Video appearing to show 15-year-old girl’s engagement sparks outrage in Georgia

By | February 10th, 2021|Categories: Society|Tags: , , |

TBILISI, DFWatch--A video allegedly depicting the forced engagement of an underage girl has sparked public outrage in Georgia and even in neighboring Azerbaijan, where the ombudsman asked her Georgian counterpart to get involved. The case gained country-wide recognition after a video was posted on social media February 8 allegedly depicting the engagement party of a young [...]

Georgia on its way to less punitive, more human drug policy?

By | June 13th, 2018|Categories: Society|Tags: , , , |

Commissioners Pavel Bém (left) and Michel Kazatchkine. Two commissioners visiting Tbilisi urge the government of Georgia to go ahead with bold reform of drug policies, insisting that ending punishment does not mean encouraging or condoning the use of drugs, but rather it empowers individuals and communities […]

Smoking ban comes into effect in Georgia

By | May 1st, 2018|Categories: Society|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–A blanket ban on smoking indoors came into power in Georgia on Tuesday. People caught smoking on public transport now risk a fine of 50 lari (20 USD) or twice as much for repeated violations. Smoking is now banned inside all kinds of buildings, […]

Selective abortions still rife in Georgia’s ethnic Azerbaijani community

By | February 2nd, 2018|Categories: Society|Tags: , , , , |

People still actively request to determine the gender of the future child in advance during first trimester of the pregnancy in the municipalities inhabited by ethnic Azerbaijani people. 31-years-old Sakina Alieva from Marneuli has 5-years-old boy. Before having the boy she got two abortions because she was expecting girls. […]

How cousin marriages affect Georgia’s ethnic Azerbaijani population

By | January 30th, 2018|Categories: Society|Tags: , , , |

“My elder daughter has thalassemia. When doctors diagnosed her, we learned that it is a genetic disease and mostly it happens with children when they are born as a result of cousin-marriages. I’m married with my cousin. If I were aware of the risk, I would not have married him; […]

More ethnic Azeris are on the move from Georgia than ever before  

By | January 21st, 2018|Categories: Society|Tags: , , , |

Georgia is the most ethnically diverse state in the South Caucasus, with Azeri ethnic minorities constituting 6.3% of its population. They are present especially in the border province of Kvemo-Kartli, the region where unemployment and poverty that has spread over, pushing many ethnic Azeris to leave their place of origin.    […]

Georgia to ban unhealthy food in its public schools

By | August 12th, 2017|Categories: Society|Tags: , |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia plans to ban unhealthy food in public schools, particularly sugary beverages and salty products, in an effort to promote healthier lifestyle among school children. “When children come to school in September they will see a different buffet,” Alexandre Jejelava, […]

Dropping a cigarette butt in Tbilisi now costs you USD 33

By | April 21st, 2017|Categories: Society|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch–Littering in the Georgian capital may now cost you a fine of 80 laris (USD 33). This includes dropping cigarette butts. 14 people were fined as the new regulation began being enforced on Thursday. 13 of them were fined for dropping cigarette butts in the streets. […]

Georgia bans smoking indoors and at sports arenas

By | April 5th, 2017|Categories: Society|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia will introduce a blanket ban on smoking indoors, after parliament approved a bill proposed in February. The ban covers smoking in buildings and includes a tough package of fines to ensure that it is followed, prescribing fines of up to 5,000 lari (over USD 2,000). […]

75% of murdered women were stalked for a year: Report

By | December 15th, 2016|Categories: Society|Tags: , , , |

(DFWatch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–75% of women who are murdered in Georgia were stalked by the murderer for 12 months prior to their death, according to a new report. This shocking statistic appears in a new report by the feminist group Safari, which urges the government to use its new […]

UNICEF survey: Children are still the most vulnerable group in Georgia

By | November 22nd, 2016|Categories: Society|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A new study presented on Monday shows that every fifth child in Georgia is living in poverty. The findings in the welfare monitoring study, a household survey published every two years by United Nations Children’s Fund’s (UNICEF), emphasized […]

Georgia’s ombudsman calls on government to end female circumcision

By | November 13th, 2016|Categories: Society|Tags: , , |

(Aida Mirmaksumova.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s Public Defender confirms that female genital mutilation (FGM) is being practiced in the eastern Kakheti region, a practice locals call ‘baptizing’. Georgians learned last week that FGM is being practiced in three villages in Kvareli […]

One of Tbilisi’s oldest streets reopens after facelift

By | September 26th, 2016|Categories: Society|Tags: , , |

(DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The pedestrian zone of Aghmashenebeli Avenue in Tbilisi opened on Sunday after several months of renovation work. The facelift of one of the oldest streets in the Georgian capital was financed by the local government and Tbilisi Development Foundation. Tbilisi City Hall decided to refurbish […]

Georgia is in 54th place on index of human well-being

By | July 5th, 2016|Categories: Society|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–An index that measures how well countries provide for basic human needs lists Georgia in 54th place, far behind most European countries. The most socially progressed country among 133 countries surveyed is Finland, according to the 2016 Social Progress Index. […]

Unemployment declined by slight 0.4%: Geostat

By | May 27th, 2016|Categories: Society|

Georgian railway workers (ipn) Tbilisi, DFWatch – Annual unemployment rate in Georgia declined by 0.4 percent in 2015 compared to the previous year, according to the new report published by The National Statistics Office of Georgia (GeoStat). […]

WHO: Georgia at high risk of Zika virus outbreak

By | May 19th, 2016|Categories: News, Society|Tags: , , , , |

The carrier mosquito, Aedes, is present in Georgia, but the disease is not, NCDC representative was quoted as saying. Tbilisi, DFWatch – Georgia’s Black Sea coast is among the European regions which are at the highest risk of a Zika virus outbreak during late spring and summer, a statement made by the World Health Organisation (WHO) reads. […]

17 May marked with rallies, guerrilla tactics, arrests, and prayers [updated]

By | May 17th, 2016|Categories: Minorities, Society|Tags: , , |

A small group of feminist and LGBT activists rallied in front of the Tbilisi City Court’s building demanding an immediate release of the detainees. (DFWacth) The International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) marked internationally on 17 May once again sheds light on existing tensions between the LGBTQI community, the authorities, and the Church. [...]

Ombudsman call on public agencies ‘to do their best’ to prevent hate-motivated violence

By | May 17th, 2016|Categories: Minorities, Society|Tags: , , , |

Ucha Nanuashvili ( The Public Defender of Georgia released a statement on International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT), May 17, in which he deplores that “no effective measures have been taken for raising public awareness or establishing the culture of tolerance in the country.” “A timely, efficient and accountable investigation of hate crimes [...]

Georgian feminists rally against the conservative Christian conference

By | May 16th, 2016|Categories: News, Society|Tags: , , |

group of Georgian feminist activists protest in front of Radisson Blu Hotel where the World Congress of Families (WFC) was held (DFWatch) A small group of Georgian feminist activists organised a protest in front of Radisson Blu Hotel in downtown Tbilisi, where the World Congress of Families (WFC) was taking place on Sunday. […]

42 people died in the workplace in Georgia last year

By | May 2nd, 2016|Categories: Society|Tags: , |

Many workplace accidents have happened in the mining town Chiatura in western Georgia. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–42 people died at work in 2015, while 82 people were injured, the public defender informed on May 1, the International Worker’s Day. According to his statement, in 108 cases, a criminal investigation was launched, but it was halted in 42 of the cases. […]

Georgia’s frozen conflict hampers Easter celebration in border villages

By | April 24th, 2016|Categories: Society|Tags: , |

Khurvaleti, one of the villages where the cemetery is on the other side of the fence. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The frozen conflict over South Ossetia will prevent many people in the border areas from visiting their family graves this Easter. As the observance of Orthodox Easter starts today with Palm Sunday, many will be unable to go to cemeteries […]

Man arrested in Tbilisi for slitting wife’s throat

By | April 15th, 2016|Categories: News, Society|Tags: |

(DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A man was arrested a Tbilisi suburb Wednesday, suspected of slitting his wife’s throat with a knife. According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, an investigation has been launched under article 108 of the Criminal Code about premeditated murder. […]

U.S. Department of State releases new report on Georgia’s human rights record

By | April 14th, 2016|Categories: Society|

According to the report, arbitrary detentions by Russian and de facto [South Ossetian] authorities of Georgian citizens along the administrative boundary line remain one of Georgia’s significant human rights challenges. TBILISI, DFWatch–American Country Reports on Human Rights Practices points out shortcoming in Georgia’s democratic development, independence of the judiciary, minority rights protection, political persecution, and restrictions in media freedom. […]

Feminists protest against abortion ban outside Poland’s embassy in Tbilisi

By | April 8th, 2016|Categories: News, Society|Tags: , |

(DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Nearly 20 people gathered Friday outside the Polish embassy in Tbilisi to show solidarity with Polish women trying to stop a proposed ban on abortion in their country. The gathering was organized by Independent Group of Feminists […]

The story of Azerbaijani journalist fleeing her country

By | April 6th, 2016|Categories: Society|Tags: , , |

Investigative journalist Gulnur Kazimova from Azerbaijan Facebook) By Delilah Damanova TBILISI, DFWatch–Last week European House hosted another meeting of the Thinking Citizen Center, an alternative education initiative for Georgia’s ethnic Azerbaijanis. The Center’s vision is the intellectual and cultural transformation of ethnic […]

Down Syndrome Day marked in Tbilisi

By | March 21st, 2016|Categories: News, Society|Tags: |

A kid participates in a demonstration to mark Down Syndrome Day (DFWatch) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia marked International Down syndrome Day on March 21 with a march that started in Vake Park and ended at Tbilisi State University. This year’s main message worldwide and in Georgia was about friendship and socialization of people with Down’s syndrome. […]

Report from the miners’ strike in Tkibuli

By | February 27th, 2016|Categories: Society|Tags: , , |

Amiran Khvadagiani. (DF Watch.) TKIBULI, DFWatch–More than two weeks have passed since coal miners in Tkibuli in western Georgia began standing watch day and night in front of the company’s office, demanding higher salaries. So far, without results. Their demand is to increase their salaries […]

No solution in Tkibuli miners’ strike, government to send mediators

By | February 25th, 2016|Categories: Society|Tags: , , |

(Tkibuli Municipality/Facebook.) TBILISI, DFWatch–For more than ten days, miners have been on strike in Tkibuli, a town in western Georgia, demanding increased pay to compensate for their community’s loss of favorable tax conditions. The Ministry of Labor and Health […]

Health minister offers hospital own car to deal with swine flu

By | January 22nd, 2016|Categories: Society|Tags: , |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–3,800 people in Tbilisi called the emergency number 112 only on Thursday as fear spread about the swine flu outbreak which has infected 9,000 people so far. Three people have died after being infected with the H1N1 virus that causes swine flu. […]

School children held performance to show what early marriage means

By | November 26th, 2015|Categories: Society|Tags: |

(DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–School children appeared outside the government office on Wednesday, enacting scenes where they were forced to abandon their dreams in order to become a wife and mother. The street performance was staged by the Georgian Women’s […]

Debate on the need of pro-social labour reforms

By | November 26th, 2015|Categories: Society|Tags: |

Holiday Inn, Tbilisi (DFWatch) Tbilisi, DFWatch – Debate between the representatives of the government and different interest groups intensifies as pro-social labour market reforms are being implemented. On 25 November, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation Georgia hosted the […]

Tbilisoba – a celebration of the Georgian capital

By | October 20th, 2015|Categories: Society|Tags: |

(DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The street fair Tbilisoba was this year mostly concentrated in Rike Park and the old part of the capital. Tbilisoba has been celebrated in the second half of October every year since 1979. It usually includes squeezing grapes in massive […]

Georgia has highest proportion of undernourished in South Caucasus

By | October 12th, 2015|Categories: Society|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia has the highest proportion of undernourished among South Caucasus countries, according to a new report. From 2014 to 2016, the level of undernourished is estimated to be 7.4 percent. This is higher than both Armenia (5.8 percent) and […]

Thousands of Georgians despair as Greece halts money transfers

By | June 30th, 2015|Categories: News, Society|Tags: , |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The crisis in Greece has also hit hard for as many as 200,000 Georgians who are living and working in the country, and their families back home in Georgia. Money transfers are currently halted, as well as trailer transport. The crisis in Greece […]

Tbilisians call for urban development plan to save city’s old districts

By | June 7th, 2015|Categories: Society|Tags: |

(Tiflis Hamqari.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Tbilisians demonstrated Saturday against several construction projects which in their opinion will damage the authenticity of the city, especially in the old districts. The list of protest issues included destroying the city’s green cover, and destroying […]

UN agency finds Georgian couples prefer to have boys

By | May 6th, 2015|Categories: News, Society|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–46 percent of Georgian families would like to have a son instead of a daughter. Nine percent have the opposite preference, while women with partners or husbands admit they have had an abortion because of the sex of child. These are some […]

Woman forced out of her job because she took maternity leave

By | April 23rd, 2015|Categories: Society|Tags: , |

Medea Kuzanashvili is suing her former employer for forcing her out of her job. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–It is illegal to fire anyone on maternity or paternity leave. It is also illegal to harass someone into quitting their job. But it is not uncommon for a woman to come back to work after a maternity leave, and realise that the employer will do anything […]

“He will walk free, because he didn’t kill me”

By | April 21st, 2015|Categories: Society|Tags: |

“When a man beats a woman for the hundredth time, something happens to him. He starts jonesing for it,” says Lali, who has fled Abkhazia to hide from her abusive husband. I met Lali (her name has been changed) in a shelter for victims of domestic violence. […]

Tbilisians rallied against terrorism

By | April 20th, 2015|Categories: Society|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch–A protest against terrorism was held on Sunday in Tbilisi and several other towns in Georgia to show support for the refugees persecuted by Islamic State.   (DF Watch.) A call went out on Facebook a few days in advance for people to meet outside the old parliament […]

Tbilisi celebrates Orthodox Easter

By | April 13th, 2015|Categories: Society|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Easter was celebrated in Tbilisi as usual this year, despite bad weather. People visit the graves of their relatives on the first or second day of Easter. Christianity was declared state religion in Georgia in 4th century and as the eastern […]

Georgia to allow teenagers to test for HIV without parents knowing

By | March 19th, 2015|Categories: Society|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia is to allow teenagers between 14 and 18 years to test themselves for HIV without permission from their parents or guardian. This is an initiative by the health committee in parliament, which will amend the law on patient rights. […]

Georgia wants to give locals preferential treatment in labor market

By | February 4th, 2015|Categories: Society|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian government is preparing to impose a protectionist labor migration law, under which local employees only will be allowed to hire a foreigner if they cannot find a local who satisfies their requirements. The draft law on Labor […]

Trade union blames weak worker protection for deaths in the workplace

By | January 27th, 2015|Categories: Society|Tags: , |

This woman’s job is to remove pieces of wood and other impurities from the manganese ore, using her bare hands. Chiatura. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s Trade Union blames a weak labor code for what it says is a rise in the number of deaths in the workplace since the Saakashvili regime took away almost all worker protection in 2006. During Saakashvili, the labor code was changed so there […]

Campaign launched in Georgia against domestic violence

By | November 26th, 2014|Categories: Society|Tags: |

“The state has a duty to protect women against violence.” (DF Watch photo.) TBILISI, DFWatch–There were demonstrations in 22 cities and towns all over Georgia on Tuesday to highlight the problem of violence against women. 24 women have been killed this year in Georgia, and there are many reports of family conflicts, when women […]

Martyrs remembered in Tbilisi

By | November 14th, 2014|Categories: Society|Tags: |

(DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s Orthodox Church on Thursday remembered the 100,000 martyrs by walking through the streets of Tbilisi for hours and conducting a prayer on Metekhi Bridge. The church marks this day the same way every year. According to historical sources, […]

Prisoners’ handicraft exhibition dedicated to violence against women

By | November 8th, 2014|Categories: Society|Tags: , , |

(DF Watch photo.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Handicraft made by prisoners went on sale at an exhibition at Radisson Blu Iveria hotel in Tbilisi on Friday dedicated to the International Day for Elimination of Violence against Women. The works at the exhibition ‘Creation Work for Dignity’ were made by […]

First lady and ministers perform in ‘Women wounded to death’

By | October 29th, 2014|Categories: Society|Tags: , , , |

The president’s wife Maka Chichua performing Tuesday at Marjanishvili Theater. (Palitra.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s first lady and several government ministers took part in a theater performance on Tuesday dedicated to women who have been victims of violence. The title of the performance, held at Marjanishvili Theater, was ‘Women wounded to death’ […]

Tbilisoba kicks off Saturday

By | October 25th, 2014|Categories: Society|Tags: |

The Tbilisoba fair kicks off today in Georgia’s capital Tbilisi. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–This weekend marks the first Tbilisoba – the annual celebration of Georgia’s capital – under the new local government. A new mayor and new members of the City Council were elected in June. The list of events planned on Saturday and Sunday is quite […]

Deadly ‘bridenapping’ in Kakheti

By | October 8th, 2014|Categories: Minorities, Society, Youth|Tags: , , , , |

Few girls finish secondary school in Sagarejo, because they get married at a young age. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–When a young man was murdered last weekend in Kazlar, an Azeri village 40km east of Tbilisi, it could have been one among many stories of violence and homicides in rural Georgia, but the circumstances of this case makes it stand out. 21 year […]

Georgian government wants tougher sentence for illegal abortion

By | July 30th, 2014|Categories: Society|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The government in Georgia wants tougher punishment for carrying out illegal abortions. Dimitry Khundadze, head of the health care committee in parliament from the government coalition, presented a draft bill on Tuesday which will amendments […]

Bus drivers in Georgia protest against rough work conditions

By | July 22nd, 2014|Categories: Society|Tags: , |

Bus drivers protested in Tbilisi and many other places Tuesday, after one of their colleagues died. (Maestro TV.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Bus drivers demonstrated in many Georgian towns on Tuesday, as a response to one of their colleagues who died on the job in Tbilisi following a fight with a passenger. At 14:00, drivers stopped their bus or minibus and let the vehicle’s horn cry […]

One man dies in accident at Zestaponi metal plant

By | June 9th, 2014|Categories: Society|Tags: , |

Workers at the Ferro plant in Zestaponi say conditions are still hazardous. One man died from electric shock last Tuesday. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A 50-year old man died last Tuesday night at the ferroalloy plant in Zestaponi as he was hit by a high voltage electric shock. Mamuka Nebieridze died on the spot in the June 3 accident. An investigation has been launched in order to determine whether […]

Waiting to get away from Metalurg Sanatorium

By | May 23rd, 2014|Categories: Society|Tags: , |

Around sixty refugee families are living in unbearable conditions in Metalurg Sanatorium in Tskaltubo, Georgia. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–For more than 20 years, Eter, 74, has been living in Metalurg Sanatorium in Tskaltubo, a town in western Georgia. Apart from her, there are 60 families there; all refugees from the breakaway region Abkhazia. After Eter’s husband passed away, she […]

Tserovani – the village of refugees from 2008 war

By | May 21st, 2014|Categories: Society|Tags: , |

Nino Chalisuli, 37, has four children and runs a small shop in Tserovani called ‘Everything for one lari’. (DF Watch.) TSEROVANI, DFWatch– Tserovani is a settlement of refugees from the breakaway region South Ossetia. People settled here in small cottages after the Russia-Georgia war in August 2008. More than 2,000 cottages were built in Tserovani after the war, housing many […]

Youth take the lead in marking Worker’s Day in Georgia

By | May 2nd, 2014|Categories: Society|Tags: , , , , |

Youth groups took the lead in marking International Worker’s Day in Tbilisi. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–In Georgia, the younger generation took charge in organizing demonstrations on the International Worker’s Day yesterday. Young Social-Democrats, Georgia’s Young Greens, Georgia’s Youth Trade Union Organization, Young Socialists and other groups […]

One dies in manganese plant in Chiatura, Georgia

By | March 23rd, 2014|Categories: Society|Tags: |

One worker died and another was taken to hospital with injuries after an accident in a mineral ore processing plant in Chiatura, Georgia, March 20. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A mine worker died Thursday in a metal ore processing plant in Chiatura, a town in western Georgia. Another worker was injured and brought to the hospital. The plant was being dismantled by workers in the Darkveti mine on orders of the mine’s owner, […]

UNDP plans aid projects for USD 15 million in Abkhazia

By | March 13th, 2014|Categories: Society|Tags: , , |

The maternity ward at Gali hospital was renovated with the help of UNDP. (Frame from UN’s video report.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The United Nations is ready to finance projects in Abkhazia with USD 15 million this year. Resident Coordinator for the UN Development Program in Georgia, Niels Scott, told this to de facto President Aleksandre Ankvab, according to Apsnypress. […]

Hundreds from a Georgian mining village demonstrated in Tbilisi

By | March 8th, 2014|Categories: Society|Tags: |

People from Kazreti and their supporters demand better work conditions for workers in the mines. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Several hundreds people from the village Kazreti in southern Georgia demonstrated in front of the government office in Tbilisi on Friday. They demand that the government mediates between the workers and the company that owns the mines in their […]

37% of children in Georgia are below the poverty line

By | March 5th, 2014|Categories: Society|Tags: , |

Twelve refugee families living in a derelict hospital building in Zugdidi in July, 2013. (DF Watch photo.) TBILISI, DFWatch–37 percent of children in Georgia live below the poverty line, according to a new report by UNICEF. Child poverty increased 2 percent in 2013, compared to 2011. Georgia has the second highest rate of inequality in Europe, the organization writes. […]

Why is a whole village in Georgia on strike?

By | March 1st, 2014|Categories: Society|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

School kids on strike (DF Watch) TBILISI, DFWatch–For about two weeks, the entire Kazreti village has been on strike. People have joined the strike among workers in the gold mines. Eight people are on hunger strike. The workers want increased salaries, improved working conditions and insurance, and […]

Mine workers on strike in Chiatura describe unfair conditions

By | February 26th, 2014|Categories: Society|Tags: |

Roland Abdushelishvili (center), spokesperson for the miners on strike. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The mine workers in Chiatura have once more gone on strike. For five days, several hundred have not showed up at work, while others say they are ready to join the strike. After the change of government in 2012, the miners in Chiatura went on strike […]

Bus drivers on strike in Rustavi, Georgia

By | February 22nd, 2014|Categories: Society|Tags: , , |

Minibus drivers in Rustavi demand that the competition is postponed at least three years. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Minibus drivers in Rustavi southeast of Tbilisi are on strike. They are protesting against the competition for transport by City Council and demand to delay for three to five years the competition for inner city and Tbilisi-Rustavi transport. […]

Protest camp in Tbilisi to prevent new hotel in park

By | February 10th, 2014|Categories: Society|Tags: , |

Some offered free hugs, kisses and more. (DF Watch photo.) TBILISI, DFWatch–For the last two weeks, environment activists have been standing watch day and night in Vake Park in Tbilisi, to prevent the construction of a new hotel. The hotel will be built where an old restaurant called Budapest is located. It has been private property since 1994, but […]

Georgian government presents bill about citizenship of newborns

By | January 28th, 2014|Categories: Society|Tags: |

A newborn at the Georgian Church’s maternity ward in March 2011. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The government in Georgia proposes to automatically give Georgian citizenship to a child who was born through in vitro fertilization if none of the parents’s home countries recognize it as its citizen. The Ministry of Justice explains that the new […]

Two people die in homeless shelters in Georgia

By | January 12th, 2014|Categories: Society|Tags: |

The homeless shelter in Tbilisi. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Two people have died during the last two days in shelter tents which were put up in Tbilisi and Gori to help homeless people get through the winter. A woman died January 11 in a tent in Tbilisi. The cause of death is still unknown. The woman was brought […]

Georgia begins effort to stem hepatitis C epidemic in March

By | January 9th, 2014|Categories: Society|Tags: |

From a demonstration in July, 2013, to demand cheaper hepatitis C treatment. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–From March 1, 2013, medical treatment for hepatitis C will be free for prisoners in Georgia. Other people with the illness will be able to buy medicines for 60 percent lower price. The Health Ministry on Thursday presented its hepatitis C treatment […]

Mandarin vendors protested in Kobuleti

By | January 6th, 2014|Categories: Society|Tags: , , |

The vendors protested because a juice factory isn’t receiving their produce, which instead is left to rot. ( TBILISI, DFWatch–Citrus vendors in Georgia protested Sunday in Kobuleti on the Black Sea which against their produce not being taken in by a factory and instead left to rot. The protesters said about 200 trucks are standing there loaded with mandarins, and the vendors […]

Homeless people sheltered in tents in Tbilisi

By | January 3rd, 2014|Categories: Society|Tags: |

The tents are equipped with heating and electricity. (Photo: Mzia Saganelidze, Radio Liberty.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Government has erected 20 tents in a Tbilisi suburb to help homeless people survive the cold winter. The temporary tents are currently used by more than 200 people, including up to ten children. The first four tents were put up December 11 on Moscow […]

Prisoners in Georgia overcoming isolation by making handicraft

By | December 13th, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: , |

Artwork made by female prisoners is on display at Europe House in Tbilisi. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–An exhibition of handicraft art made by prisoners at the women’s facility is open for visitors until December 15 at the Europe House in Tbilisi, Freedom Square. More than 250 pictures crafted from felt is on a display, as well as accessories like […]

UNICEF report exposes weak child protection in Georgia

By | December 12th, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: , |

UNICEF’s new report warns that children in Georgia are at risk. (DFWatch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–UNICEF Georgia claims that since 2005, the government has made significant progress in reforming the child care system, but important challenges remain, such as child poverty, violence against children and weak child protection. Currently, there are […]

‘Dream Town’ residents rally for improved conditions

By | November 21st, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–Residents of ‘Dream Town’ – a settlement of homeless families in Adjara – ask the region’s authorities to give them shelter. The shantytown residents rallied against the government’s decision to give only 15 families shelter, while there are a few […]

Failed hospital chain returned to public ownership

By | November 21st, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: , |

Aditti’s hospital in Kharagauli as it looked when DF Watch visited last July. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–All the Georgian hospitals which were owned by the Israeli company Aditti have now become government property. Aditti owned hospitals in nine regions of Georgia. Most of them are in a difficult condition and doctors at those hospitals have protested […]

17 % in Georgian women’s prison have hepatitis C

By | November 19th, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: , |

Acting Prison Minister Sozar Subari. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The acting prison minister in Georgia says screening procedures have revealed a very high level of hepatitis C infections in prisons. Sozar Subari said Tuesday at a session with parliamentary committees that the ratio of infected inmates at the […]

Georgian Church against homeless shelter run by LGBT group

By | November 14th, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: , |

The planned homeless shelter. (Channel One.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian Church, the Patriarchate, is against the opening of a shelter for homeless people. The plan has been proposed by the organization Identoba, which protects the rights of LGBT people in Georgia. A private individual donated a building […]

Gas heaters continue to cause deaths in Georgia

By | November 11th, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: , |

A typical gas heater. (Tbilisi City Hall Website.) TBILISI, DFWatch–In Georgia, natural gas is cheaper than electricity, so more and more people use it for heating in winter. But the safety of the devices is far below any acceptable level. A young married couple and their 4 year old daughter died after a gas leak […]

Government to cut the price of hepatitis C treatment

By | October 24th, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: |

Minister of Health, Davit Sergeenko. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Health Ministry will start a new program to reduces the price of treatment for hepatitis C . Health Minister Davit Sergeenko said at a press conference Wednesday that treatment for hepatitis C will be free for prisoners and become cheaper for […]

Gov’t in Georgia plans new retirement saving system

By | October 18th, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–The government in Georgia plans to introduce a system for retirement savings that will include every citizen in the country. Giorgi Tabuashvili, Deputy Finance Minister, on Thursday met with the parliamentary opposition to discuss the 2014 budget, […]

‘Smiling Georgia’ canceled, some elderly left toothless

By | October 9th, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: |

Minister of Health Davit Sergeenko. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s new government says it will not continue a plan launched by President Saakashvili two years ago called ‘Smiling Georgia’, which involved fixing the teeth of elderly people. Minister of Health Davit Sergeenko said at a press conference […]

Tbilisoba warmed crowds in bad weather

By | October 7th, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: |

Mtsvadi, traditional barbecue, at Tbilisoba. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Despite chilly weather, the Tbilisoba drew crowds in the old part of the capital last weekend. The Georgian capital’s annual festival sported events like tasting traditional Georgian food, taking a ride on a horse and enjoying the sights of old […]

Muslims detained for protesting dismantling of minaret in Georgia

By | August 27th, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: |

Police in Chela, Adigeni. (Samkhretis Karibche.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The local municipality in the village Chela in Adigeni in Georgia has started to dismantle the minaret of a mosque, which has caused concern of Muslims. The police was at the site of the minaret from morning and prohibiting local Muslims from […]

Georgian doctors are fed up: haven’t been paid for six months

By | August 11th, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: , |

The hospital in Kharagauli, owned by Aditti. (DFWatch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Doctors demonstrated in six towns in Georgia Saturday, demanding to have their salaries. Their target is the company Aditti, which has bought many of the formerly state-owned hospitals in the country. Doctors have gone without pay for more than six […]

Eco-refugees living in a town called Dream

By | July 24th, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: , |

Dream Town sprang up outside Batumi after Georgian Dream won the election. (DFWatch photo.) TBILISI, DFWatch–About 800 single-room barracks are constructed at the former base of the 53rd regiment in Batumi, a beach resort on the Black Sea and one of Georgia’s most popular tourist destinations. The barracks were constructed by families of eco-migrants […]

Georgia’s privatized health care system is failing

By | July 22nd, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: , |

An eye doctor at Kharagauli hospital. (DFWatch photo.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Medical personnel at the only hospital in Kharagauli haven’t received salary for the last four months, while the company which owns the management rights to the hospital is not fulfilling its obligations under the contract to rehabilitate the […]

16 years on, refugees still living in temporary housing

By | July 21st, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: |

Refugees from the war in Abkhazia twenty years ago are still living in a derelict hospital kitchen building. (DFWatch photo.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Twelve families of refugees are living in the kitchen building of a former hospital in Zugdidi, a town that lies not far from Abkhazia, the breakaway region they fled from. For 16 years, they have been living in the derelict building, waiting to be […]

Peach vendors in Georgia: Where are our processing plants?

By | July 19th, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: |

The peaches Nikoloz Gharibashvili, 62, grows in his fields is his family’s sole source of income. (DFWatch photo.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The sale of peaches is so slow in Georgia that sellers haven’t been able to cover their costs this year. They ask for more processing plants to be built. Nikoloz Gharibashvili, 62, owns peach fields and his income usually comes from selling peaches. […]

Beer festival in Tbilisi

By | July 15th, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: |

It’s the fourth year Tbilisi organizes a beer festival. (DFWatch photo.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A beer festival was held this weekend on Roses Square in Tbilisi. The festival is organized by Georgian brewery Natakhtari. It has become a tradition and is held for the fourth time this year. Among the beer brands guests could taste were Czech Kozel, […]

Refugees from Abkhazia are in a difficult situation

By | July 15th, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: |

Valentina Sajaia, 90, lives in Sanatorium with her grandchildren for last 20 years (DF Watch photo) TBILISI, DFWatch–Valentina Sajaia, 90, has been living in the Likani settlement for the last 20 years with about 120 other families, who were forced to leave their houses in Abkhazia, a breakaway region of Georgia. She has raised four children without her husband […]

Poll shows little support for LGBT cause in Georgia

By | July 12th, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: |

Counter-activist with poster saying “These are the sins of Sodom and Gomorra”. (DFWatch photo.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A new opinion poll shows that 79 percent of Georgians do not support the anti-homophobia demonstration on May 17, 2013, which was disrupted by radical Christian clerics and their followers, resulting in almost 30 people being injured. 52 percent think […]

Government in Georgia increases fines for immoral behavior

By | July 11th, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: , |

Some believe the bill will ban kissing in public places. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Interior Ministry demands to have fines for certain violations which are now punished only with undefined sanctions. But some people think the ministry is increasing the size of the fines and are against the initiative. The Ministry of Internal […]

Muslim leader leaves Kakheti village as conflict continues

By | July 10th, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: , , |

Suliko Khozrevanidze says he left until the situation calms down a bit. ( TBILISI, DFWatch–In a village in east Georgia, a prominent Muslim has left because of the religious conflict that has been developing over the last month. Now Hajji Suliko Khozrevanidze, a leading figure in the Muslim community in Samtatskaro in the Kakheti region, […]

Batumi Summer Set Festival

By | July 9th, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: |

Almost fifty thousand people are expected at the electronica festival. TBILISI, DFWatch–Organizers of Batumi Summer Set Festival are preparing for the arrival of almost fifty thousand music lovers August 22-24. The program features electronic music and includes acts such as Faithless and Sleep Party People. The Danish duo Laid Back […]

Muslims afraid to attend Friday prayer in Kakheti village

By | July 6th, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: , |

Friday prayer in Samtatskaro, a village in the Kakheti region in eastern Georgia. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–In the village Samtatskharo in eastern Georgia, Friday prayers went ahead without incident yesterday, but the Muslims who live in the village stayed away because of threats. Only Muslims from other areas and guests from the government attended […]

New stronger labor code comes into force

By | July 5th, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: |

Miners and factory workers in Georgia have held many strikes protesting against the unfair conditions for workers. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–After eight months of preparations, an amended labor code has come into force after President Saakashvili signed the bill. Deputy Justice Minister Alexander Baramidze says the new labor code entirely meets European standards, which will contribute […]

Lawmaker wants to ban violence and ‘gay propaganda’ on TV

By | June 25th, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: , |

Koba Davitashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A member of parliament from the Georgian Dream coalition suggests introducing restrictions on TV series and other TV programs which ‘contain propaganda of violence, or homosexual, bisexual and polygamous relations.’ Member of Parliament Koba […]

Five thousand came to Oasis Music Festival

By | June 25th, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: |

Five thousand tickets were sold for Saturday at Oasis Festival in Mtskheta, Georgia. (DFWatch photo.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Oasis Music Festival was held this weekend in Mtskheta, not far from the capital, with well-known bands like WhoMadeWho, Mumiy Troll and Motorama. The festival lasted two days and was held at Theatron, an area between the old castle and the River […]

GeoStat to begin census work July 2014

By | June 22nd, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: |

Minister of Regional Development Davit Narmania. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s National Statistics Department will starts the first phase of a population census on July 1, 2014. Minister of Regional Development Davit Narmania said Friday that the first part of the work will be conducted in the regions Adjara, […]

Parliament questioning whether anti hate crime petition is real

By | June 19th, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: |

Facebook users are reacting to human rights committee head Eka Beselia hinting that their online signatures are fraudulent. TBILISI, DFWatch–The head of the Georgian parliament’s human rights committee has come under fire on social networks, after she instructed her committee to investigate whether 12 000 signatures in a petition are real or fake. The petition is addressed to […]

Parliament in Georgia considers how to react to May 17 violence

By | June 18th, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: |

Almost thirty people were injured on May 17, 2013, as Orthodox Christian activists broke up a small gay rights demonstration. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The human rights committee in parliament is preparing a resolution about the May 17 events, when thousands of Orthodox Christians disrupted a protest by a few tens of LGBT activists. The resolution was a response to an appeal addressed to the speaker […]

Friday prayer goes ahead in Georgian village after tension

By | June 15th, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–The Friday prayer in Samtatskharo, a village in eastern Georgia, went ahead as normal without interruptions yesterday, after being canceled three weeks in a row due to protests by locals. Minister of Reintegration Paata Zakareishvili showed up […]

200 locals gathered to prevent Friday prayers

By | June 8th, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: |

200 locals in Samtatskharo gathered outside the prayer house, determined to prevent Friday prayers. (Georgian Public Broadcaster.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Friday prayers were disrupted by locals yesterday in a village in eastern Georgia. About 200 locals had gathered in the village Samtatskharo in the Kakheti region in order to prevent Muslims from praying in a house that has been purchased for this […]

Thousands came for open air music festival in Tbilisi

By | June 6th, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: , , , , , |

English indie rock band The Subways performing in Tbilisi Wednesday. (DFWatch photo.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Tbilisi Open Air 2013 brought thousands of people to Dinamo Arena on Wednesday. The one-day festival started an hour late, which resulted in the Berlin-group Modeselektor having to leave without playing in order to catch the plane. Georgian band Kid Jesus […]

Tbilisi preparing for Open Air Festival today

By | June 5th, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: |

Deep Purple giving autographs in Tbilisi Tuesday. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Tbilisi Open Air Festival is getting closer as most of the bands have arrived in Tbilisi. This year’s big surprise, Deep Purple, arrived in Tbilisi on Tuesday. Right before their departure, Altervision Group, which organizes the festival, made […]

Deep Purple arrives in Tbilisi to play festival gig at Dinamo Arena

By | June 4th, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: |

Fans greeted Deep Purple as the band arrived at Tbilisi international airport. (DF Watch photo.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgians are getting ready for the next Tbilisi Open Air musical event, which this time will include world famous stars like Deep Purple, Tricky, Infected Mushrooms and Modeselektor. Tbilisi Open Air Festival, which has been held every year since […]

Decriminalize marijuana rally in Tbilisi

By | June 3rd, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: |

Organizers say it is not right to punish marijuana use tougher than rape. (DFWatch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–More than a thousand people gathered in front of the old parliament building in Tbilisi on Sunday to demand the decriminalization of marijuana. Under current legislation it is illegal to use or sell marijuana and other soft drugs. Organizers of the rally […]

1600 workers in Zestaponi now on strike

By | May 28th, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: |

The workers at the Ferro plant in Zestaponi demand group contracts, a pay rise, and generally better conditions. ( TBILISI, DFWatch–The week-old strike at Zestaponi’s ferro-alloy plant continues, as there is still no progress in the attempts to negotiate with management. Meanwhile representatives of the Georgian Trade Unions claim that parliament is about to adopt amendments […]

Again the sides meet in Georgia’s most touchy debate

By | May 26th, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: |

These protesters want to ban ‘gay propaganda’. (DFWatch photo.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Two small counter-rallies were held at the Prosecutor’s Office on Saturday in Tbilisi. The organizers of one rally, ‘The law is supreme’, were the same as those who organized ‘No to Theocracy’ on Friday. Meanwhile members of the National Front […]

Georgian Church explains its position on the May 17 events

By | May 23rd, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: |

Spokesman for the Georgian Orthodox Church, Mikael Brotkoveli. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian Orthodox Church separates itself from the violent incidents of May 17, when clerics disrupted LGBT activists from holding a peaceful rally, resulting in 28 injured. Church spokesman Mikael Botkoveli on Wednesday evening said at a briefing […]

Four arrested for May 17 violence, attacks continuing

By | May 22nd, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: |

The attacks are continuing, according to Identoba. Two women were beaten in the street. One of them had bite marks on her arm afterwards. (Identoba.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Police have detained four persons suspected of resisting police and petty hooliganism on May 17, when Orthodox Christians held a counter-rally against an attempt at marking the International Day Against Homophobia. There is one minor among […]

Day after violence, LGBT campaigners call for accountability

By | May 19th, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: |

Repulsed by Friday’s violence, campaigners demand a proper investigation of every incident. (DFWatch photo.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A peaceful rally to protest Friday’s violent clashes went ahead without serious incidents outside the government office on Saturday. In the afternoon, LGBT activists and their supporters started gathering in front of the government’s office, […]

Tense ahead of gay rights rally in Tbilisi today

By | May 17th, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: |

From last year’s demonstration. (DFWatch photo.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Rallies are planned in Tbilisi today to prevent a gathering of activists who want to mark the International Day Against Homophobia. The two organizations Identoba and Women’s Initiative Support Group announced about a month ago that they were […]

Activists planning to prevent gay rights rally in Tbilisi

By | May 14th, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: |

Last year’s demonstration in front of the parliament building in Tbilisi. (DFWatch photo.) TBILISI, DFWatch–An announced gay rights rally is causing outrage among different groups in Georgia who plan to interrupt the rally May 17 and organize parallel rallies against LGBT people in the country. Non-governmental organizations which work with defending […]

Georgians discuss introducing a ban on abortions

By | May 10th, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: |

Patriarch Ilia II. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Patriarch’s Easter epistle has caused a debate about abortion in Georgia. Ilia II in his recent sermon called on the government to introduce a prohibition on abortion, but the government does not yet plan any changes in this field. The […]

Georgia to decriminalize use of marihuana

By | May 10th, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–The ruling Georgian Dream coalition is preparing a bill to decriminalize the use of marihuana. Head of parliament’s human rights committee Eka Besealia said the coalition plans to introduce certain measures regarding marihuana, because certain […]

Five May Day protesters fined

By | May 9th, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: |

A demonstration to support labor rights May 1 was violently dispersed by police. (DFWatch photo.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Tbilisi City Court has fined five participants at a May Day rally in Tbilisi with 400 GEL (USD 240). About two dozen other participants are awaiting sentencing in two months. The five were fined for petty hooliganism and for disobeying police orders. […]

Gay rights activists rally in Tbilisi May 17

By | May 8th, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: |

Activists plan to gather outside the old parliament building in Tbilisi. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Human right organizations and gay rights activists plan a flash mob event May 17 outside the old parliament building in Tbilisi. The flash mob will last half hour and the purpose is to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, which is marked in […]

Georgia celebrates Orthodox Easter

By | May 5th, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: |

Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili and his wife Eka Khvedelidze celebrated Easter in his home region Sachkhere in the middle of the country. (Official photo.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s Orthodox Church celebrated Easter May Day 5, as the parish attended traditional prayers at churches around the country and the Patriarch conducted midnight mass at Sameba Cathedral in Tbilisi. The liturgy started at 11:00 pm Saturday […]

Surveillance footage shows vandalism at May Day rally

By | May 3rd, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: |

Students acknowledge that they painted slogans on the walls of several buildings, but say the police also committed violations. (DFWatch photo.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Police on Thursday published footage from street surveillance cameras which shows how participants in a May Day rally damaged private property by spray painting slogans on city walls and damaging police cars and private cars. The students who […]

May Day rally turned violent in Tbilisi

By | May 1st, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: |

Twenty people were detained during a May Day rally in Tbilisi Wednesday. Several people were slightly injured. (DFWatch photo.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Police in Georgia Wednesday dispersed a peaceful protest organized by students and youth groups that wanted to mark the International Workers’ Day, May 1. About twenty persons, including a journalist, were detained by police and later released. […]

Armenians demonstrated outside Turkey’s embassy in Georgia

By | April 25th, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: |

Armenians in Georgia gathered outside the embassy of Turkey in Tbilisi. (DF Watch photo.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Armenian community in Georgia on Wednesday held a rally outside the Turkish embassy in Tbilisi. Their demand was that Turkey must recognize the Armenian genocide in 1915 and commemorate the victims. Representatives of Armenian organizations […]

Authorities in Georgia explain that ID cards are not sign of Antichrist

By | April 21st, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: |

ID cards with micro chip are mandatory, but some believe they are a sign of the Antichrist. (Scene from the new commercial.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s Ministry of Justice has produced a six-minute commercial to explain that a new ID card with a micro chip is not a sign of the Antichrist, as many locals believe. Clerics and part of the parish planned a rally at the Ministry of Justice […]

Soldiers terrorized village in hunt for non-Christians

By | April 17th, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: |

Marina Dolidze, mother of Amiran. (Info9.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Locals in a village close to the Black Sea shore claim that a group of soldiers late at night verbally and physically abused seven locals based on religious views. The locals say three military police department employees stopped Levan Meskhidze […]

Georgia to conduct census in November 2014

By | April 6th, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia will conduct a population census November 5-19, 2014. An action plan is already ready and preparations for the census will start in 2013. Minister for Regional Development and Infrastructure Davit Narmania and Head of the National […]

Long overdue Georgia census in the works

By | April 3rd, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–In 2014, Georgia will conduct its first population census in 25 years. This was decided by the State Coordination Commission on Tuesday. Head of the commission is Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili. The last census was conducted in 1989 […]

Agriculture University gets back authorization

By | March 27th, 2013|Categories: Society|

Agriculture University students perform at Education Ministry (DFWatch Photo) Tbilisi, DFWatch –  The Agricultural University got its authorization back on March 26, two weeks after it was suspended by the authorization commission. The university is now allowed to carry on with all its 25 accredited programs. […]

Georgians outraged as one year old boy dies of hunger

By | March 25th, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: |

The protesters demand simpler procedures for obtaining social assistance. (DF Watch photo.) TBILISI, DFWatch–It has caused strong reactions in Georgia that a one year old child died of hunger late at night on March 22. All over the country people are demonstrating against hunger and poverty. According to the doctors, one year-old Gogita Abashidze died […]

Workers protest in Poti

By | March 23rd, 2013|Categories: News, Society|Tags: |

Port and metal workers in Poti went on strike Saturday to demand better conditions. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Port and metal workers in Poti went on strike Saturday, demanding to improve their work conditions and have a normal salary. Journalists from the port city report that workers at the Georgian-Indian owned metallurgical plant were on strike the whole […]

Agriculture students continue studies, protesting

By | March 23rd, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–While the students at the Agricultural University are waiting to see if their learning institution will get its accreditation back, they are continuing to attend lectures and demonstrating outside the Education Ministry. Chances are good that […]

Agricultural University’s fate to be decided on Tuesday

By | March 21st, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: |

Students staged a mock lecture in the street in front of the Education Ministry. (Tabula TV.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Education Quality Development Center will March 26 at 18:00 decide whether to reinstate the Agricultural University’s accreditation. The center on Wednesday informed that five issues will be on the agenda of Tuesday’s session, including the issue […]

After mass amnesty, some ex-prisoners go back to jail

By | March 20th, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: |

Prisoners released in the 2013 amnesty. (Photo is unrelated to the story in the article.) (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Tengiz, a man now in his early sixties, was sentenced to 11 years in jail for burglary in 2007. December 7, 2012, he was pardoned by the president because of a difficult health condition after being recommended by Prison Minister Sozar Subari. Two […]

Agriculture University will get back its accreditation

By | March 16th, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: |

The student protest continued Friday. (DF Watch photo.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The students at the Agriculture University continued their protest Friday, and handed Education Minister Giorgi Margvelashvili documents which were meant to show that the institution now complies with the law’s requirements. After studying the […]

Student protest at Agriculture University

By | March 13th, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: , , |

Education Minister Giorgi Margvelashvili met the students Tuesday. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–For the last two days, students at an agricultural college have been at the center of a dispute between the governing Georgian Dream coalition and supporters of President Mikheil Saakashvili. The dispute began with the […]

Doctors on hunger strike after being fired

By | March 11th, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: |

Zurab Lataria, one of the doctors on hunger strike. (Info9.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Four emergency service doctors have been on hunger strike since March 6. They are protesting against being fired and demand to replace the local management. The doctors claim that the director of the emergency center illegally fired them and that […]

200 children in Tbilisi suffered food poisoning

By | February 14th, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–Nearly 200 children were poisoned at Tbilisi kindergartens in November, 2012. According to the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC), the reason was bad quality products. Representatives of the National Food Agency say that sanctions have […]

Online shopping is catching on in Georgia

By | January 27th, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: |

Empty cardboard boxes testify to how eagerly the parcels have been awaited. (DF Watch photo.) TBILISI, DFWatch — There is a small crowd gathered in the hall giving electronic signatures together with ID cards to get the parcel. ‘Parcel from America’, the tagline of the company says. There are several companies in Tbilisi like this one that offer to ship items […]

A third of minibus drivers in Tbilisi on strike

By | January 26th, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: |

600 drivers of minibuses (“marshrutkas”) in Tbilisi are on strike against a new license system. (DF Watch photo.) TBILISI, DFWatch — About 600 minibus drivers went on strike in Tbilisi Friday, causing crowding on buses and in the metro. The strike has the support of about 30 % of all minibus drivers in the capital. They are protesting against a new license system which has left […]

Georgian morning show anchors criticized Elton John

By | January 22nd, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: , |

Davit Katsarava and Salome Gogiashvili, hosts of Imedi TV’s morning show. (Screen grab.) TBILISI, DFWatch — Two well-known Georgian TV anchors are accused of having used a homophobic slur. January 18, one of the anchors of a morning talk show on Imedi TV said: ‘I’m honestly sorry for both surrogate children of Elton John’. The other one […]

Thousands walked through Tbilisi to mark Christmas

By | January 8th, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch — A traditional Alilo procession was held in Tbilisi on Monday to celebrate Christmas according to the Julian Calendar. Alilo, which is also a Christmas chant, was organized in each region and city of Georgia, as well as different districts […]

Controversial Christmas commercials in Georgia

By | January 1st, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch — Another TV commercial in Georgia has caused controversy, as critics says it is sexist. The ad is for Elit Electronics, a large electronics stores chain, and shows a woman sitting in the front of a car, while a man tries to squeeze all the Christmas […]

Friday prayers interrupted in Georgian village

By | December 15th, 2012|Categories: Society|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch — A religious conflict has broken out in a village in Georgia after orthodox Christians started interrupting Muslims in their Friday prayer. The conflict started a few weeks ago. Tariel Nakaidze, leader of the Georgian Muslims, wrote on his Facebook […]

Two thirds still without a job in Georgia

By | December 13th, 2012|Categories: Society|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch — Two thirds still consider themselves unemployed in Georgia, a new survey shows. 67 percent say they are without a job in the latest survey of public attitudes by the National Democratic Institute (NDI). The number has not significantly […]

Second hand clothes are in fashion in Tbilisi

By | December 11th, 2012|Categories: Society|Tags: |

The clothes market near Tbilisi central train station. (Photo: Mari Nikuradze.) TBILISI, DFWatch – There are stores in between the large markets near the central train station in Tbilisi were people sell second hand clothes from abroad. There, people are crowding close to piles of clothes, peeking inside to find what they want. Rusa, 21, says […]

World AIDS Day marked in Tbilisi

By | December 2nd, 2012|Categories: Society|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch — Saturday evening around 30 local organizations marked World AIDS Day with an event on Freedom Square in Tbilisi. Volunteers and organizers of the event stood and formed of giant ribbon holding candles in red plastic glasses as a sign of solidarity […]

Trade unions advise new Georgian government

By | November 25th, 2012|Categories: Society|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch — The Georgian Dream coalition had on its agenda to change many things after coming to power, including improve conditions in the work place by amending the Georgian labor code, which was amended in 2006 and has been criticized since both locally and […]

Rose revolutionaries organize SOS movement

By | November 24th, 2012|Categories: Society|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch — A recently established movement called SOS on Thursday gathered to celebrate the 9 year anniversary of the Rose Revolution. About 30 people showed up at Square of Roses, which is named after the Rose Revolution. The SOS movement was set up a week […]

Bus strike may be over Tuesday

By | November 12th, 2012|Categories: Society|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch — The bus strike in Tbilisi Monday appeared to be heading for a solution, as drivers promised to return to work Tuesday if a commission is formed to study their problems. The conflict has lasted five days and encompassed more than 1300 drivers […]

Bus strike continues as negotiations fail

By | November 11th, 2012|Categories: News, Society|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch — Sunday, Tbilisi bus drivers met representatives of city hall to try to solve the conflict which has brought bus transport to a standstill, but the meeting ended unsuccessfully. All drivers of yellow buses in Tbilisi are on strike for the fourth day. […]

Bus strike creating difficulties for Tbilisians

By | November 10th, 2012|Categories: Society|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch — A bus strike is making life difficult for the population in the capital. For a third day more than 1300 bus drivers have been on strike, as they joined a wave of workers’ protest that erupted after the parliamentary election in October. Together with […]

Gudaishvili Square protests continue

By | November 5th, 2012|Categories: Society|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch — Protests have reignited to protect a historic square in the old part of the Georgian capital as the square’s fate is still uncertain. Saturday, groups once again gathered on Gudiashvili Square in downtown Tbilisi. The rally was directed at […]

Behind the battle lines of a miners’ strike

By | November 4th, 2012|Categories: Society|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch — The miners in Georgia are not giving up as they enter their fourth week of protest in the village Chiatura. More than 3600 workers demand a substantial pay rise and improvement in their slave-like working conditions. They started protesting […]

‘Food, not bombs’ event held in Tbilisi

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

TBILISI, DFWatch — A group of volunteer youth in Tbilisi decided to organize a charity event in the city internationally known as Food Not Bombs. Food which cannot be sold is gathered from grocery stores, restaurants, bakeries and markets, and is handed out to people […]

Tbilisoba: what treats an old city can offer

By | October 8th, 2012|Categories: Society|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch — Georgia’s capital last weekend was the scene of elaborate display of handicraft, winemaking, food and fun, as the annual celebration Tbilisoba as usual drew large crowds to engage in various aspects of Georgian traditional ways of life. Tbilisoba […]

Marking World Animal Day

By | October 4th, 2012|Categories: Society|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch — While the country is rocked by political tension, rallies and protests, up to twenty students and others today gathered at Tbilisi Concert Hall to mark World Animal Day. They told DFWatch that they view it as a day for the protection of animal rights […]

Georgian communications watchdog sabotaging must-carry

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

TBILISI, DFWatch – A study concludes that Georgia’s National Communications Commission is failing to cooperate effectively with society. The study was done by the must carry monitoring group, which estimates that out of the 3 621 256 voters in Georgia, over 200 000 […]

Rising ticket prices on Tbilisi’s public transport

By | September 18th, 2012|Categories: Society|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Salome (22) is a reporter for a Tbilisi-based online newspaper. Due to her job, she needs to visit different places in the capital at least five times a day. Her managers do not cover transportation fees for her, as the office is run on a tight budget […]

Students demonstrating for their rights

By | September 18th, 2012|Categories: Society|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – A group of university students refuses to attend lectures when the new academic year begins 17 September. They claim that the quality of education is not on the level they expect, based on how much they pay. The student’s movement Laboratoria 1918 […]

Students demand fired professor reinstated

By | September 16th, 2012|Categories: Society|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Students at the state university in Tbilisi have launched a protest to demand that a lecturer who was fired for her political views gets back her position. Professor of philosophy and gender researcher Lela Gafrindashvili was teaching various […]

The Dry Bridge in Tbilisi – a market of memories

By | August 12th, 2012|Categories: Society|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – For many years, Goga has been selling various old things in downtown Tbilisi. He mostly sells to tourists, but also to local collectors. He can’t even remember when he started, but really enjoys it, as most of his stuff is handmade by himself. […]

How tourists see Georgia and what they expect

By | July 23rd, 2012|Categories: Society|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Luis from Ecuador has been traveling for seven years around the world. This time he stops in Georgia for a while. He hadn’t heard much about this country, but stopped by here on his way to somewhere else. Then he decided to stay for several weeks. […]

Hard luck if you are a Roma in Tbilisi

By | June 14th, 2012|Categories: Society|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Walking the streets of Tbilisi, at several spots you will see groups of children dressed in worn-out, brightly colored clothes, with dirty hands and faces, asking you for money. These beggars come from the city’s Roma community. The children you […]

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 […]

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: […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 [...]

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 [...]