Monthly Archives: February 2016

//February

Christians and Muslims in Adigeni exchange insults in cemetery row

By | February 29th, 2016|Categories: Minorities|Tags: , |

(Samkhretis Karibche.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Disagreement over a cemetery led to exchange of insults between Muslims and Christians in a village in southern Georgia on Monday. Samkhretis Karibche, a local online newspaper, reported that the locals verbally insulted each other. […]

Court in Georgia to hear case of man who married 15 year old girl

By | February 29th, 2016|Categories: News|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The regional Court in Sighnaghi in eastern Georgia is considering the case of a 25 year old man who married a 15 year old girl who is pregnant. A few weeks ago, the couple showed up at a talk show on Imedi TV called the Gia Jajanidze Show. The man told of how he and the girl found […]

Two Georgians who avoided hanging in Malaysia returned home

By | February 29th, 2016|Categories: In brief|Tags: , , |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Two Georgian citizens who barely avoided being hanged in Malaysia for drug-related crimes returned to Georgia on Sunday. Babutsa Gordadze, who was arrested in Malaysia along with Darejan Kokhtashvili, was convicted of  illegally […]

Georgia’s by-election last October to be investigated for fraud

By | February 29th, 2016|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Prosecutor General’s Office in Georgia has launched an investigation two weeks after allegations were put forth by a member of parliament about election fraud in last year’s by-election in Sagarejo in eastern Georgia. Gogi Topadze, leader […]

Hundreds rally against Ivanishvili’s ‘Panorama Tbilisi’ project

By | February 29th, 2016|Categories: News|

(DFWatch) TBILISI, DFWatch–Activists demand putting halt a large construction project amidst environmental, urban, social, and conflict-of-interest controversies. Up to 400 activists gathered on Tbilisi’s Freedom Square on 27 February in order to protest against the construction […]

Tbilisi’s Azerbaijani activists call for recognition of the ‘Khojaly Genocide’

By | February 29th, 2016|Categories: Minorities|

(DF Watch) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgian Azerbaijani activists marked the anniversary of the Khojaly tragedy and called for its recognition as a genocide. On 25 February, a conference on the Khojaly (Xocalı) genocide was held in Tbilisi. The event was organised […]

Protesters support Tkibuli miners’ strike in Tbilisi

By | February 28th, 2016|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–Activists demonstrated in front of the headquarters of Georgian Industrial Group in Tbilisi in solidarity with the miners who are on strike in Tkibuli. In the evening of 26 February, a group of up to 200 protesters […]

Ex-minister in a stable condition after being shot

By | February 28th, 2016|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

Avtandil Imedadze. TBILISI, DFWatch–Doctors say former government official and now opposition member Alexi Petriashvili is in a stable condition. He was shot in the legs and abdominal area on Friday at a cemetery in Tbilisi. The director of the Republican Hospital […]

Georgian ballerina criticized for Moscow performance on ‘Soviet Occupation Day’

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

Nino Ananiashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Nino Ananiashvili, a former prima ballerina at Moscow’s Bolshoi Theater, was criticized in Georgia for performing at the theater in the Russian capital on February 25, because in her home country, the day is observed as the Day of Soviet Occupation. […]

Report from the miners’ strike in Tkibuli

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

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

Georgian Islamic State suspect denied recruitment activity

By | February 27th, 2016|Categories: News|

Aiug Borchashvili (ICK.ge) Tbilisi, DFWatch – Aiup Borchashvili admits links to Umar ash-Shishani, but denies direct involvement in recruiting people to fight in Syria and Iraq. Telavi District Court heard Aiup Borchashvili in the case of […]

Shots fired at Georgia’s ex-minister for Euro-Atlantic integration

By | February 26th, 2016|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , |

TBILISI, DFWatch–A former member of government and secretary of an opposition party was shot by unknown attackers on Saburtalo cemetery on Friday afternoon. His injuries are not life-threatening. Aleksi Petriashvili with his wife, journalist Eka Mishveladze (Facebook) Aleksi Petriashvili was shot at and wounded at the Saburtalo […]

One person detained at South Ossetian boundary line

By | February 26th, 2016|Categories: In brief|Tags: , , |

TBILISI, DFWatch–Russian border police detained a 31-years-old inhabitant of Tbilisi in the vicinity of the South Ossetian boundary line, Sputnik Ossetia reported.  The man was detained on 24 February near the village of Akhmaji (Akhmadz in Ossetian) in Akhalgori (Leningor) […]

Workers break into mining company’s offices in Tkibuli

By | February 26th, 2016|Categories: News|Tags: , |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Coal miners on strike in a small mining town in the west of Georgia broke into the offices of the company that owns the mines Thursday evening. Workers came in through the windows of the offices of Saknakhshiri GIG in Tkibuli, with the support of locals. […]

Open-air exhibition marks the Soviet Occupation Day

By | February 25th, 2016|Categories: News|

Exhibition at parliament (DFWatch) Tbilisi, DFWatch – Pictures and documents from the period of Bolshevik terror in Georgia marked the anniversary the tragic events of 1921. A photo exhibition in front of the Parliament building in Tbilisi marked the Soviet Occupation Day, […]

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

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

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

One more arrest made in Tbilisi ‘bridenapping’ case

By | February 25th, 2016|Categories: In brief|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch–One more person was arrested on Tuesday in connection with the suspected ‘bridenapping’ in Tbilisi’s southern Ponichala district. Earlier on Tuesday, police in the capital arrested a Russian teenager, who is suspected of abducting […]

Man stabbed to death near Telavi

By | February 25th, 2016|Categories: In brief|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A man of about 50 years was murdered on Wednesday in the village Vardisubani near Telavi. A suspect was apprehended the same day. The victim, Vepkhia Glurjidze, had a disagreement with the suspect, who then stabbed him. Glurjidze took […]

Irrigation water and detentions discussed at South Ossetia field meeting

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

(EUMM.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The field meeting on the perimeter of the South Ossetia region went ahead as planned on Wednesday, and some of the topics discussed were irrigation water and detention of people for border violations. The meeting was held in Ergneti, a village […]

Tbilisi ‘bridenapping’ suspect caught

By | February 24th, 2016|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–Police in Tbilisi detained a teenager on Wednesday who is suspected of abducting a 17 year old girl and keeping her for four days. The detainee is a citizen of Russia, and like the victim also a minor. He was arrested by officers from the central Tbilisi […]

Georgian politician Nino Burjanadze visited Moscow

By | February 24th, 2016|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin and Nino Burjanadze, leader of Democratic Movement. TBILISI, DFWatch–Nino Burjanadze, leader of the Georgian opposition party Democratic Movement, recently visited Moscow and met with Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin. The parties did not disclose the topic of the meeting. Her party’s press […]

Annual report by Amnesty International criticises Georgia’s human rights record

By | February 24th, 2016|Categories: News|

TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia still struggles with issues connected to its justice system, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, rights of LGBTI people, and cases of torture and other ill-treatment. Amnesty International (AI) has released the […]

New Islamic State video commemorates Georgian fighters

By | February 24th, 2016|Categories: News|

Badri Iremadze, a still from the video TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgian fighters affiliated with the Islamic State commemorate three men who died earlier this year in Syria. A new Georgian-language video produced by Furat, a media company affiliated with the Islamic State, has been circulated […]

Chief judge at Tbilisi City Court fired

By | February 24th, 2016|Categories: News|Tags: , , , |

Mamuka Akhvlediani. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The chief judge at Tbilisi City Court was fired on Tuesday, sparking speculation that it might have something to do with his recent statements about corruption in the court and other controversial topics. Twelve members of the High […]

Road building to be accelerated, says Georgian PM

By | February 24th, 2016|Categories: News|Tags: , |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili promises that the motorway through Georgia currently under construction will be completed by 2020. The transit road east-west through Georgia, connecting the border with Azerbaijan with the Turkish […]

Too late to have any meaning, court lifts bail against former Tbilisi mayor

By | February 23rd, 2016|Categories: News|Tags: |

Gigi Ugulava. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Tbilisi City Court ruled in favor of former Mayor Gigi Ugulava on Tuesday, lifting a 50,000 lari bail imposed on him and a freezing order on the house of his mother-in-law. But the lifting of Mr Ugulava’s bail won’t mean that he can walk free. He is currently serving a four and a half year prison sentence in another case. […]

Georgia’s Vainakh community commemorates victims of Stalin’s deportations

By | February 23rd, 2016|Categories: Minorities|

Nona and Meka Khangoshvili (DFWatch) Tbilisi, DFWatch – Kist, Chechen, Ingush activists and Georgian sympathisers commemorated victims of 1944 deportations with screening of a Chechen film depicting details of the tragedy. […]

NGOs demand the creation of an independent investigative body

By | February 23rd, 2016|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

(OSGF.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and government representatives Monday discussed the possibility of creating an independent body to investigative crimes committed by law enforcement. The discussion revealed disagreement […]

More about the two American NGO workers who were deported from Russia

By | February 23rd, 2016|Categories: NGO news|Tags: , |

Temur Kobalia, director of the NGO Georgian-Russian Forum. TBILISI, DFWatch–Russia last week detained two American members of non-governmental organizations (NGO) for violating visa rules and holding ‘non-tourist meetings.’ DF Watch spoke to Temur Kobalia, director of the NGO Georgian-Russian Forum, […]

Abducted 17 year old girl back with her family

By | February 23rd, 2016|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–A 17 year old girl who was abducted several days ago was returned to her family on Monday and questioned by police. Relatives say the kidnapper left Samira Bayramova at a supermarket near her home in Ponichala, a settlement […]

Protesters succeed in preventing LGBT conference at TSU

By | February 22nd, 2016|Categories: Minorities, News|Tags: , |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A conference about sexual minorities had to be moved to another location after Tbilisi State University (TSU) refused to let it be held on February 22 following protests by extreme traditionalists. The protest was staged by a group which has often […]

Neighbours Struggle to Deal with Religious Tension in Tbilisi’s Muslim Settlement

By | February 22nd, 2016|Categories: Minorities|Tags: , , , , , |

Friday prayer in Shia mosque (DFWatch) Soghanlughi, DFWatch – Global Shia–Sunni conflict found its way into a small Azerbaijani community on the outskirts of Tbilisi.What started as a local tension in the predominantly Muslim settlement of Soghanlughi (Soğanlıq in Azerbaijani), which is a part of Ponichala district in the southeast of Tbilisi, escalated into a conflict informed by events in the Middle East, proving increasingly divisive for the community. […]

Report from the villages on South Ossetia boundary line

By | February 22nd, 2016|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Davit Vanishvili. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Things did not change for the better when Davit Vanishvili’s house ended up on the other side of the border with Georgia’s breakaway region South Ossetia several years ago. DFWatch recently visited some of the villages on the administrative boundary […]

Family protest police inaction after 17 year old girl abducted in Tbilisi

By | February 22nd, 2016|Categories: News|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Relatives of a 17 year old girl who was abducted three days ago protested outside a police station in Tbilisi on Sunday, demanding that something is done to find the kidnap victim. Samira Bairamova (17) from the predominantly ethnic […]

Georgia’s foreign trade dropped 24% in January

By | February 20th, 2016|Categories: Economy|Tags: |

The Ferro factory in Zestaponi. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s foreign trade turnover in January was USD 528 million, a 24 percent drop compared to the same month last year. According to the new monthly report by the National Statistics Department, GeoStat, export was USD 122 million; […]

Tkibuli coal miners continue strike

By | February 20th, 2016|Categories: News|Tags: , , , |

(DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Coal miners in Tkibuli in western Georgia are continuing their strike, which began more than a week ago. They demand increased pay and better working conditions, particularly warm working clothes in winter. Mindeli and Dzidziguri mines are affected by the strike. […]

Transgender-themed film screening commemorates activist’s death

By | February 19th, 2016|Categories: Minorities|Tags: , , |

Bianka filmed in the Gospel of Anasyrma Tbilisi, DFWatch – Film starring late transgender activist Bianka Shigurova is a powerful social commentary on transphobia in Georgia. Short film The Gospel of Anasyrma was screened yesterday in headquarters of […]

Ryanair interested in entering Georgian market

By | February 19th, 2016|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Irish budget airline Ryanair is interested in entering the Georgian market. The news comes a few days after another budget airline, Wizz Air, announced its new routes out of Kutaisi. Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili met Thursday […]

Ivanishvili sues Credit Suisse, claims 100 million franc disappeared

By | February 18th, 2016|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Bidzina Ivanishvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgian billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili is suing Credit Suisse for losing 100 million Swiss francs, according to reports in Swiss press. Ivanishvili has filed a lawsuit at Geneva court against the financial manager of Credit Suisse Group AG, for embezzling […]

Casino plans called off in Tbilisi’s new ‘Millenium’ tower

By | February 18th, 2016|Categories: Economy|Tags: , , , , |

(DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Plans to open a high-end luxury casino in downtown Tbilisi have been aborted because the Hong Kong based operator, Melco International Development, was unable to reach an agreement with UAE Dhabi Group about leasing of space. The casino […]

MP criticizes Georgia’s support for ‘anti-Armenian’ water resolution in CoE

By | February 18th, 2016|Categories: Caucasus region|Tags: , , , , |

Azerbaijan and Armenia are technically still at war over the region Nagorno-Karabakh. (Pirveli.) TBILISI, DFWatch–An ethnic Armenian member of the Georgian parliament criticized some of his colleagues on Wednesday for voting for a controversial Council of Europe resolution regarding access to water in Nagorno-Karabakh. Samvel Petrosyan, […]

S-3 road between Georgia and Russia closed due to wind and snow

By | February 18th, 2016|Categories: Roads update|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The S-3 road was closed in a mountainous area north of Tbilisi on Thursday because of strong wind and poor visibility. According to the Road Department, the road is closed for all traffic between Gudauri and Kobi. On the same road, trailers, […]

Prison minister supports merging ministries to save money

By | February 18th, 2016|Categories: In brief|

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The prison minister in Georgia supports a proposal by the head of the National Bank to merge the Prison Ministry with the Justice Ministry to save money. “The more we reduce government offices, the more effective the system will be,” […]

Stable power supply reestablished in Abkhazia

By | February 18th, 2016|Categories: News|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Intermittent power supply ended two days ago in the breakaway region Abkhazia. The reason for the recent power cuts is low water level in the Inguri reservoir. Georgia is now importing electricity from Russia in order to compensate […]

Wizzair announces seven new destinations from Kutaisi airport

By | February 17th, 2016|Categories: In brief|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Kutaisi Airport (IPN) Tbilisi, DFWatch – As of September, Kutaisi will be connected with cities in Bulgaria, Cyprus, Germany, Greece, and Italy. Wizzair, a Hungarian cheap airline, announced seven new flight destinations operating from the David the Builder Kutaisi International Airport to Berlin, […]

Georgia, Russia, South Ossetia react to international war crimes probe

By | February 17th, 2016|Categories: News|

Leonid Tybylty (Tibilov), de facto President of SO, claims that ‘knowing that there would be a full-scale war… almost all of the Georgian population of Tskhinval region left their homes destroyed and burnt their houses down, leaving nothing behind. Tbilisi, DFWatch – As allegations of ethnic cleansing emerge, Russia and South Ossetia back off from cooperating on August 2008 war crimes investigation by the International Criminal Court. Emotions in Tbilisi, Tskhinval (Tskhinvali), […]

Head of Georgia’s National Bank calls for merging ministries to save money

By | February 17th, 2016|Categories: Politics|Tags: , |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The president of the National Bank suggests reducing the number of ministries in Georgia in order to save public money. In an interview with Rustavi 2, Giorgi Kadagidze drew attention to Switzerland, a developed country which has eight ministries, […]

Three men detained in Georgia for selling counterfeit salt

By | February 17th, 2016|Categories: In brief|Tags: |

(Investigative Service, Ministry of Finance.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Finance Ministry’s investigative service Tuesday detained three people for selling counterfeit salt. The three made profit by systematically selling salt, according to a short statement put out by the service. The statement said they packed […]

Georgian parliament looks at ways to protect children from online porn

By | February 16th, 2016|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Dimitri Khundadze. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Parliament is considering introducing a ban on children accessing porn websites. Dimitri Khundadze, head of the parliamentary committee on healthcare and social issues, suggests creating a commission to craft a draft law. […]

MP withdraws bill that would criminalize insulting religion

By | February 16th, 2016|Categories: News|Tags: , |

MP Soso Jachvliani has withdrawn a bill to make it a crime to insult religious feelings. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A Georgian member of parliament has unexpectedly withdrawn a draft law that would make it a crime to insult religious feelings. In a short explanatory note, MP Soso Jachvliani explained that the issue is so important that more consultations are necessary to refine […]

Three Iranian airlines ready to enter Georgian market

By | February 16th, 2016|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , |

(airliners.net) TBILISI, DFWatch–Three Iranian airlines will enter the Georgian market in February and March, according to the airport operator TAV Georgia. The company announced that regular flights between Tbilisi and Tehran will be launched in the end of February. TAV Georgia, […]

Reintegration minister revives Russian-language TV channel debate

By | February 16th, 2016|Categories: Media|

PIK employees protest against closure of the channel in front of parliament in 2012 (IPN) Tbilisi, DFWatch – Georgian experts focus on security aspects of countering Russian propaganda in the debate on reviving a Russian-language TV channel. An initiative to create a Russian-language TV channel in Georgia was voiced by Paata Zakareishvili, minister of reintegration and civic equality, during the cabinet meeting on 11 February, Novosti Gruziya reported. […]

Georgian man ‘citizen arrested’ in South Ossetia

By | February 15th, 2016|Categories: In brief|Tags: , |

Abandoned South Ossetian checkpoint at the village of Ergneti from Georgian-controlled side (DFWatch, May, 2014) South Ossetian KGB detained a 42-years-old Georgian following citizen's arrest by a local man near Tskhinvali. An uneditified Georgian man was detained in South Ossetia for crossing ‘the border’ (administrative borderline), South Ossetian news agency Res reported. The agency [...]

Putin critic to play a gig in Tbilisi

By | February 15th, 2016|Categories: News|Tags: |

Andrey Makarvich wearing ribbon with colors of Ukraine's flag during Peace March in Moscow, 2014 (Bogomolov.PL) Andrey Makarevich, leader of a Russian cult rock band Mashina Vremeni, and a vocal critic of the Kremlin will play a concert in the Tbilisi Concert Hall on March 9. Mashina Vremeni was founded in 1969 and is [...]

Iran introduces visa-free regime for Georgians, visa-on-arrival for most countries

By | February 15th, 2016|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Georgian citizens can enter Iran  visa-free for up to 90 days, while most foreign nationals can obtain 30-days visas at Iran’s airports. Iran has reintroduced visa-free regime for Georgian citizens, Iran’s deputy ambassador to Georgia Mohsen Kebriaizadeh told journalists on Monday. The decision follows a phone conversation between Georgian Prime Pinister Giorgi Kvirikashvili and Iranian President [...]

Giant tree-moving operation halted as Ivanishvili inspects site

By | February 14th, 2016|Categories: News|Tags: , , , |

Ex-PM Bidzina Ivanishvili faced National Movement activists in Tsikhisdziri. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Ex-Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili halted work at Tsikhisdziri on Saturday, where three giant trees are being prepared to be carried by ship and replanted in a garden further north on the Black Sea coast. An environmental group joined […]

Electricity supply to Abkhazia may be cut off in two weeks

By | February 14th, 2016|Categories: News|Tags: , |

The Enguri dam. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian breakaway region Abkhazia may have its electricity supply cut off because of low water level at the Enguri Dam, which straddles the de facto border. Since January 25, Abkhazia’s electricity supply has been […]

Man arrested for triple murder in western Georgia

By | February 13th, 2016|Categories: In brief|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A man was arrested Friday in the west of Georgia accused of triple murder. Three men who had been missing for several days were found dead in a river in Zugdidi with gun shot wounds to their head and chest region. The killing took place […]

Abkhazia may offer Russians ‘visa’-free travel

By | February 12th, 2016|Categories: News|Tags: |

Valery Bganba. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Abkhazia is introducing a new exception from its own ‘visa’ rules. Citizens of countries that have recognized the Georgian breakaway region may freely visit. In practical terms, this means for Russian citizens. The current law, adopted in 2005, says […]

Georgia ranked 23rdin Europe for LGBT rights legislation

By | February 12th, 2016|Categories: Minorities|

Rainbow Europe TBILISI, DFWatch–Rainbow Europe’s LGBTI rights ranking praises positive developments in Georgia despite major setbacks. Georgia was placed in the middle of a ranking of European countries which assessed each country’s legislation regarding […]

Two mosques given heritage protection in southern Georgia

By | February 12th, 2016|Categories: Minorities|Tags: , |

Sakuneti Mosque (DFWatch) ADIGENI, DFWatch–Two mosques in the south of Georgia were Monday granted cultural heritage status. We went to the Samtskhe-Javakheti region to see how religious minorities are living there. One of the mosques designated as cultural heritage lies in the middle of the village Adigeni. […]

Five people killed as minibus crashes with car

By | February 12th, 2016|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–Five people were killed in a car crash in eastern Georgia Thursday evening. Several people are injured, two of them are in a serious condition. The accident took place in the village Badiauri, near Sagarejo. A minibus smashed into a small […]

UNM activists join environmentalists in stopping Ivanishvili’s tree-moving

By | February 11th, 2016|Categories: Environment|Tags: , , , |

(Guerilla Gardening.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Five people were detained Wednesday during a rally in Tsikhisdziri on the Black Sea coast near Kobuleti. They were protesting against the removal of three giant old trees which they suspect will be hauled by boat 40km up the coast […]

Detainees’s rights frequently violated, report finds

By | February 11th, 2016|Categories: News|Tags: , |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A new report suggests that a number of rights are violated when people are detained. They are not read their rights and have problems getting an interpreter and a lawyer during their first questioning. These are the findings in a new […]

Georgian Public Broadcaster fires TV host without explanation

By | February 11th, 2016|Categories: Media|Tags: , |

Eka Mishveladze. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A TV host on the Georgian Public Broadcaster says she was fired without explanation and plans to sue her employer. Eka Mishveladze, one of the hosts on Channel 1, says her open-ended contract was terminated with no explanation and she […]

Interior Ministry answers critics about hidden cameras in police cars

By | February 10th, 2016|Categories: News|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s Interior Ministry on Wednesday explained a proposal to place video cameras in unmarked police cars, which was criticized the day before. “Recently, the media have purposely replicated the opinions of the so-called […]

Different versions of murder tell of divide in mixed Shia Sunni village

By | February 10th, 2016|Categories: Minorities|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch–A picture of a young man hangs in the yard of the Shia mosque in Ponichala, a suburb of Tbilisi known as Soghanlughi, or Soğanlıq in Azeri language. A note is attached to it, saying: ‘Your blood will annihilate Wahhabism and wash it off this land’. […]

Should unmarked police cars be equipped with video cameras?

By | February 10th, 2016|Categories: News|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A proposal to put cameras in unmarked police cars and use video recordings to fine drivers for traffic violations is met with suspicion in Georgia. According to the bill, police will be entitled to install secret video cameras in unmarked patrol […]

LGBT organisations distance themselves from same-sex marriage initiative

By | February 10th, 2016|Categories: Minorities|

Tbilisi, DFWatch – LGBT rights organisations condemn Giorgi Tatishvili’s initiative for same-sex marriages as a provocation and accuse pro-Russian political and radical religious forces of interference. On 27 January, Giorgi Tatishvili, an activist […]

Georgia’s wine export up 13% in January

By | February 9th, 2016|Categories: Economy|Tags: |

(DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia exported 13 percent more wine in January, compared to the same period last year. According to the National Wine Agency, Georgia exported wine to 19 countries around the world. 1,521,802 bottles were exported, worth USD 2.62 million. […]

Georgia and Iran may resume visa-free travel

By | February 9th, 2016|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia and Iran are considering reopening mutual visa-free travel for each other’s citizens, according to the Georgian prime minister. Such an arrangement existed between January 2011 and summer of 2013, until Georgia cancelled […]

Tbilisi airport will get new terminal building

By | February 9th, 2016|Categories: News|Tags: , |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A new terminal building will be built at Tbilisi Airport, due to an increase in passenger numbers. The new terminal will be finished within an year. Giorgi Molodinashvili, Deputy Director of the Georgia’s Airports Union, told DF Watch that in spring, […]

Georgia’s NATO accession debate too much focused on MAP: Minister

By | February 8th, 2016|Categories: Security|Tags: , |

Tina Khidasheli. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian defense minister says there has been too much focus on her country being approved for a formalized plan toward NATO membership, called a MAP, since the alliance can accept Georgia as a member directly, she argues. NATO […]

Swine flu claims its tenth victim in Georgia

By | February 8th, 2016|Categories: In brief|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A 36 year old man died in Georgia on Saturday after having contracted the H1N1 virus. He became the tenth victim of the swine flu outbreak. The deceased was from Gali in Abkhazia, and had come to Zugdidi to receive medical treatment. […]

Passportisation in Abkhazia, questions about Gali Georgians remain

By | February 8th, 2016|Categories: News|

New passport and residence permit (Sputnik Apsny) Tbilisi, DFWatch – New legislation doesn’t solve the problems of Abkhazia’s Georgians, who still find themselves in limbo of no right to vote and own property. ‘Issuance of new passports for inhabitants of Abkhazia […]

Tbilisi airport to close runway during daytime for four months

By | February 6th, 2016|Categories: In brief|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Tbilisi international will be closed during daytime for four months, starting from March 1, 2016, due to maintenance work on the runway. During dayttime, scheduled flights will either be cancelled or delayed. According to preliminary […]

Maestro TV staff reject new owner and start new channel

By | February 6th, 2016|Categories: Media|Tags: |

Staff are not letting the new Maestro director and owner into the TV building. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian TV company Maestro has been taken over by two brothers, one a rock singer and the other a former presidential candidate, but staff won’t let them into the building. Maestro’s majority owner is now Giorgi Gachechiladze, a rock singer […]

Kist man claims ethnically motivated assault by Akhmeta police

By | February 6th, 2016|Categories: Minorities|

Aslan Tsutsashvili (ick.ge) Tbilisi, DFWatch – 24-years-old Aslan Tsutsashvili from Pankisi valley accuses Akhmeta police of physical assault on ethnic grounds. The incident allegedly […]

Muslims in Batumi present 12,000 signatures in support of new mosque

By | February 5th, 2016|Categories: Minorities|Tags: |

(DF Watch.) BATUMI, DFWatch–Muslims gathered at the Orta Jame mosque in Batumi on Thursday and presented over 12,000 signatures in support of constructing a new mosque. Orta Jame is the only mosque in Batumi, Georgia’s second largest city, and it has been overcrowded […]

Georgia sending team to investigate sexual misconduct in CAR

By | February 5th, 2016|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Tina Khidasheli. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgian military police is preparing to send a team to the Central African Republic to investigate alleged sexual crimes committed there by Georgian soldiers. Defense Minister Tina Khidasheli said Wednesday that investigators require some […]

Transgender woman found dead in Tbilisi

By | February 5th, 2016|Categories: Minorities, News|Tags: |

Bianka Shigurova can be seen in the center of this photo (wearing a hat) from November, 2015. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A transgender woman was found dead in her apartment in Tbilisi on Thursday. She had apparently suffocated due to a gas leak. The Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) confirmed the death of Bianka Shigurova and said an investigation has been […]

Director of construction company accused of embezzling 600,000 USD

By | February 4th, 2016|Categories: In brief|Tags: , |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The director of a construction company was detained on Thursday accused of embezzlement of more than 1.5 million laris. According to the Finance Ministry’s investigation service, the company Construction-Commercial Corporation […]

Demonstration, comments, apologies follow MP’s Down’s syndrome slur

By | February 4th, 2016|Categories: News|

Protest at Parliament (DF Watch) TBILISI, DFWatch–Gogi Topadze’s use of handicapist language provoked reaction from Georgia’s top politicians and a demonstration in Tbilisi’s center. MP Gogi Topadze’s use of Down’s syndrome as a term of abuse provoked a variety of reactions […]

Swine flu claims its ninth victim in Georgia

By | February 4th, 2016|Categories: In brief|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Swine flu has claimed its ninth death in Georgia, according to National Center for Disease Control (NCDC). A young woman died two days ago in the Adjara region in the southwest of Georgia, and laboratory tests confirmed that she […]

Topadze’s use of Down’s syndrome as term of abuse stuns parliament

By | February 4th, 2016|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

Gogi Topadze. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A Georgian parliament member Wednesday used Down’s syndrome as a term of abuse. Gogi Topadze, previously known for his praise of Stalin a few months ago, claimed that the president in his national address compared the Georgian […]

Road closed north of Gudauri

By | February 4th, 2016|Categories: Roads update|Tags: , |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The S-3 road between the winter resort Gudauri and the village Kobi is closed due to high winds and poor visibility. Between Aragvispiri and Gudauri, and between Kobi and the Russian border at Larsi, trailers, semi-trailers and vehicles with […]

Eighth person dies of swine flu in Georgia

By | February 3rd, 2016|Categories: News|Tags: |

Amiran Gamkrelidze, director of NCDC. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s eighth swine flu victim was a young man who had an accompanying disease. Amiran Gamkrelidze, director of the National Center of the Disease Control (NCDC), said the man died because he received treatment too late. […]

Parliament will consider making it a crime to offend religious feelings

By | February 3rd, 2016|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

Eka Beselia, head of the human rights committee. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia might bring in a new law that makes it a crime to offend ‘religious feelings’. A member of parliament from the ruling Georgian Dream coalition has submitted a bill in parliament which was supported by the human rights committee. The bill […]

Georgian, Armenian Ministers of Defense sign cooperation agreement

By | February 3rd, 2016|Categories: News|

Minister Tina Khidasheli meets National Assembly (Mod.gov.ge) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgian Minister of Defence conducted a series of meetings with Armenia’s prominent politicians and commented on issues linked to Armenian–Georgian cooperation. Minister of Defense of Georgia Tinatin Khidasheli concluded her three-day […]

Georgia may amend Constitution to bar same-sex marriage

By | February 2nd, 2016|Categories: Minorities, News|Tags: , |

Zviad Tomaradze. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A controversy is brewing in Georgia over whether it should be written into the Constitution that a marriage is union between a man and a woman. The idea has been around at least since former Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili suggested it in March […]

Georgian president will hold annual address to parliament on February 3

By | February 2nd, 2016|Categories: Politics|Tags: , |

President Giorgi Margvelashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The president’s annual state of the nation address will be delivered at the opening of the spring session of parliament on February 3. Giorgi Kverenchkhiadze, who is parliamentary secretary for President Giorgi Margvelashvili, […]

Georgian Dream wins with 70% of votes in Gardabani by-election

By | February 1st, 2016|Categories: Elections|Tags: , , |

Gocha Jamarauli received 70% of votes in the Gardabani by-election, according to CEC. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The ruling Georgian Dream coalition won the by-local election in Gardabani on Thursday. The election was necessary to find a replacement for Garsevan Nioradze, the recently deceased gamgebeli or head of municipality of Gardabani, […]

Georgia’s seventh swine flu victim did not have a chronic disease

By | February 1st, 2016|Categories: News|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A man who died of swine in Georgia on Saturday did not suffer from any other disease. But there is no reason to panic, authorities say. “Unfortunately, we had one case when the virus resulted in the death of an almost healthy person, […]

Tbilisi Opera House reopened as protesters decry ‘Soviet’ style event

By | February 1st, 2016|Categories: News|Tags: |

(Ministry of Culture/Facebook.) TBILISI, DFWatch–As Tbilisi Opera House was reopened Sunday after more than five years of rehabilitation works, protesters decried that the first performance was invitation-only. Protesters who had gathered at the entrance did not like the policy to not have tickets […]