Mari Nikuradze

About Mari Nikuradze

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So far Mari Nikuradze has created 357 blog entries.

Georgian blogosphere angry over same-sex marriage ban proposal

By | May 24th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – A new initiative by the moderate opposition Christian Democrats to ban same-sex marriage and write Christianity into the constitution is being discussed in the Georgian blogosphere. The initiative has been criticized by the government, […]

Georgia and Azerbaijan will solve monastery issue

By | May 22nd, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia and Azerbaijan are working on delineating their border, in order to solve the problem regarding Davit Gareja monastery complex, which is a source for concern. Georgia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Nikoloz Vashakidze said Monday that the […]

Protesting the destruction of an old square in Tbilisi

By | May 21st, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The protest continues against the construction work on a historic square in Tbilisi, after workers Saturday started demolishing an old building, apparently without a permit. Witnesses called police, and the work stopped for a while. Several months […]

How pro-government TV sees Georgia’s weak labor code

By | May 21st, 2012|Categories: Economy, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The labor code should contribute to employment, faster investments and motivate investors, and only after this may it possible to think about how to improve the rights and conditions of workers in Georgia. This is the position of the country’s […]

Georgian Railway soon goes live on LSE

By | May 21st, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgian Railway is nearer to going live on London Stock Exchange. Georgia’s Economy Ministry confirms the listing, previously reported by DF Watch, and says the government currently is studying the situation on stock exchanges to make sure that […]

Prisoner tells of sexual abuse and threatened silence

By | May 19th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – A prisoner in Georgia says he was sexually abused by prison staff and later told he would be killed if he told the outside world about it. In a letter dated February 24, the prisoner asks for help and wants to be transferred to another prison. […]

Show of support for anti-homophobia demonstrators

By | May 19th, 2012|Categories: Society|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – After peaceful demonstrators against homophobia were beaten by counter-demonstrators Thursday, people gathered in front of parliament building on Friday to protest the incident. “I’ve seen footage of yesterday’s gathering on TV and I’ve […]

Pro-democracy campaign wants equal access to media

By | May 18th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – A pro-democracy campaign in Georgia Thursday presented their latest package of modifications to various aspects of the election system, as there are four months left until the parliamentary elections. Among issues they presented to an audience of […]

Georgia’s labor code allows firing someone for political views

By | May 18th, 2012|Categories: Economy, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – There are two articles in Georgia’s Labor Code which entitles employers to terminate a labor contract without giving any explanations or preliminary warnings. A teacher from a village in the Gori region was fired because of her husband’s political […]

Anti-homophobia demonstrators were beaten

By | May 17th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – A celebration of the international day for the fight against homophobia Thursday turned violent as demonstrators were beaten and posters torn. Members of the two organizations LGBT Georgia and Identoba and their supporters held the event in front of […]

Channel 9 buys stake in local TV

By | May 17th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The recently founded Channel 9 TV, which is affiliated with Bidzina Ivanishvili’s Georgian Dream party, has bought a ten percent share in a popular regional television station, TV Trialeti, for one million dollars. Channel 9 Director Kakha Bekauri […]

EU criticizes police brutality in Georgia

By | May 17th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – In a new report, the EU Commission criticizes Georgia’s government for the police brutality on May 26, 2011. The criticism comes as the Commission is taking stock of how well each country has performed in 2011 under a democracy building […]

What caused the flood in Tbilisi?

By | May 14th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Residents in the disaster struck district of Tbilisi speak about different reasons causing damage during heavy flooding Saturday night. Heavy rain caused mud slide from ravines down towards residential houses and streets. Ortachala is an old district […]

Renewed Georgia Party organized refugee protest

By | May 13th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

BILISI, DFWatch – On Saint Andrew’s Day May 12, refugees from Abkhazia gathered at the parliament building in Tbilisi to demand attention from the government and that it gets back the lost territories. Refugees claim this is their first large meeting for the last 20 […]

Journalists’ rights are still under pressure in Georgia

By | May 13th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – After a series of incidents with security and police, journalists gathered in Tbilisi to share their stories and inform foreign diplomats. Association of Regional Broadcasters had prepared a documentary based on material from regional reporters. […]

Heavy flood killed five in Tbilisi

By | May 13th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia was hit by heavy rain overnight, causing flash flooding many places. Five deaths are reported in the capital Tbilisi as a reservoir burst in a hill above the city and flooded one district. The Emergency Department in Tbilisi says five people have died from flooding […]

Tree-cutting in Tbilisi demonstrated against

By | May 12th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, Dfwatch – Groups in Tbilisi today held a small symbolic protest against the mass cutting of trees in the capital. Transparency International Georgia and the organization Green Alternative joined other young activists and local residents on the Deda Ena (Mother […]

Tbilisi’s old trees are being razed to the ground

By | May 11th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – One hundred year old trees are being cut down in Georgia’s capital Tbilisi and are replaced with new saplings, which will need decades to reach mature height. A few days ago workers started cutting trees in Tbilisi’s old district at the end […]

Georgia stopped publishing statistics on work place deaths

By | May 11th, 2012|Categories: Economy, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – According to unofficial information, 13 people died in the work place in 2011 in Georgia. No official numbers exist for 2012 either, but media reported about a number of fatal incidents in the mining and construction sector. These fatal accidents are […]

Russia accuses Georgia of supporting terrorism

By | May 10th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Russia’s national antiterrorism committee says it has foiled a terrorist plot planned against the Olympics Games in Sochi in 2014. The committee also says a significant arsenal of weapons was seized. “The ringleader of an international terrorist […]

Liberal politicians come to Georgia to give advice on democracy

By | May 10th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – European liberal politicians visited an opposition billionaire in Tbilisi Thursday to contribute their views on how democracy can progress in Georgia. Representatives of the Liberal International, which is an international federation of liberal […]

What can Georgia learn from African conflicts?

By | May 10th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – A series of discussion was held in Tbilisi on Tuesday to review conflict problems in Georgia. Comparisons were made between “good” and “bad” conflict case studies in various African countries with those in Georgia. The main topic of discussion […]

Georgian billionaire Ivanishvili goes back to court

By | May 9th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The opposition billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili is going back to court, in a further effort to be recognized as a Georgian citizen. Authorities annulled Ivanishvili’s citizenship shortly after he revealed his plans to become a politician in October […]

Further changes in laws are needed, say media and groups

By | May 8th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Media and law organizations in Georgia suggest another package of legislative amendments for the electoral environment in the country. The bill will regulate issues like the definition of hidden political advertisement, paid and free political commercials, […]

Media diversity will be important in ’12 election

By | May 5th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Groups gathered Thursday to mark World Press Freedom Day with a day-long discussion about how well suited the media environment is to fulfill its public role ahead of the parliamentary election in October. The roundtable discussion was held at Courtyard […]

Prison death was caused by illness, not torture

By | May 4th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: , |

TBLISI, DFWatch – An independent medical expert says the injuries seen on photos of a prisoner’s dead body were caused by a disease which was not properly treated. Zurab Delianidze died at Gldani prison hospital in Tbilisi. Media learned about his death from family […]

Tbilisians protested suspicious prison death

By | May 4th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – People gathered in front of parliament Thursday to protest against mistreatment of prisoners, spurred by the news of another death of a prisoner who bore signs of having been beaten. Police reported that the prisoner died of a heart attack, but […]

Another suspicious death in police custody

By | May 3rd, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – There are suspicions that a prisoner may have died as a result of torture. The family of Zurab Delianidze (39) claims that he was violently tortured and demand an inquest, according to, a website run by the newspaper Tavisupali Sitkva. […]

Georgian authorities violated rights, ombudsman says

By | May 2nd, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch -The Georgian ombudsman criticizes a control body overseeing the financing of political parties for having violated civil rights. Earlier this year, there began to come reports about a wave of interrogations in parts of the country outside of Tbilisi. […]

Weak worker protection drew thousands for May 1 rally

By | May 2nd, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Thousands gathered Tuesday in central Tbilisi to celebrate the International Worker’s Day, May 1 and demonstrate in front of the parliament building. Protesters adopted an appeal to the president, government and parliament. They call on authorities […]

Georgia criticizes European embassies for being bureaucratic

By | May 1st, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia’s vice prime minister criticizes foreign embassies in Tbilisi of not following up a new agreement meant to simplify visa application procedures. Giorgi Baramidze was reacting to a new report by Liberal Academy Tbilisi, adding that […]

Nani is one of Georgia’s missing 23 %

By | May 1st, 2012|Categories: Society|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Nani (48) left Georgia about 17 years ago to work in Italy and send money to her family. She’s from Samtredia, a small town in Western Georgia. Her husband works at a local theater, earning a small salary. Her daughter goes to school, while her son […]

A quarter of Georgia’s population are missing

By | April 30th, 2012|Categories: Society|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – 23 per cent of Georgia’s population is away from the country, 80 per cent of which are illegal labor migrants and sole bread-winners. These are some of the findings in a new report made by Liberal Academy Tbilisi, called Visa Facilitation and Readmission: […]

McCain asks Clinton to lead on Georgia’s NATO membership

By | April 28th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – In a letter to Hilary Clinton, U.S. Senator John McCain expresses concern about Georgia’s occupied territories and calls for the Secretary of the State to support Georgia. “The upcoming NATO summit in Chicago presents an excellent opportunity to […]

Russian President Medvedev calls Georgia’s Saakashvili ‘a zero’

By | April 27th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Russian President calls his Georgian counterpart clueless and says that sooner or later there will be a new leader in Georgia, with whom Russia can cooperate. Dmitry Medvedev made this statement during an interview broadcast on a Russian TV channel. […]

Georgia’s interior minister must explain warning against 2008 war

By | April 26th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia’s interior minister, Vano Merabishvili, must today answer a question in parliament about a warning he received a year and a half before the war with Russia in August 2008. The billionaire who says he made the warning is now building an opposition […]

Secrecy law criticized by groups in Georgia

By | April 26th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Two groups in Georgia want to change a new secrecy law which they say restricts access to public information. Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA), Transparency International Georgia and Institute for Development of Freedom of Information […]

Georgian media to be scrutinized ahead of important election

By | April 25th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The European Union and United Nations Development Program is starting a new round of media monitoring in Georgia for the upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections in 2012 and 2013. All kinds of media outlets will be monitored, including TV, radio, […]

Sixteenth Georgian soldier dies in Afghanistan

By | April 25th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia’s Defense Ministry informs that another soldier has died in Afghanistan, bringing the total number of servicemen lost there to sixteen. Valerian Khujadze was serving in the 31st Battalion in the volatile Helmand province. The incident happened on […]

EU Commissioner Štefan Füle encourages civic groups in Georgia

By | April 24th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Štefan Füle, the EU’s commissioner for enlargement, promises that the upcoming parliamentary elections in Georgia will remain a high priority on the EU’s agenda. He says they are paying particular attention to the newly adopted law on political unions […]

CoE criticizes Russian passports in Georgian breakaway regions

By | April 24th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly again says Russia’s practice of issuing passport in territories it occupies in Georgia is a violation of international rules. According to the Georgian parliament’s press office, relating information […]

South Africans arrive to learn secrets of Georgian soil

By | April 23rd, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – A delegation of South African farmers have arrived in Georgia to check the prospects of taking root here. Papuna Davitaia, State Minister for Diaspora Issues, opened the conference, which is held at Radisson Hotel, by underlining that business relations […]

As Elit Electronics takeover is completed, ex-owner fights on

By | April 23rd, 2012|Categories: Economy, News|Tags: , |

Anzor Kokoladze believes the takeover of Elit Electronics was a conspiracy. (Photo: Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch – One of the largest electronics chains in Georgia has been taken away from its founder, as the remaining 15 per cent of shares were sold at an auction. Anzor Kokoladze, who built the chain from scratch, is serving an eight year prison term after a tax […]

Why do many Georgians give their property to the state?

By | April 21st, 2012|Categories: Economy, News|Tags: |

Anzor Kokoladze, the founder of one of Georgia’s most successful electronics chains, Elit Electronics, accuses the authorities of having conspired to take it over. He claims a bank, the prosecutor, the Tbilisi mayor, and a court cooperated on the scheme. Kikodze is currently in jail serving an eigth year term for failure to service a debt, a sentence upheld by the Supreme Court. (Photo: Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch – There are many reports in Georgia these days of deprivation of property rights. People abandon their property or donate it to the government right after registering it at the Public Registry, and later refuse to speak about their reasons. The founder […]

Seeds of prosperity between Georgia and Armenia?

By | April 20th, 2012|Categories: Economy, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – How can Armenia and Georgia create more growth – literally – in their border region? Agriculture was the topic of a conference Thursday at Courtyard Marriott Hotel in Tbilisi. The goal was to exchange information on local planning and […]

Abkhazians go to Georgia for medical treatment

By | April 19th, 2012|Categories: Society|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The de facto president of Georgia’s breakaway region Abkhazia recently said a veteran from Abkhazia had died in a Georgian hospital. The government here in Tbilisi has not commented of given any details. DF Watch visited a few large hospitals […]

Strict rules leave rail passengers in Tbilisi for the holidays

By | April 17th, 2012|Categories: Society|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Saturday morning, the day before Easter, there is a large crowd at the railway station in Tbilisi. All of them have bags of luggage and are trying to find their tickets for the train or are buying them. The Easter holiday lasts four days in Georgia […]

Taxi drivers in Tbilisi hit by rising fuel price

By | April 14th, 2012|Categories: Economy, News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Givi Maisuradze (41) is one of many independent taxi drivers in Georgia’s capital Tbilisi. He works day and night and has been a driver since the 1990s, a period he calls ‘the dark times’, because the whole city was in darkness at night. Today, […]

Ivanishvili reluctantly agrees to run as a French candidate

By | April 13th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgian billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili continues his struggle to be allowed to stand for election for parliament in October. His lawyers say a recently proposed constitutional change to allow non-Georgians to hold office has not made the […]

Youth protested against the fining of a TV station

By | April 11th, 2012|Categories: Media, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Around ten youth activists today protested outside the Georgian National Communication Commission against the fining of a regional television station. Irakli Beraia, one of the activists, says the fine is an attempt by the government to suppress […]

Georgia enforces ban on entering breakaway reps the wrong way

By | April 10th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Tbilisi City Court has sentenced a Russian businessman to pay a fine of about USD 1 200 because he had visited Abkhazia before coming to Georgia. The court found that the businessman had violated a law which bans travel across the borders […]

Cleared away mourners and needy to make room for Saakashvili

By | April 10th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – They came holding candles to commemorate the twenty people who died here twenty three years ago. But police cleared them away to make room for President Mikheil Saakashvili’s April 9 event. Just before Saakashvili was to hold his speech, police […]

Ivanishvili says he will get back political rights

By | April 5th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Yesterday, he was denied having his political rights restored, but today Georgia’s richest man vowed to regain his citizenship, form a political party and launch himself as candidate for Prime Minister within just over two weeks. Georgian […]

Ivanishivli denied political rights, continues fight

By | April 4th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgian authorities today denied the billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili of becoming a citizen of his native country. Today’s decision by the Civil Registry to deny him citizenship by naturalization ends the last legal avenue the opposition […]

Ivanishvili counting days till political rights restored

By | April 3rd, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, who is considered the main competitor of the Georgian government, is counting the days left until his Georgian citizenship is restored, giving him full political rights. The final date for when the government […]

Solidarity action in Tbilisi Saturday brought out many

By | April 2nd, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Marking a break with single issue campaigning, rights groups in Tbilisi Saturday held a demonstration for solidarity and people power. The demonstration was called Civic Solidarity Campaign and consisted of six human chains on six squares in the capital, […]

Prisoners don’t dare to complain of mistreatment

By | March 29th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The current situation in Georgian prisons remains one of the main problems in the human rights field, according to the public defender’s annual report to parliament. About 300 pages out of 645 explain the conditions and problems in Georgian prisons. […]

Georgians struggling to get through European visa maze

By | March 20th, 2012|Categories: Investigative reports, Society|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Vakhtang Nadibaidze (53) stands in line in front of the Polish embassy, waiting for the answer to his visa application. Many Georgians have been in his place, facing the labyrinth it is to get a visa at the European embassies here. He remembers how about […]

Two students beaten in Tbilisi, say it was because of blog

By | March 15th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Representatives of Tbilisi State University’s student’s union Wednesday beat two students. The students who were beaten believe the reason was a recently started blog which contains criticism of the student’s union and its actions, as well as the university. […]

Democracy campaign in Georgia continuing

By | March 9th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Here in Georgia, the ‘This Affects You Too’ campaign continues as organizers delivered a special appeal to parliament, the president’s administration and the foreign affairs ministry, requesting them to invite long term observers from the OSCE for the whole […]

Protest against suspicious death during interrogation

By | March 9th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Up to forty people gathered Thursday in front of the police building in Khashuri, a town in central Georgia, protesting the recent death of a man during interrogation. About half of people there were activists from Tbilisi, while the rest were locals. […]

OSCE must send observers to Georgia now, not wait

By | March 2nd, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Democracy campaigners in the former Soviet republic of Georgia call for international observers to come and monitor what’s going on. They believe the Saakashvili government is setting things up to rig the election for parliament this fall. Last election, […]

Refugees picketed Saakahsvili’s annual speech to parliament

By | March 1st, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia’s president Mikheil Saakashvili was not only confronted with objections to his rule inside the parliament building Tuesday. On the outside, people had gathered, banging pots with spoons in protest against his eight years leading the former […]

Police clears protest camp in old Tbilisi park

By | February 26th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The small fireplace, wooden chairs, all the logs and even the small plant planted one day ago were demolished on Saturday by huge trucks and a tractor that dug a big hole inside the fenced-off area of old Kikvidze Park in northern Tbilisi. It happened […]

Trees cut and planted in old Kikvidze Park

By | February 25th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Four more trees were cut in Tbilisi’s old Kikvidze Park yesterday night while activists left the area for a short time. The police Saturday arrested Lasha Chkhartishvili, the founder of Greenpeace Supporters Group and one of the organizers for trying […]

Continued pressure to change vague party financing rules

By | February 23rd, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Groups in Georgia Thursday continued their campaign against the new party financing rules which were ushered in last December. At different spots around Tbilisi and in several other towns there were demonstrations to highlight the threat posed by […]

Protesting the destruction of old green lung

By | February 23rd, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – On Dadiani Street in northern Tbilisi near Didube metro, there is a big old park called Kikvidze Park. Here, the government has decided to build another one of Georgia’s characteristic transparent glass police stations. A protest was launched against […]

New party finance rules create chilling effect, warn activists

By | February 17th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The loud sound of a horn and whistles was heard outside parliament in Tbilisi today, as activists and rights groups protested against a new set of rules that they say threaten basic freedoms. They came there not only to show how strongly opposed they are […]

Party finance rules may be used against anybody, say activists

By | February 16th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Outspoken activists and rights groups met in Tbilisi today and signed a petition called ‘It affects you too’, demanding that something is done to rein in Georgia’s new rules about party financing which they see as a threat to basic rights. The rules […]

Strong Georgian opposition party takes form

By | February 15th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

  TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgian billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili today presented the members of the initiative group for his new political party called Georgian Dream – Democratic Georgia. Among the members of the group are famous public figures, lawyers, a journalist, also […]

Old Tbilisi square sports a white cover as protest goes on

By | February 14th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Tbilisi’s old Gudiashvili Square was fully covered with white snow on Sunday as people showed up to defend it once more from an uncertain fate. Even though it was a freezing minus five degrees, people still gathered on the square on February 12 at what […]

Groups under threat in Georgia mobilize to defend rights

By | February 11th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Organizations in the former Soviet republic of Georgia are planning to take immediate measures together with media workers to protest against a new law amendment which they claim poses a serious threat to freedom of speech, freedom of the media and […]

As winter freeze hits Tbilisi, the garbage fee jumps

By | February 8th, 2012|Categories: Economy, News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Among all the other problems the weather is causing, Tbilisi citizens have one more worry: Their garbage fee has increased dramatically. A few months ago, a law amendment made the municipal garbage fee dependent on the electricity bill, so the more […]

Why newspapers are sold from bicycle stands in Tbilisi

By | February 8th, 2012|Categories: Media, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – In the Georgian capital, news hungry citizens can now get their daily update from a bright red bicycle. The reason the new mobile newsstand is hitting the streets is that City Hall has removed many of the old permanent booths. Since last December, independent […]

Georgian youth learn English, and keep their Russian too

By | February 6th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – English is first priority for Georgian youth, but they might as well keep a basic knowledge of Russian too, just in case. Margo is getting ready to go abroad for a year through an exchange program, after graduating from university last summer, specializing in journalism. […]

Georgia’s dead prime minister: The case that won’t go away

By | February 4th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Seven years after his death, the anniversary of Georgia’s late prime minister Zurab Zhvania is still testimony to the fact that many refuse to accept the case as closed. Some of the youth who gathered in front of parliament in Tbilisi Friday bore […]

Stricter Turkish visa-rules making life tougher

By | February 3rd, 2012|Categories: Society|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Nani has been working in Turkey for last ten years at a rich family, taking care of all the household activities. Her husband died years ago and she had to provide her two daughters with food and clothes. She couldn’t find a job here in Georgia and decided to leave for Turkey […]

Pressured Georgian media reaffirm defense group

By | February 1st, 2012|Categories: Media, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch - Media workers in the former Soviet republic of Georgia met Wednesday to reaffirm their mutual pledge to support eachother in case of harassment from authorities. “The main goal is to fight against illegal actions, protecting each other and solidarity when the media is in trouble,” says Mamuka Glonti, who took the [...]

Georgian youth: Learn the truth about our country

By | January 30th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch - As the presidents of the United States and Georgia are preparing for their first meeting in Washington, Georgian youth groups today rallied in front of the U.S. embassy in Tbilisi. Their message was that American authorities need to know more about what’s really going on in this country and not believe [...]

Historic Tbilisi square was dying, springs to life

By | January 30th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch - Gudiashvili square in central Tbilisi seemed dying for years, but in the last month has had a revival thanks to a protest against new plans to modernise it. Every other Sunday, protesters gather at the Gudiashvili, which lies just behind Freedom Square, as a symbol of protest against the people responsible [...]

Georgia allows hunting of endangered species

By | January 27th, 2012|Categories: Environment, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch - Georgia allows hunting of rare animal species, which could lead to their extinction, environmentalists claim. The legislative changes will also allow hunting in protected areas. Hunting and protection of species is regulated by a kind of laws used under the Soviet Union called normative acts and decrees. The law doesn’t directly [...]

Ivanishvili’s wife gets back her Georgian citizenship

By | January 24th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch - Ekaterine Khvedelidze, wife of Georgian billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, is a Georgian citizen again, after the president decided not to appeal a court ruling. This paves the way for the Ivanishvili couple to formally register a political party and run in the election this fall. On December 27 Tbilisi City Court ruled [...]

Perilous work should be compensated, union says

By | January 20th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch - Nearly 18 000 employees in Georgia work under stressful or hazardous conditions, according to the Georgian Trade Unions, which suggests compensating them for financial loss due to early retirement. In many dangerous professions, there is a mandated upper age limit, but no compensation for the loss of income until they reach pension [...]

Georgia’s eco-migrants are living dangerously

By | January 19th, 2012|Categories: Society|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch - Georgia, which already has 250 000 internal war refugees, does not recognize eco-migrants. Thirty thousand families are left with faint promises from the government, and many choose to stay in life-threatening homes. Last August, Khatia Nazghaidze (3) drowned while her family was on a waiting list for immediate resettlement due to a [...]

Give us back our rights

By | January 18th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The government in Georgia removed almost all labor protection in 2006. Now there is a growing movement to reclaim the lost rights. Labor rights campaigners demonstrated in Tbilisi Tuesday against the lack of proper protection. People gathered near the Rustaveli statue with flyers and painted posters with slogans like ‘Labor Code [...]

Gudiashvili Square protest continues

By | January 17th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch - People gathered Sunday on Gudiashvili Square, the third protest against plans to develop the historic area. The rally was titled ‘Minifest as Manifest’ and saw another brandishing of paintings, handicraft and other artwork as well as refreshments and entertainment that continued into the night. Gudiashvili lies just behind Freedom Square, and [...]

Georgians want to be member of EU, not move there

By | January 17th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch - A new poll shows Georgians expect EU membership reasonably soon, but that very few want to seek employment in other European countries. Compared to 2009, a slightly larger majority think Georgia will become a member of the European Union within ten years. A third think this will happen within the next [...]

Teachers in Georgia fired for political beliefs

By | January 13th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – When Tamar Sukhiashvili, a teacher from the village Kakabeti, was told she was fired, it came as a surprise. The previous day, the school’s director had complimented her on her qualified work. The reason for her firing turned out to be that she held views supportive of the opposition. “I asked [...]

Georgian opposition financier waiting, considering options

By | January 12th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch - Lawyers working for Georgian billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili claim there are 44 days left for the President and the Civil Registry to decide whether to give him back his Georgian citizenship. They also say France will only revoke his French citizenship after the businessman’s has had restored his Georgian citizenship. The businessman’s citizenship troubles [...]

Bankrupcy left workers in crisis

By | January 10th, 2012|Categories: Economy, News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch - Nodar has been working in Georgia's mountainous Bakuriani region for three years with his team of construction workers. But the company which employs him, Nola, has only paid him 2 000 lari out of the 16 000 he is entitled to. “So many today are in the same situation as me," [...]

Government to ‘edit’ laws in Georgia

By | January 3rd, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch - The government in Georgia has given itself the right to edit the wording of laws after they are passed in order to avoid misunderstandings. Recently a new law brought democracy groups to the streets to protest, but afterwards lawmakers claimed that the contentious part of the law was based on misinterpretation. The law [...]

Where did the newsstands go?

By | December 30th, 2011|Categories: Media, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch - Representatives of the media, press distributors and other supporters gathered Friday in front of the Holiday Inn at the center of Tbilisi to once again protest against the situation created around the newspapers and press distributing kiosks. ‘We light, Saakashvili darkens’ – this was the message written on fliers that rally participants were [...]

New details about who owns Georgian TV stations

By | December 29th, 2011|Categories: Media, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch - Georgian TV stations have released information about who owns them. It has long been a general impression, but hard to prove, that Georgian TV stations are controlled by the government. The information substantiates these suspicions and shows to what extent persons around the country’s president have a stake in the broadcasting media. This [...]

Court hands president partial rebuke

By | December 27th, 2011|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch - Tbilisi City Court has declared partially invalid a decree issued by President Mikheil Saakashvili on October 11 regarding a businessman and his wife’s citizenship. The court said the president had acted illegally when he issued the decree which revoked the citizenships of the couple, but only in dealing with the businessman’s wife, Ekaterine [...]

Journalists compensated for May 26 violence

By | December 26th, 2011|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch - Three of the journalists who were beaten and shot by police on May 26, 2011, will be fully compensated for health expenses and partly have their lost equipment compensated. Tbilisi City Court announced the decision Monday. In addition four media companies will be compensated. Batumelebi Ltd will be fully compensated for lost and [...]

Warns of destruction of historic square

By | December 25th, 2011|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch - A large crowd gathered Saturday on Gudiashvili square in Tbilisi to protest against City Hall’s plans to modernize it. The rally participants demand that City Hall organizes a public meeting about the plans to reassure people that the square is not in danger. They claim the project has not been agreed with society. [...]

A catalogue of brutality

By | December 24th, 2011|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch - In spite of early reports of three dead, five people actually died when police raided and dispersed a peaceful anti-government protest in Tbilisi on May 26, 2011. The horrors visited upon those who were there is the topic of a lengthy report published Friday by the Georgian Young Lawyer’s Association (GYLA). GYLA's report [...]

Want strengthened protection of media

By | December 23rd, 2011|Categories: Media, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch - Editor of newspaper Rezonansi Eliso Chapidze (pictured) and a group of media workers Friday submitted a bill to parliament, asking for strengthened protection of journalists ahead of next year's parliamentary eleciton. The authors of the bill asks to create the conditions so journalists can work in accordance with international standards. One of their [...]

Claims president had conflict of interest

By | December 22nd, 2011|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch - Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili had a conflict of interest when revoking a businessman’s citizenship, lawyers argued in Tbilisi City Court Thursday. The case concerns Bidzina Ivanishvili, a popular financier, who October 7 declared that he wanted to run in next year’s parliamentary election. Four days later, Saakashvili personally signed a decree which means [...]

Georgian newspapers are being strangled

By | December 21st, 2011|Categories: Media, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch - One of the chain of newspapers outlets in Tbilisi tell of a more than 80% drop in sales. The reason is that city hall has physically torn down most of their kiosks. The press association warns that that this could kill free press in the country. This was the gloomy forecast laid out at [...]

Investment climate used to justify weak worker security

By | December 21st, 2011|Categories: Economy, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch - Georgian workers have almost no job security due to a weak labor code. This is a conscious policy choice by the government, justified by the need to attrack investors. The main problem Georgian workers face is that an employer can fire an employee at any time without explanation. That’s one of the findings [...]

Authorities’ urgency scrutinized in citizenship case

By | December 20th, 2011|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch - The authorities in Georgia moved with lightening speed and acted on assumptions when revoking a businessman’s citizenship right after he had announced a new opposition movement. A court in Tbilisi today continued to hear the case of billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, a newcomer to politics who scores roughly as high as the ruling party [...]

Media to have common defense

By | December 19th, 2011|Categories: Media, News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch - An attack on one is an attack on all. That’s the principle for a new organization formed today by heads and representatives of several Georgian media units. Within one week a working group will prepare a set of rules for how to coordinate a common response when attacks happen. The initiative comes in [...]


By | December 16th, 2011|Categories: Media, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch - Journalists working for an embattled Georgian TV station today called for solidarity and announced that they will found a new media unit. The rally took place in front of a local police building on Nutsubidze Plateau, not far from the center of Tbilisi, and the main demand is that they be allowed to [...]

Football star explains why he left

By | December 15th, 2011|Categories: News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch - Public figures continue coalescing around a Georgian billionaire businessman who recently decided to go into politics and a few days ago officially established a new movement called Georgian Dream. At the movement’s launch ceremony in Tbilisi Concert Hall December 11, a famous Georgian football (soccer) player announced that he is leaving the national [...]

Tabula steps up pressure on TI

By | December 15th, 2011|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch - A Georgian magazine is increasing the pressure on Transparency International and asks its headquarters to cut one the chapters in a report. Tabula has sent a statement to the US ambassador, the director of USAID, and representatives of IREX, and even to the head office of Transparency International in Berlin, asking to have retracted a [...]

How Georgia’s media is censored

By | December 14th, 2011|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch - Georgian media is at the mercy of a murky network of friends that extends into both government and the private sector, used for exerting political influence over what is being reported. This monopoly is getting worse, as it is about to grab the newspaper sector too, which has been the only real free [...]

Claims judge is partial

By | December 13th, 2011|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch - Lawyers representing a Georgian businessman and his wife twice asked the judge to be taken off a case which could decide the country's future because they think the judge is partial in favor of the defendant. Their request was overruled. Judge Shota Getsadze Monday reviewed the appeal of lawyers representing Bidzina Ivanishvili and Ekaterine [...]

Solution closer in Tskhinvali stand-off

By | December 8th, 2011|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch - Vice speaker of parliament in Georgia’s breakaway region South Ossetia says the current president Eduard Kokoity must resign and the region should be headed by the so-called Prime Minister Vadim Brovtsev. “As the term of president Kokoity has expired, he can no longer perform his duties as president. He should resign, and the [...]

Kidney operated prisoner beaten, but in “satisfactory condition”

By | December 8th, 2011|Categories: News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch - The prison ministry in Georgia says about a prisoner with kidney problems who was beaten before and after his operation, that ‘the patient's health condition is satisfactory’. In a rare exception, the ministry Wednesday publicly made comments to a case about suspected prisoner abuse. The statement was their first comment about the case [...]

Shelling in Tskhinvali

By | December 6th, 2011|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch - Tuesday the house of the de facto Prosecutor General of South Ossetia was shelled, as the entire opposition movement is considering to ask for political asylum in Russia. Ria Novosti reported the shelling. There are no reports of injuries. Both South Ossetian authorities and opposition leader Alla Dzhioyeva denies responsibility and appeal for [...]

Negotiations may avoid TV storming

By | December 1st, 2011|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch - Journalists, NGO representatives, politicians and other supporters Thursday gathered in front of the Maestro building to support the journalists and demanded the TV station’s journalists are allowed to continue doing their work. The short rally began on at 15:00 and drew about forty protesters, many students and members of non-governmental organizations, blowing whistles [...]

Georgian press makes a stand

By | November 29th, 2011|Categories: Media, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch - Georgian publishers, journalists, editors and others rallied in front of Tbilisi’s City Hall high rise Tuesday to protest against a new plan to replace the capital’s newsstands. The project is called ‘1000 Booths’ and will according to representatives of the media involve removing most of the newspaper sales points which have been a [...]

Watchdog body pushes for progress in ‘Batumelebi case’

By | November 28th, 2011|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch - Giorgi Tugushi, Georgia’s Public Defender, asks the chief prosecutor to study information provided by the newspaper Batumelebi. Batumelebi, which is published in the western city of Batumi, November 20 revealed the identity of a policeman who they say tried to blackmail one of their journalists in 2009. In huge letters proclaiming "Found!" the [...]

Georgian mine claims 13th victim

By | November 26th, 2011|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch - A miner died Thursday morning following an accident in a coal mine in Tkibuli in the central region of Georgia. Miner Sergi Ashotia died after a wall collapsed. This is the 13th death in the same mine in the last two years. Early comments indicate that the reason for the accident was a massive [...]

Tbilisi unveils statue of Ronald Reagan

By | November 23rd, 2011|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch - The Georgian capital marked the anniversary of the rose revolution in 2003 and twenty years since the collapse of the Soviet Union by unveiling a bronze statue of US president Ronald Reagan today. “He brought about the collapse of the Soviet Union and freed the lives of thousands of people. So he now [...]

Newspaper exposes identity of policeman who blackmailed journalist

By | November 23rd, 2011|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch - A Georgian newspaper has gone public with the identity of a policeman who blackmailed one of its journalists two years ago. According to the newspaper Batumelebi, which is published in the western coast city Batumi, the person who blackmailed Tedo Jorvbenadze, the coordinator of the paper’s investigative team, on November 25, 2009, was a [...]

75% support Ivanishvili on Facebook

By | November 21st, 2011|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch - When asked on Facebook ‘Who would you vote for, Bidzina Ivanishvili or Mikheil Saakashvili?’, 24 000 out of nearly 32 000 Georgians answered they would support Georgian tycoon Bidzina Ivanishvili, while only 7 500 voted for the current president. This is a large number and ‘it shows a clear tendency’, according to a specialist [...]

PM: Georgia doesn’t need EU integration yet

By | November 18th, 2011|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

TBILISI, DFWatch - Georgia’s Prime Minister Nika Gilauri thinks that under today’s conditions, Georgia doesn’t need to be integrated with the European Union. There are negotiations with the EU now about a free trade agreement, and Georgia ‘is hoping for visa liberalization agreement and free trade agreement’. “For now EU is not ready to accept new [...]

Benefits of an embargo

By | November 18th, 2011|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch - Russia’s embargo has made Georgia seek out new markets thereby making the country more independent, Giga Bokeria, secretary of Georgia’s national security council, said on Thursday. Bokeria said this during a conference organized by the British magazine The Economist in Tbilisi. He was responding to a statement by opposition politician Irakli Alasania, who [...]

Bendukidze criticizes European bureacracy

By | November 18th, 2011|Categories: News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch - Georgian economic analyst Kakha Bendukidze Thursday criticized the European Union for having too much bureacracy. “We are a European country. Psychologically and politically we are part of Europe, the Europe of human rights, respecting principles of the circulation of capital. But there is another Europe, which is a bureaucratic creature, which decides tax [...]

Too little transparency at the top

By | November 17th, 2011|Categories: Interviews|Tags: , |

The DFWatch interview: Mark Mullen In an interview with DFWatch, Mark Mullen notes that the main problem in Georgia is a lack of transparency at the senior levels. In terms of corruption, he thinks that there is no so-called elite corruption in Georgia, but still there is less transparency ‘at the top’. Regarding the media, he [...]

The Economist to hold conference in Tbilisi

By | November 16th, 2011|Categories: News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch - The British magazine The Economist will gather experts and politicians in Tbilisi November 17 to discuss and analyze Georgia’s investment environment and perspectives. The event will take place in the Radisson hotel. Among the Georgian speakers will be prime minister Nika Gilauri, finance minister Dimitry Gvindadze, and Vera Kobalia, the minister of economy [...]

Two die in mining accident

By | November 9th, 2011|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch - Two workers died in a coal mine in Tkibuli in west Georgia after a shaft ceiling collapsed Sunday evening. 12 workers have lost their lives in the same mine over the last two years. The collapse led to the death of Bondo Mikheladze (61) and Tamaz Gordadze (55), according to a statement released [...]

New developments in Georgian power struggle

By | November 4th, 2011|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch - On several fronts the simmering power struggle in the southern Caucasus nation saw new developments Thursday. The fallout from challenger Bidzina Ivanishvili's first ever press conference is continuing, after he spoke on live TV in an unusually freespirited manner for Georgian viewers. One of the shocking statements on November 1 was his account [...]

“I will impeach president Saakashvili”

By | November 1st, 2011|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch- Bidzina Ivanishvili vows to initiate impeachment procedures against Georgia's president Mikheil Saakashvili after he has won the parliamentary election next year. The businessman made the statement Tuesday at his first and long awaited press conference. It took place in his luxurious Tbilisi business center in the front of nearly 230 Georgian reporters and local [...]

Tycoon fights to keep historic palace

By | October 31st, 2011|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch - A scuffle developed outside an important Tbilisi landmark before the weekend, as officials tried to stop Georgian tycoon Bidzina Ivanishvili’s renovation work on the building. The castle of King Rostom, who reigned parts of present day Georgia in the late 16th century, has been under renovation for the last few years, but work [...]

MIA offers deal over journalist beatings

By | October 28th, 2011|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

TBILISI, DFWatch - Georgian police accepts responsibility for damages journalists suffered as law enforcers violently dispersed a peaceful demonstration May 26. After the second court hearing of the trial at Tbilisi city court Wednesday, the Interior Ministry representative suggested to the journalists and media organizations affected by the violence to come to an agreement. Natia Kapanadze, [...]

“We don’t know who Ivanishvili is”

By | October 27th, 2011|Categories: News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch - Few Georgians doubt that Bidzina Ivanishvili is who he says he is, but now the government refuses him to officially reregister his gun in another person's name, saying they are unable to establish the businessman's identity. The licence to carry a gun was given the businessman November 1, 2010, while was still a Georgian [...]

Challenger: Saakashvili is too impulsive

By | October 25th, 2011|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch - The Georgian billionaire who seems to have a chance at taking over power in Georgia gets more personal in his second interview with Georgian media, criticising president Mikheil Saakashvili for making important decisions based on his own personal whims. According to Bidzina Ivanishvili, the government’s decisions are made abruptly, and as an example [...]

Fired for expressing their opinion

By | October 23rd, 2011|Categories: Media, News|Tags: , , , |

TBILISI, DFWatch - In 2011, several journalists have lost their job for simply expressing their opinion on the internet. The ability to freely acquire and distribute information should be recognized as a basic human right. That was the message from media commentators from the three south Caucasus countries who had gathered in Tbilisi this weekend to [...]

Challenger’s plan: ‘Significant changes’, then leave

By | October 22nd, 2011|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch - The man who challenges Saakashvili's power in Georgia will get rid of the current president's people and inoculate the country from something like this ever happening again, then leave office to join the opposition. For the first time speaking with Georgian press, businessman Bidzina Ivanishvili said he will fire the Interior Minister and [...]

Financier signing up political advisors

By | October 19th, 2011|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch - Georgia's richest is carefully laying the groundwork for his entering politics and wresting the Caucasus nation out of the grip of president Mikheil Saakashvili. One crucial piece in his plan is to put together a pool of advisors around him in order to bounce ideas around and gauge the atmosphere among the population. [...]

Does the road to peace go through tasty food?

By | October 18th, 2011|Categories: News, Society|Tags: |

Can the Caucasus region be united through good taste? That was one of the questions as food producers from all over the region gathered in Tbilisi for a peace festival over the weekend, with the aim of building peace and develop food business in the Caucasus region. Various types of tea, cheese, wine and honey from [...]

Financier’s citizenship ends up in court

By | October 16th, 2011|Categories: News|Tags: |

The financier Bidzina Ivanishvili has decided to go to court in order to get back his citizenship which was taken from him right after he announced he would use his considerable wealth and influence to challenge the ruling party's grip over the country. “We made a decision to file the lawsuit with the court against the [...]

Georgian tycoon gathers support

By | October 15th, 2011|Categories: News|Tags: |

In Georgia, a businessman who one week ago set out to unseat president Mikheil Saakashvili is quickly gathering supporters while the small Caucasus nation is eagerly awaiting his TV appearance. One of the country's most well-known literary figures, Chabua Amirejibi, as well as a well-known fotballer, have thrown their support behind the financier. Since releaseing his declaration [...]

Georgian soldier dies in accident

By | October 14th, 2011|Categories: News|Tags: |

A 19 year old Georgian soldier has been killed in an what appears to be an accident at a base in Zugdidi, a town on the Black Sea coast near the border with Abkhazia. The accident took place at a base for the paramilitary forces of Georgia's Ministry of Internal Affairs. At the Interior Ministry's Samegrelo-Zemo [...]

Billionaire’s citizenship was unlawfully revoked, lawyer says

By | October 13th, 2011|Categories: News|Tags: |

The stripping of a businessman's citizenship right after he made a dramatic call to remove Mikheil Saakashvili from power moved one step closer to turning into a legal battle Thursday, as Bidzina Ivanishvili's lawyer presented five documents said to prove that Georgia was breaking the law when revoking his citizenship. "We request a clear and specific [...]

Georgian media answers hopeful patron

By | October 12th, 2011|Categories: Media, News, Politics|Tags: |

Journalists Wednesday responded to the wealthiest Georgian Bidzina Ivanishvili's call for them to form an alliance to unseat Mikheil Saakashvili, while experts debated whether Georgia had the right to revoke his citizenship. Tuesday night, the tycoon-turned-politicians had the support of at least the viewers, if not the staff, of two small cable TV stations which have [...]

TV channels vying for financier’s political debut

By | October 11th, 2011|Categories: Media, News|Tags: |

The public broadcaster and two independent TV stations are competing to carry the political debut of Georgia's richest man. First, the public broadcaster released a statement saying it invites the Georgian billionaire on to their Channel 1 to answer the questions from journalists. The financier had asked before the weekend to be let on the channel. [...]

Investor-politician gets cold shoulder from Georgian media

By | October 8th, 2011|Categories: Media, News|Tags: |

The billionaire businessman who said he would run in the next election has received a cold shoulder from two independent TV stations he said he wants to buy. Bidzina Ivanishvili's extensive written statement about his political goals, which was published on Friday October 7, focuses particular attention on Georgian television. While criticizing President Saakashvili's regime, Ivanishvili [...]

French President greeted by astroturf crowd

By | October 7th, 2011|Categories: News, World|Tags: |

President Nicolas Sarkozy finally arrived in Tbilisi Friday from Baku. It was the final stop on his tour of the South Caucasus. Security was tight around Freedom Square. People who wanted to attend the event had to arrive two hours earlier. The square had been decorated with French, Georgian and EU flags for the occasion. In [...]

New law may restrict consumers’ rights in Georgia

By | October 6th, 2011|Categories: Legal reform, News|Tags: |

Parliament is to consider a new law about product safety which might require scrapping an old law, and a big chunk of the country's consumer rights with it. The new bill is called "Code on Product Safety and Free Flow" which envisages to set up a special commission to monitor product safety in the market. "This [...]

Journalists take Georgian police to court over May 26 beating

By | October 4th, 2011|Categories: Media, News|Tags: |

Three journalists and four media companies filed an administrative lawsuit at Tbilisi city court Tuesday morning against Georgia's Ministry of Internal Affairs, asking to be compensated for the injuries they sustained in the night of May 26, when police violently dispersed a protest rally ahead of an Independence Day parade. The journalists presented the court with [...]

Rush law amendment is to limit property rights

By | October 2nd, 2011|Categories: News|Tags: |

Owners of derelict or abandoned buildings in Georgia may have their property taken from them under a new bill which is being rushed through parliament. The law change will encroach on property rights guaranteed by the Georgian constitution. Owners of buildings will be required to complete the construction within a certain period, as envisaged in the [...]

Ruling party’s latest election law maneuver a setback for democracy

By | October 2nd, 2011|Categories: Elections, Europe, Legal reform, News|Tags: |

Three non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are seriously concerned after the government's sudden changes to the draft for a new election law. Now that rights advocates have had time to look closer at the changes, which were worked out behind everyone's backs and revealed a week ago, their conclusion is that this is a disappointment to everyone who [...]

Workers forced to renounce rights

By | September 27th, 2011|Categories: News, Politics|Tags: |

Support is mounting for the three imprisoned metallurgy workers in Kutaisi. According to their labor union, they have been forced to sign a statement promising to never again go on strike. The appearant violation of their basic human rights had brought nearly thirty non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to Kutaisi Monday to show support for the three, who [...]

TV-crew detained in President’s vineyard

By | September 26th, 2011|Categories: News|Tags: |

Police Sunday arrested the well-known Georgian journalist Shalva Ramishvili and his crew in president Saakashvili’s vineyard. Ramishvili was just done shooting footage for his TV show "Without Accreditation" in the president's vineyard in Kvareli, a village 140 km west of the capital Tbilisi when regional police and officers from state security appeared and confiscated all the equipment. [...]

Revenue Service halts tax audit of Palitra Holding “indefinitely”

By | September 23rd, 2011|Categories: News|Tags: |

Georgia's revenue service has suspended the tax audit of Palitra Holding, one of Georgia’s largest media groups. The Revenue Service’s order, dated September 18, does not give any reason for the suspension. The GRS had only nine days left to complete their inspection when they suspended it "indefinitely", after extending the deadline twice in three months. [...]

Government introduces surprise changes in new election law

By | September 23rd, 2011|Categories: Elections, Legal reform, News, Politics|Tags: |

After reaching a hard-fought agreement with several opposition parties, the ruling party has introduced significant changes in the draft for a new Georgian Election Code. According to lawmakers, the eleventh-hour changes were only made in order to ensure a democratic election environment in the country, however many opposition parties remain skeptical. Some of the changes in [...]