Monthly Archives: September 2015

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 […]

Leader of parliamentary majority quits to head investment fund

By | September 24th, 2015|Categories: Politics|Tags: , |

Davit Saganelidze. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A leading member of parliament from the ruling Georgian Dream coalition is leaving in order to take the helm of the government’s Partnership Fund. It is not yet known who will replace Davit Saganelidze as member of parliament. According […]

Georgia’s National Bank intervenes for sixth time since start of lari crisis

By | September 23rd, 2015|Categories: Economy|Tags: |

Giorgi Kadagidze, head of Georgia’s National Bank. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s National Bank intervened to bolster the flagging currency lari on Tuesday, causing its value to rise four tetris against the US dollar. The Bank put USD 40 million up for auction, out of which USD 27 million has been sold so far. The lari currently […]

One Georgian soldier dies in Afghanistan

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

The grave of Mikheil Narindoshvili, one of Georgia’s two dozen Afghan war casualties. He died in the June, 2013 attack. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A Georgian soldier has died in Afghanistan while taking part in the NATO-led Resolute Support mission. Private Vasil Kuljanishvili was from the 43rd battalion of the IV Mechanized Brigade. Sergeant Paata Rostobaia from the same […]

Threats to the Russian NGOs: Institute of ‘foreign agent’

By | September 23rd, 2015|Categories: Opinion|

Maria Kanevskaya Campaign of the Russian authorities to ‘reveal’ and include in the special ‘foreign agents’ registry of non-governmental (NGOs) organizations, has been accelerating exponentially. After two and a half years of introducing the law, there are […]

Georgian PM says lari has bottomed out as it near historic low

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

Irakli Garibashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s national currency is four cents away from reaching its lowest point ever against the US dollar. When the lari began to drop rapidly in November, 2014, one USD was about 1.75 laris. Today, the Georgian National Bank’s official exchange […]

Georgian MP wants ‘sexual orientation’ deleted from anti-discrimination law

By | September 22nd, 2015|Categories: Minorities|Tags: , |

Soso Jachvliani. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A conservative MP from the ruling Georgian Dream coalition wants to make changes to the anti-discrimination law passed by parliament last year which he himself voted for at every hearing. Soso Jachvliani, an armwrestler, actor and film director, […]

North Caucasus Watch (5–18 September 2015)

By | September 22nd, 2015|Categories: Caucasus region, News|

DFWatch (5–18 September 2015) Daghestan On September 13 local elections took place in the republic. The Party of Russia’s Veterans earned 69% of votes in the city of Buynaksk, while United Russia earned 66% […]

Police officer stabbed in Tbilisi

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

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A police officer is in hospital in a serious condition after being stabbed Sunday night in a Tbilisi suburb. According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the policeman was stabbed with a knife. An investigation has been launched for attacking a policeman. […]

Four detained at Georgia-Turkey border with baby in the trunk

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

The border crossing between Georgia and Turkey at Sarpi. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Border police in Georgia Sunday detained four people for illegally trying to cross the border with a infant in the trunk of their car. According to the Interior Ministry, the four were trying to go to Turkey, avoiding the official border crossing. One of the grownups […]

Georgia sends two delegations to UN general assembly

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

(UN.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia will send two separate delegations to the upcoming UN general assembly in New York, one headed by the prime minister and the other by the president. Similar to what happened last year, there was a debate that lasted for several months […]

Activists demand investigation into woman’s tragic death

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

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Demonstrators Friday called for a proper investigation into an Azerbaijani woman’s suicide last year. The demonstrators outside the Prosecutor’s Office were raising awareness about the case of Khanum Jeiranova (30), an ethnic Azeri […]

Radio Liberty criticized for publishing homophobic letter

By | September 19th, 2015|Categories: Minorities|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Groups rallied outside the office of Radio Liberty in Tbilisi Friday evening against a homophobic and xenophobic letter written by a sexologist and published on the radio station’s website. The controversial letter was written by Archil Bakradze, […]

Former Tbilisi mayor back in jail, sentenced to four and a half years

By | September 18th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: |

Gigi Ugulava was Friday sentenced to four and a half year in prison. He has already served 440 days. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–After one day in freedom, Tbilisi’s former mayor was Friday sentenced to four and a half years in jail. Although the city court in Tbilisi sentenced Gigi Ugulava to nine years, the sentence was reduced to four years and six months in compliance […]

TeliaSonera leaves Georgia and five other Eurasian countries

By | September 18th, 2015|Categories: Economy|Tags: |

TeliaSonera owns 58.55% of shares in the holding company that controls Geocell. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Swedish telecommunications giant TeliaSonera is pulling out of several countries, including Georgia. All subsidiaries will be put up for sale in Georgia, Uzbekistan, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Tajikistan it was announced Thursday. […]

Anti-hail rocket crashes into house in Georgia

By | September 18th, 2015|Categories: Environment|Tags: |

(Delta.) TBILISI, DFWatch–An anti-hail shell fell on a house in Kakheti Wednesday night, damaging the roof and wall. Delta, a defense company run by the government, installed the anti-hail system in Kakheti earlier this year to protect the harvest. Hail has long […]

Freed fmr Tbilisi mayor vows to challenge Ivanishvili’s “grip on power”

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

Gigi Ugulava greeted by Giga Bokeria (back, left) and others. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Tbilisi City Court released former Mayor of Tbilisi Gigi Ugulava from detention Thursday night. Upon his release, the most prominent leader of the Georgian opposition vowed to challenge “Ivanishvili’s grip on power”. He said the National […]

Georgia’s Constitutional Court rules ex-mayor’s detention unlawful

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

Gigi Ugulava. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s Constitutional Court Wednesday evening announced a ruling that the detention of former Tbilisi mayor Gigi Ugulava is unconstitutional. He is awaiting trial for numerous charges including corruption. The ruling sets aside a provision in the […]

Report shows gender imbalance in public administration

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

(IDFI.) TBILISI, DFWatch–There are twice as many men as women running public bodies in Georgia, according to a new report. The report by Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI), published on Wednesday, indicates that among 773 employees in higher […]

Miss China semifinal to be held in Georgia

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

(Georgia’s Tourism Administration.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The semifinal of Miss China will be held in Georgia. According to the National Tourism Administration, a team from Phoenix TV arrived in Tbilisi September 12 along with the girls from China and will be staying until September 22. There are 16 participants […]

Georgia’s Constitutional Court fails to issue ruling in ex-mayor’s case

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

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s Constitutional Court on Tuesday failed to announce a ruling concerning the pre-trial detention of the former Tbilisi mayor, claiming that the judge feels ill and he cannot be present to sign the ruling. Ex-Mayor Gigi Ugulava, an ally of former […]

Remittances to Georgia down 35% in August

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

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Remittances to Georgia fell by 35.1 percent in August 2015, compared to the same period last year, according to new figures published Tuesday by Georgia’s National Bank. The new monthly report shows that the total amount of remittances […]

New ethics school subject postponed after criticism by conservatives

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

(Ministry of Education.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s education ministry has postponed the start of a new school subject as conservatives criticize it for eroding traditional values. Some were expecting the subject called ‘society and me’ to be taught in schools from the beginning of the 2015 fall semester. ‘Society and me’ will […]

Grape farmer continue to protest in Georgia’s wine region Kakheti

By | September 15th, 2015|Categories: Economy|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Farmers continued their protest in the Georgian wine region Kakheti on Monday and clashed with police as they blocked the main highway. Several people were detained by police as they cleared the road. One member of parliament was attacked. […]

Tbilisi Zoo reopens, three months after devastating flood

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

(DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Exactly three months after a devastating flood, Tbilisi Zoo reopened on Sunday with surviving animals on display. The zoo’s management held an opening exhibition with pictures of the animals that either drowned or were killed, and presented […]

Georgia’s foreign trade turnover down 14% Jan-Aug ’15

By | September 14th, 2015|Categories: Economy|

Georgia’s foreign trade turnover in the first eight months of 2015 was 14 percent less than the year before, according to figures published Monday by the National Statistics Department, Geostat. […]

Most stranded tourists brought back from Antalya, but 130 remain

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

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–About 130 tourists from Georgia are still stuck in Antalya, Turkey, several days after a tour operator failed to pay the airline for their flights. Initially, about 400 passengers were stranded in Turkey. The Georgian airline Airzena […]

Farmers in eastern Georgia block road in protest against low grape prices

By | September 12th, 2015|Categories: Economy|Tags: |

From a farmer’s protest in Sighnaghi in 2011. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–In the eastern Georgian region of Kakheti, farmers have been protesting for several days because of low price of grapes, which is their only source of income. Four people were detained during a protest Thursday in Gurjaani, as farmers blocked the […]

400 Georgian tourists stranded in Turkey

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

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Around 400 Georgian passengers are currently stuck in Antalya, Turkey, as the airline Airzena refuses to carry out a flight because a tour company didn’t pay for the tickets. For more than a day, passengers have been waiting to return to Georgia. The […]

New Chinese thermal power station and train factory planned in Georgia

By | September 11th, 2015|Categories: Economy|Tags: |

Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili signed the agreements during a visit to Chine. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Chinese company Dongfang Electric plans to construct a 150 MW thermal power station in Tkibuli, a mining town in western Georgia. The announcement came during a China visit by Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and is further […]

President signs into law controversial bank supervision bill

By | September 11th, 2015|Categories: Politics|Tags: |

Had no choice: Even if I had refused to sign, the speaker would have signed the bill, Margvelashvili explained. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian president Thursday signed a bill into law that will take away responsibility for supervising private banks from the National Bank and hand it to a new agency controlled by the government. President Giorgi Margvelashvili, the […]

Foreign investment up 81% in Q2 of 2015

By | September 10th, 2015|Categories: Economy|Tags: |

A section of the E60 motorway under construction at Agara. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Direct foreign investments in Georgia went up 81 percent in the second quarter, compared to the same period in 2014. The jump in foreign investment became known Wednesday as Georgia’s National Statistics Department presented […]

UK ambassador: due to poor translation speech was partially misrepresented

By | September 10th, 2015|Categories: News|

Ambassador Alexandra Hall Hall )Embassy photo) The UK ambassador attributes the recent criticism over her speech at the international conference to the poor translation, stating that some parts of it were misrepresented. Salome Zourabishvili, a French-Georgian politician and former Minister […]

UK ambassador accused of being ‘neocolonial’

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

Alexandra Hall Hall is the UK Ambassador to Georgia. (Embassy photo.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A Georgian politician lashed out at a British diplomat on Facebook Tuesday, accusing her of being ‘neocolonial’. UK Ambassador to Georgia Alexandra Hall Hall’s remarks at a conference in Tbilisi, organized by McCain Institute, […]

NGO slams Khulo officials’ Armenophobic document

By | September 9th, 2015|Categories: Minorities|

Local fraction of Georgian Dream alleges Mr Saakashvili’s “Armenian origin” in a fresh display of anti-Armenian sentiment. NGO platform No to Phobia issued a statement condemning the use of Armenophobic […]

RMG Gold suffers partial loss in lawsuit by fired miners

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

The miners have strong support in their community. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgian Trade Union has won a lawsuit against RMG Gold, the mining company which destroyed an ancient gold mine at Sakdrisi in December, 2014. Many locals have been employed in the company, and the jobs sustain families in surrounding villages. […]

Ukraine to sign free trade agreement with EU, despite Russia’s concerns

By | September 8th, 2015|Categories: Europe|Tags: , , |

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin. (European Council.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Ukraine intends to sign a free trade pact with the EU without further postponement, despite warnings from Russia, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said in Brussels on Monday. Ukraine’s foreign minister met with the EU Commissioner […]

What was lost when a mining company destroyed the ancient Sakdrisi site?

By | September 8th, 2015|Categories: Interviews|Tags: , |

(Interpressnews.) In December, 2014, an archaeological site in southern Georgia was destroyed by the Russian mining company RMG Gold. What was lost in the blasts at Sakdrisi? Professor Thomas Stöllner at the University of Bochum in Germany is one of the people […]

Moldova issues entry ban against two Abkhazian politicians

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

TBILISI, DFWatch–Two politicians from Abkhazia have been banned from entering Moldova for ten years after they celebrated the 25 year anniversary of the breakaway region Transnistria. On the way back from the celebration, Sukhumi’s vice president Vitaly Gabniya […]

National Movement registers for by-election without candidates

By | September 7th, 2015|Categories: Politics|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The National Movement, former ruling party, does not plan to put up candidates in the by-elections for two vacant seats in the Georgian parliament. Instead, the former ruling party plans to use its legally guaranteed free commercial time on TV. The governing […]

Saakashvili, Kolomoisky exchange bitter remarks

By | September 7th, 2015|Categories: News|

Igor Kolomoisky proposes sending Saakashvili by “cash on delivery” to Georgia TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s former president Mikheil Saakashvili, who now serves as a governor of the Odessa region, says oligarchs are the foremost obstacle for Ukraine’s nascent statehood. “Ukrainian oligarchs, […]

North Caucasus Watch (29 August–4 September 2015)

By | September 7th, 2015|Categories: Caucasus region|

DFWatch (29 August–4 September 2015) Daghestan Two suspected militants were killed in Magaramkent district of Daghestan on August 29. According to the law enforcement officials, […]

Man arrested in Samegrelo for growing marijuana

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

( TBILISI, DFWatch–A 38 year man was arrested on Saturday for growing marijuana in the northwest of Georgia. The man is charged with illegal purchase and possession of a large amount of drugs. Police searched the man’s house in the village […]

Public Broadcaster talk show faces cancellation in Georgia

By | September 5th, 2015|Categories: Media|

Eka Mishveladze at Pirveli Studia ( Tbilisi, DFWatch – The fourth weekly political TV programme may be cancelled on Georgia, as the Public Broadcaster (GPB) may suspend Pirveli Studia (“First Studio”), soon after announcement of marriage of its hostess with the Secretary General of opposition political party.   […]

Electricity price hike in Georgia

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

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Electricity prices have gone up in the Georgian capital. Utility company Telasi explains the decision with a drop in the national currency lari, as well as increased prices for purchasing electricity and increased transmission taxes. There are three […]

Woman shop attendant murdered in western Georgia

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

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A man killed a 39 year old woman working in a shop in western Georgia on Thursday for not letting him borrow a beer. The murder took place in Khelvachauri, in the Adjara region. The suspect has been detained, according to the Ministry […]

Georgian PM: Government’s media policies should be properly appreciated

By | September 4th, 2015|Categories: News|

Georgian Prime Minister distances himself from the recent cancelation of two popular political talk-shows on Imedi TV, stating that it is a separate decision of the TV company's management. Irakli Garibashvili: "If a TV company cancels a talk-show, this is a separate decision by its top management, which I'm not going to comment" "If [...]

Comment about the president and knitting pins rattles parliament

By | September 3rd, 2015|Categories: News, Politics|Tags: , |

Undated photo of Giorgi Margvelashvili knitting socks, published in 2013, before he became president. TBILISI, DFWatch–A statement by a leading parliamentarian about the president and knitting pins has caused puzzlement in Georgia. A spokesman for the president’s administration called it insulting and unethical. “I blame Ivanishvili for taking the knitting pins out of the hands of the NGO and Soros guys (“ენჯეოელი სოროსელი”) […]

One more talk show goes off air in Georgia

By | September 2nd, 2015|Categories: Media|Tags: , |

Archil Gamzardia said the show was cancelled to silence him. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–One more talk show has been taken off air in Georgia. The Sunday evening program ‘Kviris 2030’, which has been a venue for views close to former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, will end in September, producer Vasil Maglapheridze said on Tuesday. […]

Host of cancelled talk-shows: Politics was behind the decision

By | September 1st, 2015|Categories: News|

Tbilisi, DFWatch – Inga Grigolia, a popular TV host, wrote on her Facebook that politicians, presumably from the ruling Georgian Dream, didn’t want her on air before the elections, referring to the parliamentary elections planned in 2016. […]

Cabinet reshuffle in Georgia: Minister of economy appointed as a head of MFA

By | September 1st, 2015|Categories: News|

Giorgi Kvirikashvili (Ipn) Tbilisi, DFWatch – Tamar Beruchashvili, Minister of Foreign Affairs, was replaced by Giorgi Kvirikashvili, who served as Minister of Economy. The government reshuffle was […]

Participatory budgeting gathers momentum in Marneuli

By | September 1st, 2015|Categories: Minorities|

Marneuli (Dominik K. Cagara) Tserakvi, DFWatch – A pilot project on participatory budgeting brings the population of Marneuli district closer to the decision-making process and brings democratic participation to a new level. One Caucasus Festival ended on Saturday, but the organizers took steps to secure its pro-democratic overtone in the long run. […]