.

In brief

Five injured as helicopter crash lands in eastern Georgia

by | July 12, 2018

TBILISI, DFWatch--Five people were injured as a helicopter crash landed in eastern Georgia on Thursday. Three pilots, a border guard and a police officer were injured as the helicopter belonging to the Border Police had a hard touchdown near the village of Artana in Kakheti.

News

New hurdles for Gali residents as breakaway Abkhazia ends use of ‘passports’

by | July 9, 2018

GALI, DFWatch--As Abkhazia’s breakaway authorities are planning to end the use of specially issued ‘passports’ by the end of 2018, the Georgian minority here are facing new bureaucratic hurdles and further discrimination.

Crime

19 y/o shepherd charged with murdering American family of three in Dusheti

by | July 9, 2018

TBILISI, DFWatch--A 19 year old shepherd from Georgia's mountain region Dusheti was charged Monday with the cold blooded murder of an American family of three. The shepherd, whose identity is being withheld by authorities, has confessed to the killing of Ryan Smith, 43, an entrepreneur,

News

More people detained for trying to leave South Ossetia than for trying to enter

by | July 8, 2018

TBILISI, DFWatch--South Ossetia's KGB has published data which reveals that more people have been punished for trying to leave the breakaway region than for crossing into the territory. As DFWatch reported early on, people living near the de facto border are frequently being detained

Politics

Georgian PM Kvirikashvili stricken from GD political council member list

by | July 6, 2018

TBILISI, DFWatch--Former Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili has mysteriously been removed from the political council of Georgia's ruling party. As PM, Kvirikashvili had a leading role in the advisory body of the ruling party. But he resigned his position abruptly on June 13,

News

Georgia charges one person with terrorism for posting threat on Facebook

by | July 6, 2018

TBILISI, DFWatch--One person has been charged with terrorism in Georgia for allegedly using social media to advocate the hostage taking of the Armenian ambassador.

Environment

Landslide triggers flooding, evacuation in Svaneti

by | July 6, 2018

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfRVhSBLGGc TBILISI, DFWatch--A landslide triggered a flood wave carrying large amounts of mud and debris down the Nenskra river in Svaneti, western Georgia on Thursday. Dozens of people fled their homes or were evacuated, as at least four bridges

Politics

Georgia’s ruling party to strip president of powers to grant citizenship

by | July 4, 2018

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia's ruling party prepares to take away the president’s power to grant people citizenship. According to a bill presented Tuesday, the president will no longer be entitled to appoint the head of the commission which reviews applications for citizenship.

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