Yearly Archives: 2015

The government needs renewal, says GD founder Ivanishvili

By | December 31st, 2015|Categories: Politics|Tags: , |

(Pirveli.) TBILISI, DFWatch–There is a need for new people in the Georgian Dream government, businessman Bidzina Ivanishvili said Wednesday evening, in his first public comments on the change of prime minister and other recent developments in the coalition […]

Police officer injured in shooting dies

By | December 31st, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: |

Maia Javakhishvili. TBILISI, DFWatch–A female police officer who was injured in a shooting on Wednesday in Telavi died later the same day. Maia Javakhishvili was injured during a shooting in front of a police station, while her partner, Captain Gela Lamazoshvili, died on the spot. […]

19 year old shoots, kills police officer

By | December 30th, 2015|Categories: In brief|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A policeman was shot and killed on Wednesday outside the police station in Telavi, a town in Georgia’s eastern Kakheti region. The officer, Gela Lamazoshvili, died on the spot. A female police officer was also injured in the shooting […]

Tbilisi’s waste collectors on strike

By | December 30th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Part of the capital’s waste collectors and street sweepers went on strike on Wednesday morning, demanding a 50 percent pay increase. Employees showed up today at the office of Tbilservice, the company responsible for keep Tbilisi clean. […]

Georgian parliament approves new Kvirikashvili government

By | December 30th, 2015|Categories: Politics|Tags: |

Giorgi Kvirikashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian parliament approved the new government on Tuesday by 86 votes against 28. Lawmakers debated the government program all day, sparring with new Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili into late night hours. Both the two […]

South Ossetia prepares to add ‘Alania’ to its name

By | December 30th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

Leonid Tibilov. (RES.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The leader of the breakaway region South Ossetia has ordered a proposal to be put before the elected assembly about changing the entity’s name to South Ossetia – Alania. Along with the proposed name change, a referendum […]

Citizens’ appeal for pardoning fmr Tbilisi mayor rejected by president

By | December 29th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: |

Former Tbilisi mayor Gigi Ugulava. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A citizens’ appeal to pardon former Tbilisi mayor Gigi Ugulava has been rejected by President Giorgi Margvelashvili. Ugulava has been in detention since July 2014. His supporters argue that there have been committed several violations […]

Incoming PM defends economic policy

By | December 29th, 2015|Categories: Politics|Tags: , , |

Giorgi Kvirikashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s prime minister in waiting defended his handling of the economic crisis as he answered questions from parliamentarians on Monday ahead of a confirmation vote today, Tuesday. As expected, Giorgi Kvirikashvili’s tenure as economy minister […]

Pentagon denies capture of IS commander from Pankisi

By | December 29th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: |

Undated photo of Abu Omar TBILISI, DFWatch–The Pentagon has denied the capture of Islamic State commander Omar Al-Shishani, a citizen of Georgia whose birth name is Tarkhan Batirashvili. A spokesperson for the U.S. Defense Department told Ria Novosti that the information […]

IS commander from Pankisi reportedly captured by US/Kurdish commandos

By | December 28th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–Tarkhan Batirashvili, a.k.a. Abu Omar al-Shishani, a notorious IS field commander from Georgia’s Pankisi Gorge, was reportedly seized by Kurdish and American commandos in Northern Iraq on Friday. Undated photo of Abu Omar Abu Omar’s arrest was reported by the Russian […]

Controversial appointment of judge to the Appeals Court

By | December 28th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Levan Murusidze. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s High Council of Justice on Friday appointed a new judge to the Appeals Court who was criticized as one of the court officials who decided to go easy on of those involved in the murder of a bank employee in 2006. The murder of Sandro Girgvliani […]

New PM plans no changes in cabinet – for now

By | December 27th, 2015|Categories: Politics|Tags: |

Giorgi Kvirikashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Giorgi Kvirikashvili, the designated new prime minister of Georgia, plans to present his cabinet tomorrow. The list is expected to be almost identical to the current government, but he does not rule out changes in the future. The former vice prime minister […]

Petition for new mosque in Batumi collects 5,000 signatures in one day

By | December 27th, 2015|Categories: Minorities|Tags: |

(DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Supporters of a second mosque in Batumi began collecting signatures Friday. The city on Georgia’s Black Sea coast is largely Muslim but the only mosque has been overcrowded for decades. Signatures were collected at a corner of the Orta Jame […]

Credit card fraud ring busted in Georgia

By | December 26th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Finance Ministry’s investigation service have detained a group of ten people for manufacturing fake credit cards and stealing more than 1.5 million laris. Investigators describe the case as ‘a large-scale international crime.’ The ten are suspected of illegally […]

President supports Kvirikashvili as new PM and asks parliament for approval

By | December 26th, 2015|Categories: Politics|Tags: , , |

President Giorgi Margvelashvili supports Giorgi Kvirikashvili (inset) as new prime minister. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–President Giorgi Margvelashvili Friday supported the ruling coalition’s nominee, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, as candidate for new prime minister and asked parliament to approve him. The president’s administration supported Kvirikashvili’s candidacy […]

Georgian president pardons 238 prisoners

By | December 26th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: |

President Giorgi Margvelashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian president pardoned 238 prisoners on Friday, 18 of whom were women and three minors. According to Zviad Koridze, head of the president’s pardon commission, 172 prisoners will leave jail today. 11 of them are women and two are minors. […]

Man who had surgery says police hit him in the face

By | December 25th, 2015|Categories: In brief|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Prosecutor General’s Office has launched an investigation into an incident where a man was allegedly beaten by police officers. The Public Defender wrote on Thursday that a person had surgery at the central hospital in Tbilisi on November 10, […]

Georgia’s association agreement with EU comes into force

By | December 25th, 2015|Categories: In brief|Tags: |

Irakli Garibashvili asked Belgium to speed up the ratification process. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Belgium became the last member country to add its consent to Georgia’s association agreement with the European Union on Thursday. The agreement has now been ratified by all 28 member states as well as EU’s own institutions […]

Giorgi Kvirikashvili named as candidate for PM

By | December 25th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Giorgi Kvirikashvili. (Channel 1.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian Dream coalition has agreed on Giorgi Kvirikashvili as their candidate for new prime minister, as replacement for Irakli Garibashvili, who resigned Wednesday evening. Kvirikashvili is former vice prime minister and minister of foreign affairs. […]

New Georgian government expected before New Year

By | December 24th, 2015|Categories: In brief|Tags: |

Davit Usupashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The deadline for parliament to approve a new government is 14 or 15 January, 2016, but the procedure may finish before New Year, Georgia’s speaker of parliament said Thursday. Irakli Garibashvili announced his resignation last night […]

GD coalition to discuss new PM at session Friday

By | December 23rd, 2015|Categories: Politics|Tags: , , , , |

Foreign Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The candidate for new prime minister will be discussed at a session of the Georgian Dream coalition on Friday, the speaker of parliament said Wednesday evening after the PM announced his resignation. Speaker Davit Usupashvili […]

Georgian PM resigns without specifying reasons nor naming successor

By | December 23rd, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: |

Irakli Garibashvili announcing his resignation. (Rustavi 2.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili announced his resignation in a brief TV address on Wednesday, after more than two years in the post. He did not state any specific reasons for leaving, nor offer advice on who his successor should be, which ultimately […]

Georgian PM expected to resign, to hold special briefing at 8pm

By | December 23rd, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Garibashvili is expected to resign on Wednesday (IPN) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili may announce his resignation at a special briefing planned at his office on Wednesday, at 8pm Tbilisi time. The PM’s resignation was reported earlier by Georgian news agencies, and although […]

Prisoner participates in singing contest, is pardoned and given car

By | December 23rd, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

Teona Kolbaia. (Imedi.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A woman who has twice been convicted of robbery is a participant in the talent show Voice of Georgia. Tuesday, she was told live during the show that she has been pardoned and given a car. The Voice accepted Teona Kolbaia during casting […]

Police looking for taxi driver who assaulted women passengers

By | December 23rd, 2015|Categories: In brief|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Police in Georgia have identified a taxi driver in Tbilisi who allegedly beat a woman who rejected his attempts at physical contact. The suspect has not yet been apprehended, but an investigation has been launched based on article 125 […]

Margvelashvili declares 2016 the Year of the European State

By | December 23rd, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

Guram Girgvliani (right) receiving the Order of Queen Tamar on behalf of his late wife, Irine Enukidze, from President Giorgi Margvelashvili (left). (Facebook.) TBILISI, DFWatch–President Giorgi Margvelashvili on Monday declared 2016 as the Year of the European State. He made the announcement at a ceremony to celebrate the 25 year anniversary of founding of the National Guard. The president said […]

Russia introduces simplified visa rules for Georgians

By | December 22nd, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch–Russia is beginning a process of simplifying visa rules for Georgian citizens, a few days after the EU published a positive final report about fulfillment of a visa liberalization action plan. The Russian Foreign Ministry announced on Tuesday that […]

Georgian politician bit off colleague’s ear

By | December 22nd, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , |

Emiko Peikrishvili. (Maestro TV.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A local politician in Georgia bit off part of the ear of a colleague during a fight on Monday. Emiko Peikrishvili, the former head of Kareli municipality in the Shida Kartli region, bit off a small part of the ear of Ilia Kelekhsashvili, assistant to the current municipal […]

Georgian football official dies after being hit by police car

By | December 22nd, 2015|Categories: Sport|Tags: , |

Davit Petriashvili. (Channel 1.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A Georgian football official died in a car accident Tuesday morning. Davit Petriashvili (46) was hit by a police car in the center of Tbilisi and died on the spot. Petriashvili who used to manage relations between the Georgian Football Federation […]

Man sentenced to life for murdering policeman

By | December 21st, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: |

Shalva Abuladze was found guilty of murdering a policeman and attempting to murder four other police officers. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A man in Georgia was Monday sentenced to life imprisonment for murdering a policeman and trying to murder four other police officers. According to Shalva Khachapuridze, a lawyer representing the murder convict Shalva Abuladze, […]

Tbilisi woman denies murdering husband and son

By | December 21st, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A woman suspected of murdering her husband and son denies committing the crime, claiming that she doesn’t know what happened but was trying to save her husband when she found him. The woman was questioned about the case and the court […]

E60 through Georgia cut off by flood for the third time

By | December 21st, 2015|Categories: Environment|Tags: , |

The water level in River Chkhara was still too high for repair work to begin on Monday. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A section of the E60, the main highway east-west through Georgia, has once more been cut off because a river spilled over its banks near Kutaisi. The damaged section is the 206th km of the Tbilisi-Senaki-Leselidze road, the same section which […]

NDI poll shows small Georgian Dream lead, voters still indifferent

By | December 21st, 2015|Categories: Politics|Tags: |

The share of people who wouldn’t vote for any party or don’t know which one is down to 38% (yellow line), after reaching almost 50% in August. (National Democratic Institute.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A poll published on Monday shows the ruling Georgian Dream coalition back in the lead, and a surge in voters’ apathy slightly abating. The latest National Democratic Institute (NDI) poll, carried out in late November, early December, shows that if there […]

Proposal to prevent NGOs and media from ‘insulting traditional values’

By | December 21st, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

Levan Vasadze. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A Georgian businessman has proposed to create a commission to prevent media and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from insulting the country’s traditional values. Levan Vasadze, who formally has status as ‘knight’ […]

Tbilisi woman allegedly killed husband and son

By | December 21st, 2015|Categories: In brief|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A woman was arrested in Tbilisi on Sunday suspected of murdering her husband and five-year-old son. According to investigators, the woman, who is about 26 years old, injured her two year older husband by hitting him in the head with […]

Man arrested for robbing churches in Kakheti

By | December 20th, 2015|Categories: In brief|Tags: |

Police arrested the suspect in this monastery in Kvareli. ( TBILISI, DFWatch–Police in Georgia have arrested a man accused of robbing four churches in Kakheti, a province in the eastern part of Georgia, a few days ago. Investigators say the man, who is about 21 years old, was arrested at night while attempting to rob […]

Groups find shortfalls in Georgia’s attempts to live up to EU agreement

By | December 18th, 2015|Categories: NGO news|Tags: |

(DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Non-governmental organizations on Friday presented a report about how Georgia is doing in fulfilling its requirements under an association agreement signed with EU in 2014. The report outlines progress in some fields, but also problems […]

Georgian Defense Ministry announces contracts for military service

By | December 18th, 2015|Categories: Security|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian Defense Ministry this week announced vacancies for joining the military on a contractual basis. The contracts offered have a four year term and are available for persons between 18 and 35 year, and youth who have served compulsory military […]

EU Commission approves visa-free travel for Georgians

By | December 18th, 2015|Categories: Europe|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The EU Commission announced Friday that Georgia has fulfilled a stepwise plan toward visa liberalization. This could mean that as early as in mid 2016, Georgian citizens will be able to travel without a visa to countries in the Schengen area, which apart […]

Ukraine’s Avakov in shouting match with Saakashvili at council meeting

By | December 17th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Mikheil Saakashvili (right) got up and left the meeting of the Reform Council after a shouting match with Arsen Avakov (left), who threw a glass of water at him. TBILISI, DFWatch–Ukraine’s Interior Minister Arsen Avakov Wednesday published a video showing a quarrel between him and Mikheil Saakashvili, Governor of Odessa, and former President of Georgia. The video shows them bickering and Avakov […]

Alleged IS plot, Russian helicopter overflight topics at IPRM

By | December 17th, 2015|Categories: Security|Tags: , , |

A Russian helicopter of this type flew over Georgian-controlled territory on December 10. (U.S. Department of Defense.) TBILISI, DFWatch–An alleged New Year’s terror plot by Islamic State and an airspace violation by a Russian helicopter were some one of the topics at a regular field meeting about the conflict over the breakaway territory South Ossetia on Wednesday. The meeting […]

Over thirty witnesses questioned in pardon-fixing case

By | December 17th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: |

Aleko Elisashvili, city council member and former head of the president’s pardon commission. TBILISI, DFWatch–The question of whether politicians tried to use their influence to fast-track the pardoning of certain prisoners was no closer to being settled Wednesday, after prosecutors had questioned at least 30 people. Prosecutor Koka Katsitadze said he doesn’t […]

Storm rips off roof in Tbilisi, leaving three families homeless

By | December 16th, 2015|Categories: In brief|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–High winds destroyed the roof of a house in Tbilisi on Wednesday, leaving three families homeless. The wind also tore down a tree on Dadiani Street, which damaged electricity transmission lines, as a result of which households living on the street were left […]

Two year old swallowed firecracker hidden in bag of chips

By | December 15th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: |

Iashvili Hospital. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The National Food Agency calls on parents to be careful during the Christmas period after a two-year old accidentally swallowed a firecracker hidden inside a package of sweet corn chips. The boy didn’t notice the firecracker among the chips and swallowed it. […]

Former pardon commission head questioned again

By | December 15th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Aleko Elisashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The the former head of the president’s pardon commission was questioned at the Prosecutor General’s Office on Monday. Aleko Elisashvili claims he was pressured by authorities to give a favorable decision in the cases of specific prisoners, […]

Georgia’s foreign trade down 14% Jan-Nov

By | December 15th, 2015|Categories: In brief|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s foreign trade turnover in the first eleven months of 2015 was 14 percent less than in the same period last year, according to preliminary figures published by the National Statistics Department. The total turnover amounted to USD 8,892 million, […]

Vice speaker confirms asking to fast-track prisoners’ bid for pardon

By | December 14th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: |

Manana Kobakhidze. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The vice speaker of the Georgian parliament confirms that she approached the president’s pardon commission and requested to have certain prisoners pardoned. The admission came after a newspaper published information based on […]

First train on new China-Turkey route welcomed in Tbilisi

By | December 14th, 2015|Categories: Economy|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The first train along a new route from China to Turkey, bypassing Russia, arrived in Tbilisi Sunday morning. The arrival of the 21 wagon train, whose final destination is Istanbul, marks the official opening of the Silk Road, the Georgian […]

Four dead bodies discovered in Georgia near border with Turkey

By | December 13th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Vladimer Gogidze found the bodies while he was out hunting with a friend. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Four dead bodies were discovered in Khelvachauri in southwestern Georgia on Saturday, four kilometers from the border with Turkey. The four bodies were frozen and almost covered in snow, and allegedly belong to citizens of Bangladesh. […]

Georgia’s Ministry of Economy scores lowest in openness survey

By | December 12th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , , , |

Giorgi Kldiashvili (left), IDFI, and Keti Khutsishvili, OSGF. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Ministry of Economic Development is the most closed public institution in Georgia, in terms of providing public information. This is one of the findings in a new report published Friday by the Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI). […]

Did government officials interfere with pardoning of prisoners?

By | December 11th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Aleko Elisashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Government officials tried to pressure the president’s pardon commission into releasing certain prisoners, former commission head Aleko Elisashvili claims. The current head of the pardon commission, Zviad Koridze, says he can confirm Elisashvili’s […]

Georgia’s Public Defender outlines problems on Human Rights Day

By | December 11th, 2015|Categories: News|

Prayers in Batumi pray outside as the only mosque is crowded (DF Watch) TBILISI, DFWatch–On December 10, the International Human Rights Day, the Public Defender as usual published a brief report about the situation in Georgia in terms of human rights. DF Watch compiled an overview of the most important issues discussed in the report. […]

Georgian volunteer killed in Ukraine’s Donbass

By | December 10th, 2015|Categories: In brief|

Photo: Irakli Kutelia ( Two Ukrainian militiamen, including Irakli Kutelia, an ethnic Georgian volunteer, were killed on Wednesday afternoon and seven others were injured as their infantry fighting vehicle ran over a mine near Donetsk, Ukrainian and Georgian media report. […]

Georgia: Direct foreign investments slump 33% in third quarter

By | December 9th, 2015|Categories: Economy|Tags: |

A new mineral water factory under construction in the Guria region with EBRD financing. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Direct foreign investments in Georgia was 33 percent lower in the third quarter of 2015 than in the same period last year, according to preliminary data from the National Statistics Department. Direct foreign investments amounted to USD 489 million […]

Armenian democracy in freefall after fraudulent referendum

By | December 9th, 2015|Categories: Caucasus region|

The same man voting three times in polling station No. 03/11 in Shengavit, Yerevan. Pictures by Bianca Bernardi for the Citizen Observer Initiative. Widespread electoral fraud allegations and the growing gap between the political élites and the society confirm worrying trends in Armenia’s democratic development. On Sunday, 6 December a nationwide constitutional referendum was held in Armenia. […]

Georgian man will not face trial for marrying 13 year old

By | December 9th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: |

From a recent street performance by school children to highlight the problem of child marriage. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A man who married a 13 year old girl and now has two children by her will not face trial for sexual relations with a minor, prosecutors have decided. Nadim Paksadze, who is now 21, was under investigation for marrying a minor, which has become […]

Construction worker dies at Sinohydro’s Kobuleti bypass road

By | December 9th, 2015|Categories: In brief|Tags: , , |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A construction worker died on Tuesday during work on a bypass road near Kobuleti in western Georgia. The 40-year-old man is said to have fallen from a 20-meter tall bridge and died from multiple injuries. An investigation has been launched […]

274 Georgian prisoners in Turkey may be gathered in one facility

By | December 8th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia is in negotiations with Turkey about locating all 274 Georgian prisoners in that country in the same jail. The Georgian prison minister visited Turkey’s justice minister Tuesday and discussed conditions of Georgian prisoners, […]

995 have applied for asylum in Georgia

By | December 8th, 2015|Categories: In brief|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–By October, 995 persons had applied for asylum in Georgia, while 1,192 people were living here under protection of international law, according to a new report by the Public Defender. The report, which was published on Monday, shows that […]

Georgian Orthodox Church clarifies statement about pardoning prisoners

By | December 7th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian Orthodox Church issued a short statement Sunday evening explaining that Patiarch Ilia II never meant to ask for legislative amendments to grant him the right to pardon prisoners. December 5, the patriarch attended a performance by women prisoners at Rustaveli Theatre, […]

Strike ends at BP South Caucasus pipeline expansion

By | December 7th, 2015|Categories: In brief|Tags: , , |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A strike among workers on the BP South Caucasus pipeline expansion has ended without drama as management fulfilled the main demand, but workers who were fired have not been given their jobs back. Three days ago, nearly 200 workers […]

Patriarch of Georgia asks for power to pardon prisoners

By | December 6th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Patriarch Ilia II. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The head of the Georgian Orthodox Church has asked for the power to pardon prisoners. Catholicos Patriarch Ilia II said Saturday that he thinks a patriarch should be able to pardon prisoners and added that he has spoken with the prime minister […]

Georgia revokes Saakashvili’s citizenship

By | December 4th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–The current president of Georgia on Friday revoked the citizenship of his predecessor, Mikheil Saakashvili, who is now governor of Odessa in Ukraine. Georgian legislation doesn’t allow dual citizenship. Since Saakashvili became a citizen of Ukraine […]

Man arrested in Tbilisi for stealing computer from mosque

By | December 4th, 2015|Categories: In brief|Tags: |

The theft took place in this Tbilisi mosque. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Police Friday detained a suspect who allegedly robbed a mosque in Tbilisi. The suspect, a 22 year old man, secretly snuck into a mosque in the old part of Tbilisi and stole a computer from a room used by Mullahs, and then went into hiding, according to the Interior Ministry. […]

Shots fired at Jehovah’s Witnesses house in Tbilisi – again

By | December 3rd, 2015|Categories: Minorities|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch–For a second time in one week, gunshots have been fired at a congregation hall used by Jehovah’s Witnesses in Tbilisi. Monday morning, someone fired shots at the Kingdom Hall building in Vazisubani, a suburb in the Georgian capital. […]

200 workers on strike at BP South Caucasus pipeline expansion

By | December 3rd, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , , , |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–About 200 workers went on strike Wednesday morning at BP’s South Caucasus gas pipeline expansion project in southern Georgia. Their demands are to increase their reduced working hours and reduced salaries, and to get paid for working on weekends […]

Seven percent more visitors in Georgia so far this year

By | December 2nd, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–There were 6.9 percent more visitors to Georgia during the last eleven months, compared to the same period last year, according to the Interior Ministry. There is no official data about how many of visitors are tourists, but the MIA counts the number […]

Georgia confirms arrest of four linked to IS

By | December 1st, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Levan Izoria. TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgian intelligence service Tuesday confirmed the arrest of four persons for links to Islamic State. Levan Izoria, Deputy Head of the State Security Service, said at a briefing that the four openly support the ideology of the terrorist organization known as ISIS. […]

Road Department warns: Slippery roads in north of Georgia

By | November 30th, 2015|Categories: In brief|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Road Department in Georgia warns that there are traffic restrictions in mountainous areas. Due to frost, trailers, semi-trailers and other vehicles with more than 30 seats are asked to use snow chains from the 80km to 136km section […]

TV channel reports four detained in Georgia for links to Islamic State

By | November 30th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A Georgian TV channel reported Sunday that special forces had arrested a person in the west of the country for allegedly being affiliated with Islamic State. The TV channel also reported that a further three persons were arrested a day before the special […]

Flood prevention work begins in Tbilisi hills to prevent new disaster

By | November 29th, 2015|Categories: Environment|Tags: , |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Tbilisi City Hall has begun clean-up work on the Tskneti-Betania road close to the capital, which was the origin of a landslide that caused a flood wave in Tbilisi in June, 2015. City Hall said on Saturday that experts have finished examining […]

Radicalisation in the South Caucasus

By | November 28th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: |

Photo by Onnik James Krikorian Children jump over puddles on the pock-marked street outside the mosque in Duisi, a small village situated in Georgia’s scenic Pankisi Valley.  Inhabited by 8,000 ethnic Kists, a minority group related to the Chechens of the North Caucasus, Pankisi is also home to refugees from Chechnya […]

South Ossetia field meeting ends in feast

By | November 27th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: |

(EUMM.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Representatives of Georgia and the breakaway region South Ossetia met on Thursday for a regular field meeting, ending it with a feast. The meetings of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanisms have been held regularly since […]

Eleven detained in Georgia for attempting to jump Turkish border

By | November 27th, 2015|Categories: In brief|Tags: |

The Georgia-Turkey border crossing at Sarpi. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgian border police arrested nine Bangladeshi and two Turkish citizens on Thursday for illegally trying to cross the border with Turkey. The Interior Ministry said in a statement that the group was attempting to cross the border in an area near Akhaltsikhe, […]

Jehovah’s Witnesses house in Tbilisi fired at

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

Jehovah’s Witnesses congregation house being built in Terjola, one of several places the religious community have met resistance from locals. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A house used by Jehovah’s Witnesses was fired at in Tbilisi on Monday night. Witnesses say they heard sounds of shots at about 23:00. At least 15 bullets were fired at the building. No-one was injured. Representatives of the Kingdom Hall […]

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 […]

Opposition party calls off hunger strike against election fraud

By | November 25th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Irma Inashvili. ( TBILISI, DFWatch–Activists from a Georgian opposition party which claimed a recent election was falsified called off their 16-day hunger strike on Tuesday after meeting with parliamentarians. Irma Inashvili, the Alliance of Patriots’ candidate for parliament in in October’s by-election […]

479 foreigners barred from entering Georgia since Paris attacks

By | November 24th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Sarpi border crossing. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–In the ten days that have passed since the November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris, law enforcers in Georgia have prevented 479 foreigners from entering the country. One Georgian citizen and 31 foreign citizens have been detained for […]

ISIS threatens Georgia in new video

By | November 24th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Nino Giorgobiani, spokeswoman for the State Security Service. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The terror group ISIS threatened Georgia in a video appeal on Sunday recorded in the Georgian language with Russian subtitles. The intelligence service is examining the clip but have not yet made detailed comments. Local media have researched […]

Russian border guards detain three on South Ossetia perimeter

By | November 23rd, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Three people were detained by Russian soldiers on Monday in a village near the disputed border with South Ossetia. Locals in the village Adzvi told the television channel Imedi that the three were planning to go to a church which lies near […]

Suspected ISIS fighter arrested in Georgia

By | November 23rd, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch–A man was arrested in Georgia Saturday suspected of being connected with ISIS. Davit Borchashvili was arrested as he arrived at Tbilisi airport after having been extradited from Turkey. After his arrest, he was sent to hospital where he is currently receiving […]

Traffic restrictions many places in Georgia due to heavy snowfall

By | November 22nd, 2015|Categories: In brief|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s Road Department has established restrictions on road throughout the country due to heavy snowfall that started Saturday morning. From 188km to 198km of Zugdidi-Jvari-Mestia-Lasdili road in Svaneti and 142km to 157km of the […]

Georgian opera singer considers going into politics

By | November 21st, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Paata Burchuladze. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A famous Georgian opera singer and philanthropist is considering going into politics as less than a year remains until the parliamentary election. Paata Burchuladze, a world-renowned operatic bass and in Georgia also known […]

Russia considering visa liberalization for Georgian citizens

By | November 21st, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: |

Zurab Abashidze (left) and Grigory Karasin. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia and Russia are considering simplifying visa rules. This became clear as diplomats from the two countries met in Prague on Thursday to discuss transport, communication and humanitarian issues. During the regular Prague meeting, […]

Two miners injured in Chiatura, Georgia

By | November 20th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

(DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Two mine workers were injured Thursday as result of an accident at a manganese mine in Chiatura, a town in western Georgia. According to Tamaz Dolaberidze, head of the mining and metallurgical workers’ trade union, the accident took […]

Georgian PM accuses Saakashvili party of undermining visa liberalization

By | November 20th, 2015|Categories: Europe|Tags: |

Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian prime minister has accused opposition MPs of influencing members of the European Parliament to not accept visa-free travel for Georgian citizens as long as the current government is in power. PM Irakli Garibashvili […]

‘Islam Is Not Terrorism’ rally in Tbilisi attracts few participants

By | November 19th, 2015|Categories: News|

(DF Watch) Tbilisi, DFWatch - A small group of activists protested against equating Islam with terrorism in the wake of Paris terrorist attacks. Ten activists gathered in front of the old parliament building in Tbilisi on 18 November for ‘Islam Is Not Terrorism’ rally. The activists held posters saying ‘Terrorism has no religion’, ‘Pray [...]

Anti-Gazprom rally outside Ivanishvili’s residence

By | November 19th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

(DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Businessman Bidzina Ivanishvili’s residence in Tbilisi was Wednesday besieged by protesters opposed to the government’s negotiations with the Russian company Gazprom. In September, the Energy Minister revealed that there have been […]

Stricter border checks for Africans and Asians arriving in Georgia

By | November 19th, 2015|Categories: Security|Tags: , |

Vakhtang Gomelauri. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia is introducing stricter border checks for visitors from Africa and Asia in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris. Head of Georgian intelligence Vakhtnag Gomelauri said on Wednesday after a session of the Crisis Management Council that the measures […]

Opposition activists on hunger strike taken to hospital

By | November 18th, 2015|Categories: Politics|Tags: , |

Emzar Kvitsiani, one of the Alliance of Patriots taken to hospital. (Facebook.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Several members of the party Alliance of Patriots were taken to the hospital on Tuesday after going on a hunger strike ten days ago. Emzar Kvitsiani, Manana Abuseridze, Lali Khutsishvili and Ada Marshania were brought to Chapidze clinic, while […]

Dozens suspected ISIS recruits prevented from entering Georgia

By | November 17th, 2015|Categories: Security|Tags: , , |

Levan Izoria. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–An intelligence official in Georgia says dozens of foreigners have been prevented from entering Georgia, because they were suspected of preparing to go to Syria to join ISIS. Deputy head of the State Security Service Levan Izoria told Maestro TV that the government […]

Flood severs main highway through Georgia – again

By | November 17th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

The E60 was closed due to flood a second time near Kutaisi. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A section of the E60, the Tbilisi-Senaki-Leselidze road in western Georgia, was damaged again on Sunday due to flooding. This is the second time flooding has damaged the road. After flooding hit a few days ago, repair work allowed the road […]

Georgian intelligence investigating websites supporting ISIS

By | November 16th, 2015|Categories: Security|Tags: |

Nino Giorgobiani, spokeswoman for the State Security Service. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgian intelligence is investigating a Georgian-language blog which publishes propaganda material from the terrorist organization the Islamic State, or ISIS. Georgian users on Facebook Monday shared a link to the website, and called for help […]

First wind farm in Georgia to begin construction in February

By | November 16th, 2015|Categories: In brief|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s energy ministry last week announced a tender for building the country’s first wind farm. According to Giorgi Bezhuashvili, the director of Georgian Energy Development Fund, the turbines are already in Georgia and installation of them […]

Tbilisians commemorate victims of Paris attacks

By | November 15th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: |

Gathering at Parliament in Tbilisi (DFWatch) TBILISI, DFWatch–Tbilisi residents gathered Saturday evening in front of parliament to show solidarity with France following the terrorist attacks in Paris. Up to 200 people gathered in front of the old parliament building in Tbilisi in order to commemorate the […]

Authorities in Georgia increase security measures after Paris terror

By | November 15th, 2015|Categories: In brief|Tags: |

Spokeswoman for the State Security Service Nino Giorgobiani. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Authorities in Georgia are tightening security after the terrorist attacks in Paris. A spokesperson for the State Security Service said on Saturday that there are stricter security measures in force at border crossings and airports. There are also enhanced security measures […]

Georgians express support for France after Paris terror attacks

By | November 14th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: |

Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgian politicians expressed support for and solidarity withh France on Saturday after the terrorist attacks in Paris. Expressions of support came from politicians as well as organizations and ordinary people. Three bomb attacks […]

Georgia’s foreign trade turnover continues to fall

By | November 14th, 2015|Categories: Economy|Tags: |

Poti port. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–In first nine months of 2015, Georgia’s foreign trade turnover was 14 percent less than in the same period last year. According to a preliminary monthly report published by the National Statistics Department, the foreign trade turnover in January-October […]

Georgia’s main east-west highway has been blocked for two days

By | November 13th, 2015|Categories: In brief|Tags: , |

Works at River Chkhara (Road Department photo) TBILISI, DFWatch–E60, the central highway through Georgia, has been blocked for two days due to bad weather. Vehicles are currently rerouted near Kutaisi in the western part of the country. According to the Infrastructure Ministry’s Road Department, […]

Court reverses Rustavi 2 director’s dismissal and reinstates management

By | November 12th, 2015|Categories: Media|Tags: |

Nika Gvaramia. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Tbilisi City Court on Thursday restored the status of the managers of TV channel Rustavi 2, including its director general, and abolished the status of one of the interim managers. The background is a ruling by the city court earlier this year […]

Rustavi 2: Public Registry denies that new manager was appointed

By | November 12th, 2015|Categories: Media|Tags: |

The staff of Rustavi 2. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The feud over the ownership of Georgia’s most powerful anti-government television channel became even more obscure Wednesday evening, as the Public Registry denied having registered a document appointing a new manager of Rustavi 2. […]

Rustavi 2 takeover: new manager appointed, but rejects offer

By | November 11th, 2015|Categories: Media|Tags: |

Zaal Udumashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The interim owners of Georgia’s largest anti-government TV channel have appointed the anchor Zaal Udumashvili as new manager, but he rejected the job. The failed attempt to appoint a new manager follows several months of legal […]

Day of remembrance for transgender people observed in Tbilisi

By | November 11th, 2015|Categories: Minorities|Tags: , , |

A day of rememberance was held one year after the brutal murder of Sabi Beriani in Tbilisi. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Two dozen activists gathered in Tbilisi Tuesday evening to observe a new national day of remembrance for transgender people, exactly one year after the murder of a transgender woman. The memorial event was held […]

Bill to end the draft approved by judiciary committee

By | November 11th, 2015|Categories: Security|Tags: |

Tina Khidasheli (Interpressnews) TBILISI, DFWatch–A draft bill about ending compulsory military service has survived a debate in the judiciary committee of the Georgian parliament. The bill was approved by the committee on Tuesday. Member of parliament Zurab Japaridze, who co-authored the bill, said […]

Georgian president refuses to move out of Saakashvili’s palace

By | November 10th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

President Giorgi Margvelashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian government wants the president to move out of the presidential palace and move into the building they have refurbished for him, but the administration of president once again refused to move into the new residence. […]

Georgian Stalin admirer quits as member of parliament

By | November 10th, 2015|Categories: Politics|Tags: |

Gogi Topadze. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–An MP from the ruling coalition who was recently criticized for praising Joseph Stalin, announced that he plans to resign as member of parliament after a draft bill he proposed has been discussed. Gogi Topadze from the Industrialists […]

Alliance of Patriots rally against alleged election fraud

By | November 9th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The opposition party Alliance of Patriots on Sunday demonstrated in Tbilisi, demanding the resignation of two ministers because of election fraud. Several hundred people took part in the demonstration, which started at the Rustaveli statue […]

Storm in a teacup: South Ossetian referendum on joining Russia

By | November 8th, 2015|Categories: News|

Note on poster: “2015 – the year of integration with Russia” South Ossetia’s declaration of holding a referendum on joining Russia seems to have more to do with local power dynamics than regional geopolitics. The recent South Ossetian announcement of its intentions to hold a referendum on joining the Russian Federation came about suddenly. While announcing his decision, […]

Politicians, civic groups, diplomats about Rustavi 2 events

By | November 6th, 2015|Categories: News|

Davit Usupashvili (Ipn) Tbilisi, DFWatch – The controversy over the ownership of the major opposition-leaning TV channel Rustavi 2 receives diverse assessments from cabinet members, parliamentarians, civil society members, and diplomats. Speaker of Parliament Davit Usupashvili issued […]

Interim owners pledge not to break into Rustavi 2

By | November 6th, 2015|Categories: Media|

Davit Dvali, former owner of Rustavi 2 (IPN) TBILISI, DFWatch–The interim owners of the largest opposition-aligned TV station in Georgia, Rustavi 2, claim that they are not planning to break into the office of the company with the help of police. But they haven’t specified when they are planning to show up at the premises. […]

Constitutional Court lifts work ban for former Soviet officials

By | November 6th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , , , |

The Freedom Charter bans Soviet symbols, but also bars former Soviet and Communist Party officials from holding public office for the rest of their lives. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Constitutional Court in Georgia has decided that a controversial provision barring former senior Soviet officials and Communist Party members from holding post in state institutions is unconstitutional. The court on Tuesday announced the ruling, […]

Breaking: Court ruling paves way for Rustavi 2’s immediate takeover

By | November 6th, 2015|Categories: Media|

TBILISI, DFWatch–Tbilisi City Court Thursday evening dismissed Rustavi 2’s CEO and appointed two persons to run Georgia’s largest TV company until the end of a lawsuit that will decide its ownership. The ruling of the judge, Tamaz Urtmelidze, reads […]

Georgian 20, 50 and 100 lari banknotes get facelift

By | November 5th, 2015|Categories: Economy|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s National Bank has presented the design of the new lari banknotes, which will go into circulation in 2016. The denominations that will get a facelift are 20, 50 and 100 lari. They will go into circulation alongside the old banknotes. National Bank […]

Former Georgian official appointed head of national police in Ukraine

By | November 5th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Khatia Dekanoidze. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–One more former Georgian official was appointed to a high position in Ukraine on Wednesday. Khatia Dekanoidze, who served as minister of education in Georgia in the final months of Mikheil Saakashvili’s presidency in 2012, is now chief of the Ukraine’s […]

International ‘pro-family’ congress to coincide with Day Against Homophobia

By | November 4th, 2015|Categories: Minorities|

A gathering was held on May 17, 2015 in secrecy to avoid possible harasment for radical groups (DFWatch) A major ‘family values’ conference will be held in Tbilisi on the 17 May amidst fears that it might be yet another attempt at silencing LGBT rights activism Georgia was chosen as the site for the tenth World Congress of Families, Christian News Wire reported. […]

Rustavi 2 loses court case, ownership transferred

By | November 3rd, 2015|Categories: Media|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–Tbilisi City Court ruled Tuesday to transfer ownership of one of Georgia’s largest TV channels to a businessman whom the opposition believes is acting on orders from the government. The court decided that 100 percent of shares in Rustavi 2, a TV channel sympathetic to the National Movement, […]

Constitutional Court intervenes in Rustavi 2 dispute

By | November 3rd, 2015|Categories: Media|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A violent takeover of the embattled Georgian television station Rustavi 2 has apparently been averted, as the Constitutional Court decided to review a case filed in a lower court about the suspension of the government’s power to immediately enforce a court ruling. […]

Saakashvili: Recordings intercepted, doctored by Russian intelligence

By | November 2nd, 2015|Categories: News|

New wiretap conversation of Saakashvili with Sopho Nizharadze was published on Monday Tbilisi, DFWatch – In the wake of release of new wiretapped telephone conversations on Monday, Georgia’s former president makes his first comment denouncing the recordings as ‘doctored’ by the Russian intelligence. […]

Support and resistance for Svan language activism

By | November 2nd, 2015|Categories: Caucasus region|Tags: , |

Abandoned village of Guli (Gul) Becho (Bechwi) community (DFWatch) Mestia, DFWatch – Svan language activists explain why it’s necessary to stop the decline of the language amidst reluctance on behalf of the authorities and the Church.  ‘A language is a dialect with an army and navy’, […]

Government coalition won in Georgia’s local and by-elections

By | November 1st, 2015|Categories: Elections|Tags: |

Tamar Khidasheli seems to have won a narrow victory in Sagarejo. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian Dream coalition looks likely to gain one seat in parliament after the by-elections yesterday. The coalition’s candidates were leading in both Sagarejo and Martvili, according to preliminary results ( […]

By-election and local elections today in Georgia

By | October 31st, 2015|Categories: Elections|Tags: , |

Tamar Khidasheli is Georgian Dream’s candidate for parliament in Sagarejo. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–By-elections for parliament and local elections went ahead in Georgia on Saturday with some minor irregularities. Two seats in parliament are up for election in Martvili and Sagarejo while there are local elections in Dmanisi, Vani, Khobi and Sagarejo. […]

Georgian president calls Saakashvili’s coup plan unacceptable

By | October 30th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

President Giorgi Margvelashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian president views as it unacceptable to have a senior official in a foreign country interfering in domestic affairs and planning mayhem in Georgia. President Giorgi Margvelashvili’s briefing on Friday was held in response to the controversy […]

TV director and UNM politician to be questioned about coup plan

By | October 30th, 2015|Categories: News|

Nika Gvaramia (right) and Giga Bokeria on their way to State Security Service (IPN) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s State Security Service, which has kept on probing into alleged coup attempt since October 24, summoned director general of opposition TV Channel Rustavi 2 and a prominent member of the United National Movement for questioning […]

Saakashvili: Ivanishvili will share Yanukovich’s fate

By | October 30th, 2015|Categories: News|

Mikheil Saakashvili (IPN) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s former president, who now serves as Odessa regional governor in Ukraine, commented over recently published two audios containing his conversation with his Georgian allies where he mentions possibility […]

Intercepted phone call indicates ex-president planning revolution

By | October 30th, 2015|Categories: News|

“Big brother is watching/listening/etc us,” Nika Gvaramia wrote on his Facebook page. TBILISI, DFWatch–The CEO of Georgia’s main opposition TV channel and a key opposition figure both confirm the authenticity of audio tapes about a ‘revolution scenario’. The recording has sent ripples across the country’s political establishment […]

Final court hearing about Rustavi 2 ownership postponed

By | October 29th, 2015|Categories: Media|

Nika Gvaramia called for Rustavi 2 supporters to help defend the TV Channel (Ipn) TBILISI, DFWatch–Trial over ownership of Rustavi 2 was postponed for Friday, amid eerie predictions of its director that the riot police has been put on alert in order to forcibly take over Georgia’s main opposition-leaning TV channel. Nika Gvaramia, […]

Georgia ranks 24th in Doing Business country list

By | October 28th, 2015|Categories: Economy|

Tbilisi, DFWatch – Georgia ranked 24th among 189 countries, and still the first among post-Soviet countries, except Baltic States, in Doing Business 2016, a World Bank annual report that measures the costs to firms of business regulations, published on Wednesday, a way below of its 15th  position last year. […]

Georgian parliament member praises Stalin

By | October 27th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Gogi Topadze. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A member of parliament from the ruling Georgian Dream coalition Monday evening openly praised Joseph Stalin and called him ‘the greatest Georgian’ of the 20th century. Gogi Topadze, leader of the Industrialists Party, met Giorgi Kandelaki, […]

Georgia’s parliament speaker skeptical to coup allegations

By | October 27th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Davit Usupashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The speaker of the Georgian parliament views with suspicion material published on a website in Ukraine indicating a coup plan against the government in Georgia. Speaker Davit Usupashvili claimed that if a criminal probe is conducted solely based on information provided by the Ukrainian blog […]

Judge asks Rustavi 2 to estimate losses as lawsuit resumes

By | October 26th, 2015|Categories: Media|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–The lawsuit about the ownership of an opposition television channel resumed in the city court in Tbilisi on Monday. The judge ordered Rustavi 2’s lawyers to present an estimate of expected losses after the court ordered the seizure of the company’s property. […]

Possession of marijuana decriminalized after Constitutional Court ruling

By | October 26th, 2015|Categories: Youth|Tags: |

June 2 has become the rallying day for supporters of legalization. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Possession of up to 70 grams of marijuana is no longer a crime in Georgia, following a ruling in the Constitutional Court. The Court on Saturday struck down as unconstitutional a passage in the law that made it punishable by from 7 to 14 years […]

Saakashvili ally questioned about alleged coup plans

By | October 25th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

Giga Bokeria outside the “Moduli” building. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s Prosecutor General’s Office Saturday questioned a former ally of ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili on suspicion that he is part a coup plan. A transcript of an alleged conversation between Saakashvili and Giga Bokeria, […]

Contradictory testimony in Rustavi 2 blackmail case, prosecutors say

By | October 24th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Prosecutor General’s Office in Georgia says the director of the embattled television company Rustavi 2 and another person gave contradictory testimony on Thursday in a blackmail case. Rustavi 2 director Nika Gvaramia […]

Cabinet reshuffle and looming political crisis hint Abkhazia–Russia tension

By | October 23rd, 2015|Categories: News|

Sukhumi (DFwatch) The postponement of the full implementation of the treaty on ‘Alliance and Strategic Partnership’, cabinet reshuffles, and demonstrations of opposition parties hint at Abkhazia’s increasingly knotty relation with Russia. […]

All defendants acquitted in 2013 anti-gay rights attack case

By | October 23rd, 2015|Categories: Minorities|Tags: , |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Tbilisi City Court on Friday acquitted four people for organizing a violent anti-gay rights rally in 2013. The four, who also included clergy in the Georgian Orthodox Church, were on trial for urging protesters who disrupted a peaceful rally to mark the […]

Speaker of parliament calls on politicians to defuse tension

By | October 23rd, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Davit Usupashvili (IPN) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s speaker of parliament calls on authorities and the opposition to avoid making statements that justify violence, as the tension continues surrounding a lawsuit about the ownership of opposition TV channel Rustavi 2. Following […]

Rustavi 2 director questioned, source of alleged threats named

By | October 22nd, 2015|Categories: Media|Tags: |

Nika Gvaramia. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian Prosecutor General’s Office Thursday evening named the person who allegedly passed on messages from the government to the director of a television company. Rustavi 2 director Nika Gvaramia said Wednesday that […]

Georgian president criticizes PM for ‘escalating the political climate’

By | October 22nd, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

President Giorgi Margvelashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian president Thursday criticized the prime minister for a statement made the same day about the leaking of abuse videos and a lawsuit to determine the ownership of a television company. Instead of defusing the situation PM Garibashvili’s […]

One more rape video posted online as UNM offices attacked

By | October 22nd, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

The Saakashvili Presidential Library. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–More footage of rape and torture was published on a Ukrainian website Thursday evening, as attacks on the former ruling party’s offices continue throughout Georgia. Members and supporters of the National Movement believe that the footage […]

Rustavi 2 director’s blackmail claim will be investigated

By | October 22nd, 2015|Categories: Media|Tags: |

Nika Gvaramia. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Prosecutor General’s Office has launched an investigation prompted by a live TV speech on Wednesday in which the director of Rustavi 2 claimed he was blackmailed. According to the short statement by the Prosecutor General’s […]

Four detained for extortion, again

By | October 21st, 2015|Categories: In brief|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Police in Georgia have detained four persons for for extortion. Wednesday, the Interior Ministry said that the four, Giorgi, 24, Giorgi, 25, Vladimer, 31 and Mikheil, 58, had threatened to kill their victim if he didn’t pay them 55,000 laris (USD 23,000). […]

Rustavi 2 staff will resist if police try to enforce takeover

By | October 21st, 2015|Categories: Media|Tags: |

Nika Gvaramia. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A day before Tbilisi City Court is to announce a ruling in a lawsuit about Rustavi 2, the director of the TV company went on the air to tell viewers that he was threatened by representatives of the government. Instead of the ordinary news program […]

‘Radicalisation’ obscures core issues faced by Pankisi inhabitants

By | October 21st, 2015|Categories: Caucasus region|

Duisi, Pankisi (DFWatch) Duisi, DFWatch – Counterextremism efforts in the Pankisi Valley fall short as they fail to address root causes of radicalisation processes in the region. Following the reporting on Georgian citizens leaving the country to join the ranks of foreign fighters in the civil war in Syria and Iraq, the question of religious radicalisation in the Pankisi Valley has become one of the most debated security issues in Georgia. […]

Georgia’s energy minister explains what Gazprom negotiations are about

By | October 21st, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Kakhi Kaladze. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgian Energy Minister Kakhi Kaladze on Tuesday sought to downplay criticism against his call for increasing the import of Russian natural gas, explaining that the extra supplies from Gazprom […]

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 […]

UNM regional offices assaulted amid rape video scandal

By | October 19th, 2015|Categories: News|

Public screening of the rape video in Zugdidi (Rustavi 2) Tbilisi, DFWatch – United National Movement’s several regional offices were attacked in Georgia on Monday, in the wake of publication of disgusting video depicting rape of a detainee allegedly during the previous government. Small crowds of 30 to 100 […]

More Georgians turn their backs to the EU

By | October 19th, 2015|Categories: News|

TBILISI, DFWatch– Georgians still prefer European Union over the Russian-led Eurasian Union, but the difference declined significantly over the last year, results of the last NDI polls show. Over the last year, the support of […]

Unchallenged stereotypes blight Georgian–Armenian relations

By | October 18th, 2015|Categories: Interviews|

Levon Chidilyan (Alart) DF Watch discusses roots and manifestations of the anti-Armenian sentiment in Georgia with director of Cultural, Educational and Youth Centre Hayartun, Levon Chidilyan. DF Watch: Mr Chidilyan, how representative is Hayartun for Georgia’s Armenian c […]

Poll shows Georgian voters increasingly apathetic

By | October 18th, 2015|Categories: Politics|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–In a new poll, 35 percent of Georgians say they don’t know who they would vote for if there were a parliamentary election tomorrow. The poll, which was published by the National Democratic Institute (NDI) shows that both the Georgian Dream […]

Remittances in September down 33%

By | October 17th, 2015|Categories: Economy|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Remittances to Georgia in September went down 32.9 percent compared to last year, according to the latest monthly report by the National Bank. Remittances, or money that individuals send home to relatives from particularly Russia and Europe, […]

Amendments in jury trial procedures discussed in Tbilisi

By | October 17th, 2015|Categories: News|

Discussion held at Holiday Inn (OSGF) Tbilisi, DFWatch – Legal experts, lawyers, judges, and non-governmental organizations gathered at Holiday Inn in Tbilisi to discuss draft amendments to the Code of Criminal Procedures concerning jury trial worked out by the Ministry of Justice. […]

Journalist detained for putting up poster mocking Ivanishvili

By | October 16th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

(Facebook.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Police in Georgia on Friday detained an opposition-leaning journalist for putting up a poster mocking billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili. Tamar Chergoleishvili, founder of a television company strongly supportive of the National Movement, was detained with two others as they stuck a poster on […]

Chinese investors planning new toll road through Rikoti

By | October 16th, 2015|Categories: Economy|Tags: , |

Rikoti tunnel. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Chinese investors are considering building a new toll road through Rikoti Pass, connecting the eastern and western parts of Georgia. The regional development minister said Thursday during the Silk Road Forum that passing a road through Rikoti may […]

New Armenian church opens in Javakheti

By | October 16th, 2015|Categories: Minorities|

Opening of the construction ( Javakheti’s Armenian community celebrated the opening of a new church in the village of Didi Aragiali. A ceremony of opening a new church in the village of Didi Aragiali of Ninotsminda municipality inhabited by ethnic Armenian majority was held on 13 October, news portal reports. […]

ICC prosecutor arrives in Georgia to conduct 2008 war probe

By | October 15th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda arrived in Georgia Thursday. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda of the International Criminal Court (ICC) arrived in Georgia Thursday, to determine if there is basis for a trial for war crimes in the 2008 war. Bensouda earlier this week filed a 160 page long request to authorize an investigation […]

Georgia’s religious minorities file lawsuit with Constitutional Court

By | October 15th, 2015|Categories: Minorities|Tags: |

Christmas Mass in the Catholic Church in Tbilisi. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Eight religious organizations in Georgia have filed a lawsuit with the Constitutional Court, demanding to get rid of legislation that provide beneficial tax terms for the Orthodox Church. Georgia’s Tax Code, as well as an agreement between […]

Georgian parliament considers bill to restrict early marriage

By | October 15th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: |

8th to 12th graders learning about gender issues at a school in Marneuli. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian parliament is to consider making it mandatory to get a court’s permission for persons of the age 16 to 18 to get married. The bill was put forth by parliament’s judiciary committee and is based on a recommendation […]

Georgia’s foreign trade turnover in Jan-Sept down 13%

By | October 14th, 2015|Categories: In brief|Tags: |

A truck on the border with Azerbaijan. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s foreign trade turnover in the first nine months of 2015 went down by 13 percent compared to last year, according to a preliminary monthly report published by the National Statistics Department. According to the monthly report, […]

South Ossetia plans to open new border crossing

By | October 14th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

Ergneti border crossing. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The breakaway region South Ossetia plans to open a new border crossing to make it easier for relatives to keep contact. This will be the fourth border crossing between the breakaway area and Georgia proper, and will connect the villages Khelchua […]

Georgia to allow human rights inspectors to take photos in prisons

By | October 13th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Prison Minister Kakha Kakhishvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian government will from next year allow the Public Defender’s Office to take pictures inside prison. This will allow photographic evidence to be obtained in cases where there is suspicion of abuse, or when sanitary conditions […]

Constitutional Court suspends new bank supervision agency

By | October 13th, 2015|Categories: Economy|Tags: |

The National Bank will still supervise private banks, for the time being. (National Bank.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s Constitutional Court has suspended the work of a newly created agency that was to take over the supervision of private banks; previously the responsibility of the National Bank. The ruling was made during a lawsuit against the parliament […]

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 […]

Georgian president appoints new political adviser

By | October 12th, 2015|Categories: In brief|Tags: |

Giorgi Margvelashvili (right) and his new political adviser Pikria Chikhradze. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–President Giorgi Margvelashvili on Monday presented Pikria Chikhradze as his new political adviser. Chikhradze is active in the New Rightists Party and is most known for her work as a youth activist in the National Liberation Movement, […]

ISIS commander from Pankisi reported to have died in Iraqi air raid

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

Omar al-Shishani, also known as Tarkhan Batirashvili. TBILISI, DFWatch–An Iranian news agency reports that Omar Al-Shishani, an ISIS commander who originally comes from Pankisi, Georgia, has died in an Iraqi air raid. The reports have not yet been confirmed. IRNA reports that Iraqi fighter jets wounded […]

One man dies in landslide in southwestern Georgia

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

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–One man died in a landslide in southwestern Georgia on Sunday. The victim, 58 year old Otar Davitadze, was on night watch supervising machinery in an open pit mine when a landslide hit in the village Akhalsheni, Khelvachauri. […]

U.S. designates Akhmed Chatayev as a terrorist

By | October 11th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Akhmed Chatayev in Tbilisi in 2012. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The United States has listed a Chechen with Russian citizenship who was released by the Georgian government in 2012 as connected to the Islamic State. The updated list of individuals affiliated with Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, states […]

Construction work starts on new children’s hospice in Tbilisi

By | October 10th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , , , |

(DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Construction work began Saturday in the north of Tbilisi on what will become in Georgia’s first palliative care center for children. The initiators of the new hospice marked the start of construction work in the village Dighomi, a Tbilisi suburb. […]

Saakashvili welcomes ICC investigation into 2008 war

By | October 9th, 2015|Categories: In brief|Tags: , |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The International Criminal Court said Wednesday that a prosecutor will begin studying the events in the 2008 Russia-Georgia war to investigate possible war crimes. The probe will look at crimes committed by both parties in connection […]

North Caucasus Watch (19 September – 1 October 2015)

By | October 8th, 2015|Categories: Caucasus region|

Daghestan Bodies of five residents of Suleyman-Stalskiy district were found in local forests by power agents. According to the official information, the men had their hands tied and were killed by the insurgents as a retaliation for cooperating with the police. Authorities also announced that a […]

Strong rain triggered landslides in Adjara, Georgia

By | October 8th, 2015|Categories: Environment|Tags: |

A flooded street in Kobuleti. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Strong rain overnight Thursday caused flooding and landslides in the Adjara region, in the southwest of Georgia. In Kobuleti, a Black Sea coastal resort, railway traffic was cut off and landslides triggered in the highlands. No casualties have […]

NGOs warn of selective justice after activists’ detention

By | October 7th, 2015|Categories: NGO news|Tags: , , |

The NGOs react to a decision by Kutaisi City Court to place three Free Zone activists in pre-trial detention. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Tbilisi-based non-governmental organizations (NGOs) warn against selective justice from authorities and call on the government to treat everyone equally. The NGOs’ express concern about the detention of the three activists from Tavisufali […]

Prison Ministry welcomes investigation into procurements

By | October 7th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Prison Ministry on Tuesday welcomed an objective investigation into its procurements. According to a report by the State Audit Office on Monday, the same company won all 14 food-related tender in 2013 and 2014. The report also […]

Free Democrats against holding snap election

By | October 6th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

Maia Panjikidze. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Free Democrats has rejected a proposal by the National Movement to hold a snap election one year before the next scheduled one. UNM activists demonstrated Monday evening outside the residence of former Prime Minister […]

State Audit Office finds suspicious procurements in Prison Ministry

By | October 6th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The State Audit Office Tuesday published a report which indicates that there may have been violations in the Prison Ministry’s public procurements. The report covers the years 2013-2014 and shows that in 14 bidding rounds announced by the ministry, […]

Georgia is neglected as victim of Russian aggression: President

By | October 6th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: |

President Giorgi Margvelashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili says there is too little attention being paid to Georgia as a victim of Russian aggression. He told the television channel Rustavi 2 upon returning from the recent United Nations general assembly that […]

UNM demands snap election, a year before scheduled one

By | October 6th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Giga Bokeria. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s former ruling party the National Movement demands a snap election, a year before the next scheduled parliamentary election. At a demonstration by party activists outside the residence of businessman Bidzina Ivanishvili Monday, Giga Bokeria […]

Family suspicious about circumstances of soldier’s death

By | October 5th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The family of a soldier who died from a gunshot wound a few days ago refuse to believe that it was a suicide. The deceased, Tamaz Tamarashvili (33) was a private in the Fifth Brigade of the Georgian armed forces. Monday, his family and relatives […]

Three pro-UNM activists detained after assaulting MP

By | October 5th, 2015|Categories: In brief|Tags: , , , , |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Three activists were detained Friday for assaulting a member of parliament. The detainees are Nika Narsia, Mirian Deisadze and Kakhaber Gabunia, all members of the youth group Tavisupali Zona (Free Zone), which on many occasions […]

Bad weather caused damage in three parts of Georgia this weekend

By | October 5th, 2015|Categories: Environment|Tags: |

A flooded street in Rustavi. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia was hit by a spell of bad weather Saturday night, with hailstorm, strong rain and high winds. The hailstorm in Akhaltsikhe, in the south, lasted for almost one hour. In several villages, crops were destroyed and houses damaged. […]

Georgian Football Federation elects new president

By | October 4th, 2015|Categories: Sport|Tags: , |

Levan Kobiashvili addressing the media after being elected new president of GFF. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A lengthy and intense debate in the Georgian Football Federation Saturday ended in the election of Levan Kobiashvili as new president. GFF’s former president Zviad Sichinava resigned after the UEFA Super Cup match in Barcelona-Sevilla in Tbilisi. […]

Court hearing leaves Rustavi 2’s future unsettled

By | October 3rd, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: |

Supporters of Rustavi 2 demonstrated outside parliament in Kutaisi. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A court hearing in Tbilisi in a lawsuit about control over Georgian television company Rustavi 2 ended without much progress Friday. The preparatory hearing in Tbilisi City Court concerned a lawsuit by businessman Kibar Khalvashi against Rustavi 2. […]

Gori city assembly votes against re-erecting Stalin statue

By | October 2nd, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

(Radio Free Europe.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The city assembly in Joseph Stalin’s hometown Gori on Friday voted against the idea of re-erecting a six-meter high statue of the dictator. The statue was unveiled in 1952 on the central square in Gori. After the end of the Soviet Union […]

13% more visitors to Georgia in September

By | October 2nd, 2015|Categories: In brief|Tags: |

Lake Sioni outside of Tbilisi. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The number of visitors to Georgia increased 12.6 percent in September, compared to the year before, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs’ department for analysis. The total number of visitors in September was 568,663. Out of this, 227,130 […]

Sukhumi and Tbilisi commemorate war-related anniversaries

By | October 2nd, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Commemoration of the 22 year anniversary from the Abkhazian War. Heroes Square, Tbilisi (Defense Ministry) As the question of political status of Abkhazia remains a major challenge to peace and security in the region, the two societies commemorate the events of 1993 in radically different manners. As twenty-two years have passed since the end of the war in Abkhazia, […]

Rustavi 2 director asks for donations after another setback in court

By | October 1st, 2015|Categories: Media|Tags: |

Nika Gvaramia and Rustavi 2 employees outside the studio building. (Facebook.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Tbilisi City Court on Thursday ordered the seizure of the shares in the company that owns the television channel Rustavi 2. The court ordered the seizure of all shares in TV Sakartvelo, which holds 51 percent of the shares in Rustavi 2. The latter […]

23 million bottles of wine exported so far in 2015

By | October 1st, 2015|Categories: Economy|Tags: |

(DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–By September 28, Georgia had exported 23.3 million bottles of wine so far in 2015. 3.5 million bottles were exported in September, according to the Agriculture Ministry; the highest monthly rate in 2015. The export of wine has tripled, compared […]

DF Talk: Being transgender in Georgia

By | October 1st, 2015|Categories: Minorities|Tags: , , |

Natia Gvianishvili, director of NGO Women’s Initiatives Supporting Group and Nika Ghviniashvili, manager of NGO LGBT Georgia Resource Centre talk about transgenderness and the issues faced by transgender people in Georgia. What is transgenderness? Natia Gvianishvili: […]

Georgian police let friends of govt tops violate traffic rules since 2009

By | September 30th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A TV channel in Georgia has published footage apparently proving that the Georgian police allows friends of government officials to violate traffic rules if they can show a special permit. The licences to drive dangerously were introduced […]

Georgian president rejects politically motivated pardons

By | September 30th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , , |

President Giorgi Margvelashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili has rejected a call by his predecessor Mikheil Saakashvili that it is a test of ‘decency’ to pardon three former top government officials who are convicted of crimes committed while in office. Saakashvili, who is now […]

Another body found after Tbilisi flood, pushing number of deaths to 20

By | September 30th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: |

( TBILISI, DFWatch–A dead body has been found in the river Mtkvari, increasing the number of confirmed deaths after the June flood to 20. Two people are still missing. Moambe, the news program on Channel 1, reported that Elizbar Baghashvili, 56, has been found. […]

Council of Europe report criticizes Georgia for misusing pre-trial detention

By | September 30th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , , |

Pedro Agramunt. (Council of Europe.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A European human rights observer claims Georgia is using excessive pre-trial detention for political reasons against former government officials. The new report is written by Pedro Agramunt from the Spanish People’s Party, and published by […]

Georgia considers scrapping compulsory military service

By | September 29th, 2015|Categories: Security|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian parliament on Tuesday started reviewing a proposal to abolish compulsory military service and move to a professional military based on contracts. The goal of the bill is to redirect finances spent for compulsory military service […]

Pankisi village appoints its first ever woman gamgebeli

By | September 29th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

Tamara Margoshvili, newly appointed head of Duisi municipality. (ICK.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A small, male-dominated village in the northeast of Georgia has for the first time appointed a woman as a head of municipality. Monday, Tamar Margoshvili, 55, took the post as gamgebeli in Duisi, a village in Pankisi Gorge, Georgia, […]

Two Nigerians beaten in Tbilisi, two suspects detained

By | September 29th, 2015|Categories: Minorities|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Police in Georgia Sunday detained two Georgian for beating two Nigerians in Tbilisi. The attacked happened on September 19 when one Georgian citizen and his two Nigerian friends were walking on Rustaveli Avenue in the capital. […]

Gori city council to discuss restoring Stalin statue

By | September 29th, 2015|Categories: News|

The statue of Stalin has been stored outdoors in a yard since its dismantling in 2010. (Radio Tavisupleba.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A statue of Joseph Stalin may be put back up in his hometown Gori, where positive sentiments towards the late Soviet ruler are still high. The city council is to discuss the issue on Friday, October 2. If the council approves the decision, the statue will be erected in the small park in central Gori, near the Stalin museum. The overall cost of the project is up to 2 million laris, or about USD 840,000.  […]

Georgia’s National Bank issues 20 year anniversary coin

By | September 27th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

(National Bank of Georgia.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The National Bank of Georgia has issued a new anniversary coin in connection with the national currency’s 20 years of existence. The nominal value of the new collector’s item is 20 laris, and it was manufactured by Mennica Polska in Poland. […]

Minister: Nothing is being built in Abkhazia

By | September 27th, 2015|Categories: News|

Paata Zakareishvili (Official Photo) Tbilisi, DFWatch – “After all contacts were broken, nothing is being built in Abkhazia,” Paata Zakareishvili, State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality, stated at the parliament library on Sunday. […]

Georgian clinic discriminating against fathers, ombudsman says

By | September 27th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: |

Ombudsman Ucha Nanuashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s ombudsman has called attention to discrimination against fathers at the Children’s Infectious Diseases Clinical Hospital. Fathers are not allowed to stay at the clinic at night to supervise their kids. The ombudsman Wednesday described […]

Georgia’s parliament may consider mandatory gender quotas

By | September 25th, 2015|Categories: Politics|Tags: , |

Eka Beselia. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The human rights committee in Georgia’s parliament Thursday favored a law that would guarantee that at least 25% of representatives are women. The law concerns those representatives who are elected […]