Monthly Archives: January 2014

Georgia’s Interior Ministry destroys surveillance material

By | January 31st, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Minister of Internal Affairs Alexandre Chikaidze personally ensuring the DVDs are destroyed Friday. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–45 DVDs and two hard drives were destroyed at the Interior Ministry on Friday, which included footage obtained through illegal surveillance. Alexandre Chikaidze, Minister of Internal Affairs, said that the commission tasked with studying the illegally […]

Some roads closed, deep freeze expected in Georgia

By | January 31st, 2014|Categories: Environment, News|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Traffic is prohibited on the Gudauri-Kobi section of the road from Mtskheta to larsi via Stepantsminda due to the avalanche danger. The Environment Ministry warned about possible avalanches in this section of road. According to the Road Department, […]

Georgia to keep archive obtained by illegal political surveillance

By | January 31st, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Lasha Tughushi, one of the members of the commission, says the interior ministry has kept about 28 000 files, or 789 hours, of a surveillance archive, mostly of a political content. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s Interior Ministry still stocks about 28 000 computer files with recordings that were part of a system of political surveillance obtained through illegal means. Only a few of the files will be destroyed – those which contain material of an intimate nature. […]

French prosecutor does not want Kezerashvili extradited

By | January 31st, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

Davit Kezerashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A prosecutor in France does not want to extradite Davit Kezerashvili, former Defense Minister of Georgia, who was detained in France in October, 2013. Georgia has charged the former minister with abuse of power and receiving more than USD 12 million […]

Georgian PM visited Israel

By | January 31st, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , , , |

Georgia’s Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze (left), Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili, and Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (Photo published by Georgia’s Foreign Ministry.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili has visited Israel to meet with his colleague Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres. The meeting with Peres was about the good bilateral relations between the two countries and confirmed an intention to deepen […]

GeoStat: Georgia’s GDP 8% higher in Dec ’13 than Dec ’12

By | January 30th, 2014|Categories: Economy, News|Tags: |

The unofficial economy is not part of GeoStat’s rapid monthly estimates. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s estimated real GDP growth rate was 8.4 percent in December 2013, compared to the same month in 2012, according to preliminary data published by the National Statistics Department, GeoStat. According to the estimate, real GDP growth […]

What Georgia can expect from the Munich Security Conference

By | January 30th, 2014|Categories: News, Security|Tags: , , |

Photo published on the Munich Security Conference website. TBILISI, DFWatch–When the annual Munich Security Conference opens in a few days, it will be the first time Georgia’s delegation is headed by the prime minister and not the president. The reason for the change is partly that a constitutional amendment came into force […]

South Ossetian de facto president dismissed the government

By | January 30th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Leonid Tibilov, president of the breakaway region South Ossetia. TBILISI, DFWatch–The de facto president of South Ossetia, Leonid Tibilov, has dismissed the government. About a week ago, Tibilov said that the government of Rostik Khugaev was unable to fulfill its duties in regard to South Ossetia’s social and economic […]

Video shows Merabishvili promising reward for ‘two corpses’

By | January 30th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

The video shows Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili instructing soldiers after a mutiny at a tank battalion base near Tbilisi in 2009. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–There may be added new charges against former Prime Minister and Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili, according to the head of parliament’s defense and security committee. Wednesday, a 4-minute long video was posted on Youtube, […]

Villagers block road to stop hydro power dam

By | January 29th, 2014|Categories: Environment, News|Tags: , , |

People from Khaishi on Wednesday blocked a road to prevent surveying work for the gigantic Khudoni hydro power dam. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–People from the Svaneti mountain village Khaishi Wednesday demonstrated against the construction of a gigantic hydro power dam that will wipe out their community. Demonstrators blocked the road to Jvari-Mestia with stones to interrupt land surveying […]

Fog caused delays and cancelations at Tbilisi airport

By | January 29th, 2014|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

An Istanbul-Tbilisi flight was cancelled, and a plane already in the air returned to Istanbul. Several other flights were delayed today. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Four flights were delayed at Tbilisi airport on Wednesday due to fog. A flight to Istanbul was delayed several hours. A plane arriving from Warsaw was unable to land at Tbilisi airport and instead landed in Kutaisi, Georgia’s second largest city. […]

Witness tells of humiliating treatment on May 26, 2011

By | January 29th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

Tbilisi City Court heard further witnesses in a trial about the brutal dispersal of demonstrators in Tbilisi on May 26, 2011. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Four more witnesses were heard on Tuesday in a trial about the violent police dispersal on May 26, 2011. The witnesses were Zaza Papuashvili, Soso Jachvliani and Luka Kurtanidze, who represent the People’s Assembly, and Beka Javakhadze from the […]

Circus worker dies after lion attack in Tbilisi

By | January 29th, 2014|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–The lion tamer who was attacked by a lion last Thursday has died in the hospital. The circus worker remained in intensive care, but doctors could not save him. The 23-year-old lion tamer was from a Ukrainian circus troupe and entered the cage to do […]

Merabishvili demands a polygraph test

By | January 29th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

Vano Merabishvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Former Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili demands to be subjected to a lie detector test to prove he is telling the truth when he says he was threatened by the chief prosecutor. Merabishvili claimed he was taken from his cell at night, brought to an […]

One man dies in coal mine in Georgia

By | January 28th, 2014|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

A coal mine in Tkibuli. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A man has died in an apparent accident in a coal mine in Tkibuli, a town in Georgia’s mid-western Imereti region. Tariel Kasrashvili, a shift leader, died at 16:00 on Tuesday. He was transporting coal inside the Mindeli mine when he fell and died on […]

Parliament again fails to fill Public Broadcaster board

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

Georgian Public Broadcaster is still without a functioning supervisory board. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Parliament in Georgia has again failed to approve new board members for the Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB). Groups claim this shows there is a lack of will to free the broadcaster from political influence. January 23, parliament approved only one […]

NATO chief: Georgia has made progress

By | January 28th, 2014|Categories: News, Security|Tags: , |

Then Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili (left) and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen in Brussels Nov. 14, 2012. (Official photo.) TBILISI, DFWatch–NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen writes in his latest annual report that Georgia has made good progress in implementing the reforms required to meet its standards. Rasmussen writes in his 2013 report, which was published on Monday, that NATO […]

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 […]

Supreme Court gives Ivanishvili back Georgian citizenship

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

Bidzina Ivanishvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–After waiting more than two years, ex-Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili is finally a Georgian citizen. The businessman had his Georgian citizenship revoked by then President Saakashvili in October 2011, shortly after he declared that he would […]

Margvelashili planning his first annual address to parliament

By | January 27th, 2014|Categories: News, Politics|Tags: , |

President of Georgia, Giorgi Margvelashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–President Giorgi Margvelashvili is in consultations with the speaker of parliament about the date of his annual address to parliament. The Georgian constitution says that the president must visit parliament once a year and present a report about […]

Iraqi medical student attacked in Kutaisi

By | January 27th, 2014|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: , |

The victim, a medical student from Iraq, was taken to a hospital in Kutaisi. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A student from Iraq was beaten in the Georgian city Kutaisi on Saturday. Local media writes that he was attack because of his origins. The student was brought to the hospital and will have to remain there for several more days. Unknown assailants […]

Chechen refugees feel harassed by Georgian counterintelligence

By | January 27th, 2014|Categories: Minorities, News|Tags: , , , |

Saikhan Muzayev. (Georgian Public Broadcaster.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Some of the Chechens in Pankisi Gorge close to the Russian border say they are blackmailed and harassed by Georgian counterintelligence. Saikhan Muzayev, a former Russian and Arabic translator for the Refugee Ministry, said at a press […]

Georgia to allow dogs, peppers spray, batons against prisoners

By | January 27th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

Prison No 8 in Gldani, Tbilisi. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The government in Georgia wants to make it legal to use pepper spray, batons and dogs in prisons for security reasons. Today, if a prisoner poses a danger, he may be chained or placed in a restraining jacket. The government has drafted a bill with […]

Georgian NGOs express concern about events in Ukraine

By | January 26th, 2014|Categories: NGO news|Tags: |

“The responsibility for this whole tension is the Ukrainian government’s,” says Lasha Tughushi, head of the National Platform. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–An umbrella organization uniting more than a hundred non-governmental organizations in Georgia on Saturday issued a statement expressing concern about events in Ukraine. The statement, which is signed by more than 60 groups that are members […]

Ukraine support rally in Georgia’s Samegrelo region

By | January 26th, 2014|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: |

People gathered in Zugdidi to show support for those Ukrainians who are struggling for closer integration with Europe. (Photo: Odishi.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Tens of people Saturday gathered in Zugdidi, a town in western Georgia’s Samegrelo region, to express solidarity with people in Ukraine. The crowd brought with them Ukrainian flags and Georgian flags and posters saying Freedom to Ukraine, Victory is […]

Carl Bildt hopes Georgia will sign EU pact in August

By | January 25th, 2014|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: , |

Sweden’s Foreign Minister Carl Bildt. (World Economic Forum.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Sweden’s Foreign Minister Carl Bildt says he hopes Georgia will sign the Association Agreement with European Union in August. Bildt met with Georgia’s Prime Minister Irakli Ghrabishvili in Davos during the World Economic Forum and said afterward that […]

Georgia creates an additional security council

By | January 25th, 2014|Categories: News, Security|Tags: , , |

Prime Minister of Georgia, Irakli Gharibashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili has created a consulting group named the Security Council that will work on issues concerning Georgia’s internal and external safety. The council has almost the same duties and responsibilities as the National […]

Witnesses heard in trial about May 26 dispersal

By | January 25th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

A trial is underway in Georgia to determine guilt for the violent dispersal of protesters on May 26, 2011, which led to several deaths. TBILISI, DFWatch–A court in Georgia on Friday questioned witnesses and participant in a demonstration on May 26 in 2011, which was violently dispersed by the police causing several deaths. One of the participants, Gia Burjanadze from the People’s Assembly, recalled […]

Muslims in Georgia feel pressured by law enforcement

By | January 24th, 2014|Categories: Minorities, News|Tags: , |

Ombudsman Ucha Nanuashvili (left) met representatives of the Muslim community. (Photo: Public Defender.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Muslims in Georgia say they are being pressured by law enforcement bodies. Clerics from the Muslims community January 22 met with the Public Defender. According to the Ombudsman’s office, the meeting dealt with problems they are experiencing and […]

Further charges against former Georgian intelligence head

By | January 24th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , |

Prosecutors in Georgia have slapped one more charge on Data Akhalaia, who remains abroad. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Prosecutor’s Office in Georgia on Friday presented further charges against a former top intelligence official under Saakashvili. This again puts the spotlight on Data Akhalaia, who served as head of the domestic intelligence service in Georgia, […]

Ivanishvili starts non-governmental organization

By | January 24th, 2014|Categories: News, Politics|Tags: , |

Former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Ex-Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili has founded a non-governmental organization called Citizen. Details are scarce, but it is known that Ivanishvili himself will head the new organization and that its goal will be to strengthen civil society in the country. […]

Circus worker attacked by lion in Tbilisi

By | January 24th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–A lion attacked a lion tamer in Tbilisi on Thursday, after the end of the night’s performance. Monday night, a lion tamer from a group of Ukrainian performers entered the lion’s cage to do some cleaning, and that was when the animal attacked. Roman […]

Georgian lawmakers express concern about violence in Ukraine

By | January 24th, 2014|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: |

Georgian parliamentarians Thursday expressed concern about the violence in the Ukrainian capital Kiev, as people continued to rally outside the old parliament in Tbilisi to show support. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The parliament in Georgia on Thursday passed a resolution expressing concern about the use of force against peaceful citizens in Ukraine. 118 representatives voted for, none voted against. The minimum number of votes to pass such a resolution is 60. […]

Saakashvili’s appointment as ‘Senior Statesman’

By | January 23rd, 2014|Categories: Opinion|Tags: , |

John C. Kornblum is an American diplomat and businessman. (Photo: International Students’ Committee.) This letter was published January 21, 2014, in The Tufts Daily, a student newspaper at Tufts University.I was distressed to read in your newspaper that former Georgian President Saakashvili had been appointed as a so-called “Senior Statesman” at the Fletcher […]

Georgian government members get performance-based bonuses

By | January 23rd, 2014|Categories: News, Politics|Tags: , |

Prime Minister of Georgia, Irakli Gharibashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Government ministers in Georgia are to be given bonuses according to their performance. Government officials receiving high bonuses was a controversial issue during the previous government. The problem is that under Georgian law, only the salary […]

Georgian lari continues to fall

By | January 23rd, 2014|Categories: Economy, News|Tags: , |

Georgian lari continues to drop in value. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian lari continues to fall in value and hit 1.7817 against the US dollar on January 23. The fall started in early November and continued gradually from a level of around 1.67 lari against the dollar the month before. The lari rate has also […]

Georgia expresses concern about Russian border-moving

By | January 23rd, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

President Giorgi Margvelashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili expresses concern about Russia moving the border into the territory of Georgia’s breakaway region Abkhazia. A few days ago, the Russian Federation and de facto government of Abkhazia made a decision […]

Hundreds demonstrated in Tbilisi to support Ukraine

By | January 23rd, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

Several hundred people gathered in front of the old parliament building in Tbilisi Wednesday to show support for Ukraine after the violence in Kiev, (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Wednesday evening, several hundred people demonstrated at the old parliament building in Tbilisi in support of Ukrainians who want integration with Europe. Students, journalists, politicians, artists, singers and others filled the square in front […]

Constructive dialogue at South Ossetia field meeting

By | January 22nd, 2014|Categories: News, Security|Tags: , |

The atmosphere was constructive at the field meeting at Ergneti Tuesday, the European Union’s observers said. (Photo: EUMM.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) met in the village Ergneti on Tuesday. Representatives of Georgia’s Interior Ministry presented footage of Russians installing barbed wire and fences in villages close to the demarcation line […]

Georgian PM to attend World Economic Forum

By | January 22nd, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Prime Minister of Georgia, Irakli Gharibashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili has left for Switzerland to participate in the 44th World Economic Forum in Davos. Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Foreign Affairs Minister Maia Panjikidze, Director […]

Georgia appoints new chief prosecutor

By | January 22nd, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili appointed a new chief prosecutor on Monday. The country has been without one for almost a month. The new chief prosecutor is Giorgi Badashvili, a 32 year old graduate from Georgian Technical […]

HRW highlights recent attacks on minorities in Georgia

By | January 22nd, 2014|Categories: Minorities, News|Tags: , , , |

A crowd of thousands led by Orthodox priests on May 17, 2013, violently disrupted a peaceful demonstration to mark the International Day Against Homophobia. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Human Rights Watch criticizes Georgia in its World Report 2014 for not having done enough to protect the rights of religious minorities and LGBT. When it comes to religious rights, the organization points out that the Muslim minority has experienced […]

The NATO Military Committe to visit Georgia Feb 11-12

By | January 22nd, 2014|Categories: News, Security|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–The NATO Military Committee will visit Georgia February 11-12. Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze said at Tuesday’s briefing that the visit is important, because it means that the military cooperation with NATO is on a new level. “Reforms implemented […]

HRW: Unclear criteria for prosecution of ex-officials

By | January 21st, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

Prison torture in Georgia is one of the things Human Rights Watch reviews in its latest world report. TBILISI, DFWatch–Human Rights Watch (HRW) criticizes Georgian authorities for not clarifying what criteria they used when cleaning up crimes committed by officials under the previous government of former President Mikheil Saakashvili. “The authorities did not explain […]

Many milk products in Georgia have misleading labeling

By | January 21st, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

Center for Strategic Research and Development examined fifteen types of milk products, and ten of them turned out to contain vegetable fat. ( TBILISI, DFWatch–Food companies in Georgia are selling modified milk products with misleading labeling, according to Center for Strategic Research and Development. The center examined fifteen types of milk products, and ten of them turned out to be modified. They […]

Court strikes down libel sentence in ‘Imedi’ case

By | January 21st, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

National Movement MP Giorgi Vashadze did not break the law when he called Joseph Kay a fraud, the court ruled, but the case continues. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Tbilisi City Court struck down a previous court ruling to fine Member of Parliament Giorgi Vashadze for libel against the businessman Joseph Kay. Kay is the investor who for a few months owned Imedi, a formerly government-critical TV station that played an […]

Tbilisi TV tower gets to keep its light show

By | January 21st, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch–The TV tower in Tbilisi went briefly dark Monday because of disagreement over the city’s budget, but the flashing light show lit up again late at night. The lights that have become the most visible landmark in the Georgian capital, were turned […]

Georgia to restrict privatization of strategic assets

By | January 21st, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–The government in Georgia demands to restore the list of strategic assets. The list was abolished a few years ago by the National Movement government and defined assets like railways, dams and pipelines, that have special importance for the country’s […]

Russia moves disputed state border near Sochi

By | January 20th, 2014|Categories: News, Security|Tags: , |

The River Psou. (Photo: elephantr.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Russia has created a temporary border zone in the disputed Georgian region Abkhazia. The measure is said to be temporary in connection with the Winter Olympics in nearby Sochi. According to the Georgian Foreign Affairs Ministry, Russia has moved its […]

Tbilisi’s TV tower goes dark due to budget gridlock

By | January 20th, 2014|Categories: News, Politics|Tags: , , , |

The Tbilisi TV tower has gone dark at night because of a budget gridlock in the city. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Tbilisi’s most visible landmark, the Mtatsminda TV tower, has gone dark at night, because of the the city’s failure to pass a budget for this year. City Hall decided to switch off the light show on the tower because of the City Council’s […]

Aide to the Georgian president attacked in Ankara

By | January 20th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

Sopo Janiashvili, an aide to the Georgian president, was attacked in Ankara on Monday. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–An aide to the Georgian president was attacked in Turkey on Monday during an official visit. The attack took place in Ankara, just as a meeting between Georgian president Giorgi Margvelashvili and Turkish President Abdullah Gül was about to start. […]

1000 people demonstrated to save Vake Park in Tbilisi

By | January 20th, 2014|Categories: Environment, News|Tags: , , |

Around a thousand people gathered in Tbilisi’s Vake Park Sunday to show their resistance to a planned new hotel. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Around a thousand people showed up in Vake Park in Tbilisi Sunday to protest against the construction of a new hotel. The event, which was planned on Facebook, brought together people, families, some with dogs or carrying balloons, enjoying snacks […]

Farmers in Georgia dump mandarin harvest due to delay

By | January 20th, 2014|Categories: Economy, News|Tags: , |

Farmers in Kobuleti have thrown away mandarins that rotted while they were waiting to bring it to the factory. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Farmers in Kobuleti, a small town on the Black Sea coast, have thrown away part of their mandarin harvest because it rotted before they managed to sell it to the factory. The farmers say frost destroyed their mandarin and they just have to throw it […]

Georgian president pardons 54 prisoners

By | January 20th, 2014|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: , |

Prison No 8 in Gldani, Tbilisi. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili on Sunday pardoned 54 prisoners. Two of them are minors, and one is a woman. The pardoning took palce in connection with Epiphany, a holiday usually celebrated on January 19. It is regular practice for the […]

US Congress approves USD 62 million aid to Georgia

By | January 19th, 2014|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–The United States will give more than USD 62 million in aid to Georgia in 2014. Georgia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry says the extent of U.S. aid was decided in the Consolidated Appropriations Act for fiscal year of 2014, which was passed by the House […]

Mining company wants to dig gold in 5400 year old mine

By | January 19th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Mining company RMG claims the 5400 years old gold mine has no archaeological value and demands that its employees are not left idling as experts work to determine whether Sakdrisi should be protected. (Culture Ministry.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Activists in Georgia are trying to prevent a five thousand year old gold mine from being opened up for commercial exploitation. It started in spring 2013, when archaeologists became aware that the mining company RMG was about to start excavating gold […]

Energy Ministry claims Saakashvili’s palace stole gas

By | January 18th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , |

The presidential residence in Avlabari, Tbilisi. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The government in Georgia has discovered that the palace Mikheil Saakashvili used as official residence for many years had a gas pipe installed which made it able to consume gas illegally without a counter. The glass domed presidential residence towers […]

Burjanadze fined USD 36 600 for campaign financing violation

By | January 18th, 2014|Categories: Elections, News|Tags: , |

Nino Burjanadze. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The State Audit Office in Georgia has fined the party led by opposition figure Nino Burjanadze, Democratic Movement, 65 000 lari (USD 36 600) for not declaring its finances in the election campaign. The State Audit Office, previously known as […]

Georgian government publishes Imedi settlement agreement

By | January 17th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

Georgian Minister of Justice, Thea Tsulukiani. (Official photo.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian government Friday published an agreement between the previous government and the family of deceased businessman Badri Patarkatsishvili about Imedi TV. The settlement agreement, which is published on the Ministry of Justice webpage, was […]

PM to head Georgia’s delegation at Munich Security Conference

By | January 17th, 2014|Categories: News, Security|Tags: , |

Prime Minister of Georgia, Irakli Gharibashvili. (Official photo.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili will lead the Georgian delegation at the annual Munich Security Conference in two weeks. Mikheil Saakashvili, who stepped down as president three months ago, has been representing Georgia in recent […]

Georgia will consider proposal to open McDonald’s in Abkhazia

By | January 17th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Prime Minister of Georgia, Irakli Gharibashvili. (Official photo.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili says it is necessary to correctly evaluate the political risks of McDonald’s and Coca-Cola entering the Georgian breakaway region Abkhazia. Gharibashvili Thursday said at a press conference that he will discuss […]

Georgian government limits purchase of expensive cars

By | January 17th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili. (Official photo.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The government in Georgia plans to adopt rules that will regulate what type and mark of cars officials will be allowed to have according to their rank. Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili presented the initiative during a more general press conference […]

Illegal slaughterhouse uncovered near Tbilisi

By | January 17th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–Hunters in Georgia have discovered an illegal slaughterhouse close to the village Kumisi, not far from the capital Tbilisi. The hunters claim donkeys are secretly killed there and cut in a way as not to recognize the origin of the meat. Later it is […]

Hungary recognizes Georgia’s ‘neutral passports’

By | January 16th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–Hungary has recognized Georgia’s neutral passports, which are issued to people living in the breakaway territories Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Hungary made a decision on November 29, 2013, and it came to force yesterday. The so-called neutral […]

Georgia denies claim Russian fighter jets flew over its territory

By | January 16th, 2014|Categories: News, Security|Tags: , , |

Sukhoi SU-27. (Photo: merlion86.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The government in Georgia rejects reports that Russian military jets recently violated Georgian airspace. A few days ago, local media reported that five Russian SU-27s and one IL-76 crossed Georgia on January 10 and landed near the Armenian capital […]

Georgian Muslims to have two muftis

By | January 16th, 2014|Categories: Minorities, News|Tags: , , |

Jemal Paksadze. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Muslims in Georgia will from now on have two muftis instead of one. This was decided at a session of the Administration of Muslims of all Georgia on January 9. Jemal Paksadze, who used to be the Mufti of all Georgia, from now on will be mufti of […]

World Bank expects 6.3 % growth in Georgia in 2014

By | January 16th, 2014|Categories: Economy, News|Tags: , |

The World Bank expects Georgia to have over 6 percent growth in 2014. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The World Bank expects Georgia to have 6.3 percent economic growth in 2014. The estimate was published in the Bank’s Global Economic Prospects 2014, which reads that the prognosis for economic growth in Georgia in 2014 is 6.3. […]

Venice Commission visiting Georgia Thursday

By | January 15th, 2014|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–The president and the secretary of the Venice Commission will visit Georgia on January 16. Gianni Buquicchio and Thomas Markert will meet with Speaker of Parliament Davit Usupashvili on Thursday and members of the constitution commission, which is […]

Georgia creates agency to stimulate entrepreneurship

By | January 15th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian government plans to create an Entrepreneurship Development Agency to spur the growth of business. Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili said this on Wednesday during a meeting with representatives of the business […]

Tbilisi still without a budget, City Hall warns of problems

By | January 15th, 2014|Categories: News, Politics|Tags: , |

Acting Mayor of Tbilisi, Sevdia Ugrekhelidze. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Tbilisi City Hall asks the City Council to solve the problem of approving the 2014 city budget. The Council failed to approve the budget on December 29, which means that City Hall is only allowed to spend up to one twelfth of the size of last year’s […]

Merabishvili inquest turns up nothing interesting: Prison Ministry

By | January 15th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Vano Merabishvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Prison Ministry in Georgia says it did not notice anything interesting while looking into claims made by former Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili that he was taken out of his cell at night and threatened by the chief prosecutor. The ministry’s […]

Georgia listed in 22nd place on Index of Economic Freedom

By | January 15th, 2014|Categories: Economy, News|Tags: , |

Marneuli Food Factory expanded its range of products with canned peaches in August 2013. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia is listed in 22nd place on the Index of Economic Freedom, a ranking which includes 178 countries worldwide. The list was published Tuesday by the Heritage Foundation and shows Georgia in 22nd place with 72.6 points. According to the report, […]

New details may help find who attacked Jehova’s Witnesses

By | January 14th, 2014|Categories: Minorities, News|Tags: , |

Police in Georgia have new information which may help in finding those who attacked a gathering of Jehova’s Witnesses in Ozurgeti on January 1, 2014. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–New details might help police find out who attacked Jehovah’s Witnesses in Ozurgeti two weeks ago. In the attack, which took place on January 1, strangers broke the windows of a car the Witnesses were sitting in and threw stones at the building where […]

Georgian and Estonian parliamentarians reinforce ties

By | January 14th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

Georgian Speaker of Parliament Davit Usupashvili and Estonian Speaker of Parliament Ene Ergma. (Official photo.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A group of Georgian parliamentarians arrived in Estonia Monday for a two-day visit. The delegation includes MPs from the two opposing power blocs in Georgian politics. On Monday, the Georgian and Estonian speakers of parliament held a meeting to […]

Georgia to launch Facebook page in Abkhazian language

By | January 14th, 2014|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch–The government in Georgia is preparing to start a Facebook page that will offer information about its activities in the Abkhazian language. Abkhazia is one of two Georgian breakaway regions under Russian control. The previous government also took steps […]

McDonald’s to open restaurant in Abkhazia?

By | January 14th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch–A statement by McDonald’s that it wants to open a branch in the disputed Georgian region Abkhazia has caused strong criticism in Georgia. Temur Chkonia, representative of McDonald’s in Georgia, says the statement will be removed from the […]

Russia-Georgia border crossing will be open 24 hours

By | January 14th, 2014|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

Verkhniy Lars – Kazbegi is the only officially approved border crossing between Georgia and Russia. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Checkpoint Lars, the only Russian border crossing with Georgia, will be open 24 hours from January 15. Kavkaz Uzel writes that a person working at the checkpoint says the checkpoint on the Georgian side, which is called Kazbegi, will also be open 24 […]

Further charges against two Saakashvili-era ex-officials

By | January 13th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Bacho Akhalaia. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Prosecutor’s Office in Georgia has presented new charges against former Defense Minister Bacho Akhalaia and Megis Kardava, a former chairman of Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti police department in a case that deals with torture of prisoners. This will be […]

National Movement to rally Georgians against Russia

By | January 13th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , |

National Movement spokesperson Andro Barnovi. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The National Movement is planning a series of anti-Putin demonstrations in several cities and towns, but first wants to meet with the people. The party’s spokesperson Andro Barnovi said on Monday that the government is passive as the Winter Sochi […]

Georgian parliament’s website down after hacker attack

By | January 13th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

Under construction. Parliament is getting a new website after the old one was attacked by hackers. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The website of Georgia’s parliament was down during the weekend and IT specialists are still trying to repair it after it was hacked twice in the last two weeks. Merab Gotsiridze, head of the informational technology department of parliament, says […]

Georgian parliamentarians to visit Estonia Jan 13-15

By | January 13th, 2014|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

Speaker of Parliament Davit Bakrardze. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A group of Georgian parliamentarians will visit Estonia January 13-15. The delegation will be headed by the speaker of parliament and hold meetings with the Estonian president, speaker of parliament, prime minister and foreign minister, according to […]

One person a day detained at de facto border in 2014

By | January 13th, 2014|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–14 persons have been detained by South Ossetia from December 31 to January 10 for violating the de facto border. Nine of the detainees were locals from South Ossetia, one was a Russian citizen and four were Georgian citizens. They were detained […]

Child protection is missing from Georgia’s Association Agreement

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

In December 2013, Georgia signed the Association Agreement with the European Union during the Eastern Partnership summit held in Vilnius.The newly signed Association Agreement thus becomes the main treaty between Georgia and the EU and highlights key areas of cooperation.  The Agreement focuses […]

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 […]

Georgian president to visit Turkey January 20

By | January 12th, 2014|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: , |

President of Georgia, Giorgi Margvelashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian president Giorgi Margvelashvili will visit Turkey on January 20. According to the president’s administration, he has planned meetings with President Abdullah Gül in Ankara and also the prime minister and speaker of parliament. […]

Rally against planned new hotel in Vake Park, Tbilisi

By | January 11th, 2014|Categories: Environment, News|Tags: , |

Environmentalists say it’s against the law to build a new hotel in a recreational zone, like Vake Park. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–People Friday demonstrated in front of Tbilisi City Hall against a private company’s plans to build a new hotel inside the publicly owned Vake Park in the capital. Behind the project is Tiflis Development Company, and the hotel is planned at the location […]

Nigerian king concerned about attack on own citizen in Georgia

By | January 11th, 2014|Categories: Minorities, News|Tags: , , |

Erik, a citizen of Nigeria, was brutally beaten and robbed on Pekini Street in Tbilisi Thursday night. (Rustavi 2.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A man presenting himself as a king has appealed to the Georgian government for better protection of his fellow countrymen after a Nigerian was brutally attacked in Tbilisi. Richard Arize, presented by Rustavi 2 as a king of Igbo-Ukwu, a town in […]

Georgia’s National Bank changes policy after drop in lari’s value

By | January 11th, 2014|Categories: Economy, News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch–The National Bank of Georgia plans to tighten its monetary policy in case the fall in the exchange rate of lari sets off an inflation. After falling in value for several months, the Georgian lari (GEL) is now rated at 1.7421 against the US dollar. […]

Georgian Patriarch: Glad gay marriage is not EU requirement

By | January 10th, 2014|Categories: Minorities, News|Tags: , |

Georgia’s Patriarch Ilia II. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Patriarch’s Christmas epistle continues to cause controversy in Georgia. Not only in vitro fertilization and the use of surrogate mothers, but also what he wrote about sexual minorities. “It’s a pity that minority groups, that have sharply […]

Tougher punishment for false reports of terrorism in Georgia

By | January 10th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

The building of television station Rustavi 2 was evacuated in September 2013. TBILISI, DFWatch–The Interior Ministry in Georgia is bringing in tougher rules for falsely reporting a terrorist attack or a bomb. The Administrative Violations Code of Georgia will now define stricter punishment for those who report false information to the […]

Georgian government critical of anti-mafia law but won’t change it

By | January 10th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Vakhtang Khmaladze, head of parliament’s judiciary committee. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The government in Georgia does not plan to review its policy towards the mafia, but the head of the judiciary committee in parliament says the laws targeting criminal organizations are vague. One of the stated priorities of former president Mikheil […]

Georgia says crime level dropped in 2013

By | January 10th, 2014|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–The government in Georgia says the overall crime level dropped by one fourth in 2013 compared to the preceding year, although the number of new criminal investigations grew by 40 percent. The Ministry of Internal Affairs’s latest crime statistics […]

Four people guilty of hooliganism after Wednesday’s rallies

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

The four interfered with a protest against a speech by the Patriarch critical to in vitro fertilization and the use of surrogate mothers. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Tbilisi City Court Thursday fined three people detained at a rally the day before and fined them 100 lari (USD 60). A fourth detainee received a verbal warning. All four were detained on Wednesday as two opposing protest rallies outside the […]

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 […]

French refugee office lists Georgia as a safe country

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

The refugee camp in Batumi. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless (OFPRA) has listed Georgia as one of the countries considered safe at the national level. This means that people from Georgia who seek asylum in France cannot receive it easily, only in […]

Georgian health minister promotes adoption

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

Health Minister Davit Sergeenko. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–There are more than 3 000 applications of couples who want to adopt a child in Georgia, and only 20 children available for being adopted. Health Minister Davit Sergeenko said at press conference on Wednesday that the procedures aren’t difficult but […]

Five prison doctors fired after prisoner death

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

TBILISI, DFWatch–Five prison doctors have been fired after the death of a prisoner at Prison No 19 in Ksani, a town north of the capital. Spokesperson Irakli Kordzaia said Wednesday that the Prison Ministry has studied what happened to a prisoner who died January 2, […]

Four detained at protests about artificial fertilization

By | January 8th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

Human rights activists are reacting to a sermon by Georgia’s Patriarch criticizing in vitro fertilization and the use of surrogate mothers. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Four persons were detained on Wednesday after several incidents during two counter-rallies held at the main office of the Georgian Orthodox Church, the Patriarchate. Participants at one rally came to protest against an epistle by the Georgian Patriarch […]

Ex-officials charged with torture leading to death

By | January 8th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , , , |

TBILISI, DFWatch–In the past two weeks, Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia has twice introduced charges against former government official Megis Kardava for torture of prisoners. On Wednesday, the Prosecutor’s Office published information about an investigation […]

Georgia sends delegation to Munich Security Conference

By | January 8th, 2014|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia will send a delegation to attend the 50th Munich Security Conference. According to the Foreign Affairs Ministry, it is decided that a delegation from Georgia will attend the conference, but it is still unknown who the members […]

Georgia’s Patriarch criticizes artificial reproduction

By | January 8th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

Georgian Patriarch Ilia II. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian Patriarch’s Christmas epistle is causing a reaction among human rights groups in the country. In the epistle, which was published yesterday night, Catholicos Patriarch Ilia II talks about children who were born to surrogate mothers. He […]

Georgia does not plan to advertise for wine at Sochi

By | January 8th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–The National Wine Agency of Georgia does not plan to advertise Georgian wine at the upcoming Sochi Winter Olympics, but it is still unknown whether private companies will do it on their own initiative. On Tuesday, Russian media reported that Georgia […]

Christmas procession Alilo held in Tbilisi

By | January 7th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

The Christmas procession Alilo is held every year on January 7. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–January 7, Georgia marks Christmas according to the Julian Calendar and as customary the large Alilo procession was held in the capital. Clerics and parishioners on Tuesday gathered at Roses Square to prepare to walk along Rustaveli Avenue and end the […]

Georgia listed as world’s fifth best tourism country

By | January 7th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Sioni, one of the travel destinations in Georgia. (Photo: Mari Nikuradze.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Rough Guides has listed Georgia as number five among the world’s top countries for tourism. Rough Guide is a travel guidebook owned by Penguin Random House. The publication has selected the best tourist countries for 2014, and Ethiopia is […]

Georgian lari falls further against dollar, euro

By | January 7th, 2014|Categories: Economy, News|Tags: |

Georgian National Bank. TBILISI, DFWatch–The exchange rate of Georgian lari (GEL) continues to fall and is now valued at 1.7466 against the US dollar. According to the National Bank of Georgia, the lari this year fell by 5.1 percent. The last time it was as low as 1.74 against the dollar was […]

21% more visitors to Georgia in 2013

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

Tbilisi airport. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–There were 5 365 356 visitors to Georgia in 2013. This is a 21.2 percent increase from 2012. According to the Interior Ministry’s department of information and analysis, there came 391 724 visitors to the county in December 2013, which is five […]

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 […]

Five Georgians die of alcohol poisoning in Turkey

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

TBILISI, DFWatch–Five Georgians have died of alcohol poisoning in the suburbs of Istanbul, Turkey. First, there was report about the death of four Georgians, which was confirmed by the Foreign Affairs Ministry of Georgia. On Sunday, there was another report that […]

Ivanishvili’s fortune shrunk 1.1 bln during year in politics

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

Bidzina Ivanishvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili’s fortune shrunk by USD 1.1 billion during the year he governed his country as prime minister. What happened? The journal Forbes in 2012 listed Ivanishvili in 153rd place among the world’s billionaires with an estimated […]

Georgian government starts weekly meetings with its lawmakers

By | January 5th, 2014|Categories: News, Politics|Tags: |

Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili (center) flanked by Speaker of Parliament Davit Usupashvili (left) and Energy Minister Kakhi Kaladze. (Official photo.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The government in Georgia on Saturday held the first of what is to be weekly consultations with its coalition’s lawmakers. Davit Saganelidze, Member of Parliament for the Georgian Dream coalition, said the point of the weekly Saturday meetings […]

Chechen refugees trying to find their place in Georgian society

By | January 5th, 2014|Categories: Minorities, News|Tags: , |

Kariata Tsimirbulatova. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–For the last 14 years, Kariata Tsimirbulatova has lived with her husband and four children in Duisi, a village in a valley in the northeastern part of Georgia near the border to Chechnya called Pankisi Gorge. The members of her family have recently […]

Next Abashidze-Karasin meeting in Prague in February

By | January 5th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

Georgia’s representative Zurab Abashidze (left), and Russia’s Grigory Karasin. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The next meeting between representatives of Georgia and Russia will be held possibly at the end of February in Prague. Zurab Abashidze, the prime minister’s special representative for relations with Russia, told Interpressnews that he and Gregory […]

Prison Ministry questions former interior minister about threats

By | January 4th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Former Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Prison Ministry staff have questioned former Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili about his statement about being taken from his cell and threatened by the chief prosecutor. Merabishvili said in December that he was brought out of his cell and taken […]

Russia simplifies visa rules for Georgian transport drivers

By | January 4th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

The Russia-Georgia border crossing at Larsi. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Russia has simplified its visa rules for Georgian transit traffic. According to Deputy Economy Minister Natia Mikeladze, Russia informed Georgia about the decision through the Swiss embassy, which acts as an intermediary since formal relations were […]

Georgia’s new chief prosecutor to be announced soon

By | January 4th, 2014|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s prime minister Irakli Gharibashvili says he will name the new chief prosecutor in a few days. The former chief prosecutor Otar Partskhaladze resigned December 30 after the National Movement claimed an alleged robbery sentence from Germany in 2001 […]

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 […]

Georgia to elect new member of High Council of Justice

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

The High Council of Justice is to get a new member. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian president Giorgi Margvelashvili January 3 announced a competition to select one member of the High Council of Justice. According to a statement published by the president’s administration, the candidate will be selected among professors […]

Families get compensation for soldiers who died in war

By | January 3rd, 2014|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–From January 1, the closest family of soldiers who have died on duty will receive a monthly compensation of 500 lari (USD 300). An amendment was made in June last year to the law about state compensation and state academic scholarship and is now […]

Jehovah’s Witnesses attacked in Ozurgeti

By | January 3rd, 2014|Categories: Minorities, News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch–January 1, unknown persons attacked a gathering of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Ozurgeti. According to local media in the Guria region, the assailants broke the windows of a car the Jehovah’s Witnesses were sitting in and threw stones at the building where they […]

Tbilisi City Council rejects 2014 budget

By | January 2nd, 2014|Categories: News, Politics|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–A majority in Tbilisi City Council voted to reject the 2014 budget. The proposal received the support of only 18 council members, while 21 voted against. Three abstained. During the preceding debate, a majority of council members criticized how […]

Georgian ministry renamed from ‘reintegration’ to ‘reconciliation’

By | January 2nd, 2014|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: , |

Paata Zakareishvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Office of the State Minister for Reintegration from January 1 is called the Office of the State Minister of Reconciliation and Civil Equality Issues. According to the minister, Paata Zakareishvili, the name implies two areas: conflicts and […]

South Ossetia pardons Georgian jailed for sedition

By | January 2nd, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Leonid Tibilov, de facto president of the breakaway region South Ossetia. (RES.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The de facto president of South Ossetia, Leonid Tibilov, on December 31 pardoned a Georgian who was serving a 13 year sentence for sedition after being involved in the region’s Tbilisi-backed administration. According to a statement by the breakaway region’s […]

Georgia releases 87 prisoners for New Year’s

By | January 2nd, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

The Prison Ministry’s pardon commission during a session in November, 2013. (Ministry photo.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia has released 87 prisoners in connection with New Year’s Day. Four of the released are women and 83 are men, according to the Prison Ministry. The decision was made by the ministry’s pardon commission, one of two such bodies that recommend […]

Georgian president will not use official residences

By | January 1st, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

President Giorgi Margvelashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian president Giorgi Margvelashvili says he has decided not to use any of the presidential residences. He claims that none of the government officials have purchased luxurious cars or other objects by state money. A few days ago, questions […]

Will local government reform encourage separatism in Georgia?

By | January 1st, 2014|Categories: Minorities, News|Tags: , , |

Agit Mirzoev, director of Analytical Center for Interethnic Cooperation and Consultations. TBILISI, DFWatch–A draft law that will reform local government is causing controversy in Georgia, as some think it may encourage separatism and jeopardize the country’s integrity. This issue is problematic because the Soviet government created three autonomous […]