2008-02-27Welfare or Pre-Election Promises?
According to the Georgian State Statistics Department the minimal income for a Georgian citizen is 194.5 GEL per month. Most citizens, however, have much less income than the official estimate. It is understandable under the current political realities when buttressed with extreme social conditions why it is now paramount for the central government to present offered the well-known poverty reduction project entitled “Georgia without Poverty.”
2008-02-26Qualifications for Chairperson and Members of GPB’s Board of Trustees
The long and draw out about the staffing of the Board of Trustees for Georgian Public Broadcasting has finally ended with the short list of 27 candidates for potential membership on the Board of Trustees, which has recently been submitted to the Parliament for its final consideration.
2008-02-2610-15 Teens are “Drug Addicts”
Specialist for drug-addiction: “Soon the whole youth will be walking with shaking hands.”
Statistics demonstrate that the number of drug-addicts has taken a sharp increased in the region. It is also clear that age of drug-abusers is much younger than previously thought. Specialists have signed an alarm that the situation is urgent as teens and young adults start their drug habits much earlier, even at the range of 10-15 years of age. Official data states that in comparison to 2006 drug crimes has been tripled in Kakheti region in 2007. Despite the urgent situation there is no medical center where drug-abusers are able to get access to treatment. An anti-drug program has not been implemented and the situation is getting worst each day.
2008-02-25“Father Opposition Member” That’s why my son was arrested!
Giorgi Artilakva, 19, has been in prison since March 13, 2007. On December 12, 2007 Artilakva was sentence by a Batumi City Court with a five-year sentence and fined for attempted theft. Tengiz Artilakva, Giorgi’s father considers that his son was arrested for his (father’s) political views.
2008-02-25Tbilisi Medical Center for Critical Care (TMCC) Refused Treatment to 4-year-old girl
On February 18 Badinda Bastova, 4 ½ years months little girl was brought to Akhaltsikhe District Hospital fighting a complicated form of Hepatitis A. Now this child is being cared for in the Infection Department of Tbilisi Central Hospital. 10 days earlier all hospitals in Tbilisi had refused treatment on the grounds that they had no place.
2008-02-25Levan Bezhashvili: Why Local Government Avoid Journalists and NGOs?
Levan Bezhashvili was recently appointed as the Georgian President’s Representative to Kakheti region. Previous to this assignment he was the chairperson of the Parliamentary Legal Committee. The new governor intends to cooperate with local journalists and NGO workers. The first meeting with the representatives of civil society was organized last week.
2008-02-25Twelve-year-old “Offenders” will become “Hardcore”
The proposed amendments and additions introduced into Georgian Criminal Code on May 23 2007 reduce the minimal threshold age for juveniles from 14 to 12 years old for criminal accountability. Consequently, the amendments were introduced to the Georgian Criminal Procedural Code and Georgian Law on Imprisonment. The changes and additions will be enforced starting July 1 2008.
2008-02-22Georgia: A Flickering Beacon of Democracy
In 2004, in line with the positive changes in the country, we pointed out the human rights violations which took place after the “Rose Revolution”. Most of the people did not dare speak of them. We dared to tell the truth. “One Step Forward – Two Steps Back” was the name of the human rights report the Human Rights Centre published in December, 2004. As antidemocratic tendencies developed further, our reaction was immediate. The report produced in 2005 was called “Next Stop – Belarus?”
2008-02-22Ethnic Avars Resettlement from Kvareli District for May 2008
Information about the possible resettlement of ethnic Avars residing in Georgia was announced a short time ago by the news Agency “Daghestani”. Avars residing in the Kvareli District in Kakheti Region and Dagestan Branch of the Department for IDPs and Refugees within the Russian Federal Service for Immigration confirm the shared information. It is claimed that mass resettlement will commence in May of 2008.
2008-02-22Limiting Air time for “Pre-Election Campaign Period”
Georgian Regional TV Companies are getting ready for up-coming parliamentary elections. Already they are thinking about what financial benefits they will derive. There has been a move by the Association of Regional TV Stations when they petitioned to Georgian Parliament to abolish the requirement of providing free political TV-ads.
2008-02-21Chechen Refugees Accuse United Nations High Commission for Refugees in Forging their Names
The Chechen refugees that live in Pankisi Gorge are of the opinion that United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) has on several occasions intentionally forged their names. Adam Makalov, applicant to UNHCR for resettlement to a third country considers that the international organization had deliberately misspelled his name on important refugee documents.
2008-02-21Restoration of Disability Benefits Demanded
Eldar Tsaguria, former officer of the Abkhazian Security Ministry, was severely wounded during what was called an anti-terrorist special operation that was carried out the village of Gudava in Gali District in 1996.
2008-02-21Vale Locals Need Ambulance & “Better Medical Services”
Salaries and conditions at the local hospital in small town of Vale in the Akhaltsikhe District has seen better days. The lab assistant has a meager salary of 8 GEL and the attending physician doctor not much more, only 10-12 GEL per month. The hospital had many patients in the past but things have changed.
2008-02-20Ezugbaia, Chairperson: Georgian Railway Withholds Pensions from Former rail worker
Gogi Miruashvili, a resident of the village of Kvakhvreli in Gori District, died of heart attack when a court summon was delivered to his house. As it was later learned, Irakli Ezugbaia was in opposition to the seventy-five-year-old man. Currently, Ezugbaia can only appeal against Makvala Miruashvili, wife of the deceased, as she Gogi Miruashvili’s legal surrogate. The topic for argument is whether or not the dead person received pension by mistake.
2008-02-20Problem with Presidential Subsidies
“If I survive my problem, I will never again mention the name of the present. I am so afraid that I will not touch not only president’s present but event gifts I will receive from my relative. Keeping my only child warm cost me made sleepless nights and I have cried lots of tears. If it had to happen in similar way, they should not have given anything to us,” said Dali Khachapuridze, a resident of Kutaisi who a disabled. She applied to the Human Rights Center’s Kutaisi office to complain about her trouble with the Energy Distribution Company.
2008-02-19Shida Kartli Governor Ignores Illegal Activities of Gori’s Municipality Council
Gori Municipality Council broke the law when it came to electing the municipality governor. Although Ramaz Chochishvili, former governor, signed his resignation on February 7 2008, Gori Municipality Council then turn around and announced a competition on the vacancy of the governor on February 18, eleven days later. Thus, the Human Rights Center’s Gori Office has prepared an administrative suit under the Law on “State Supervision on the Activities of Local Self-governments”; the center will file the suit to the regional governor against the Gori Municipality Council.
2008-02-19Kakhetians Cheated by Georgian President Saakashvili
In the run-up to the snap presidential elections Mikheil Saakashvili made promises that he has not kept. He had publicly announced that an agreement had been reached between the Georgian government and clients of the Energy-Distribution Companies, and the impact would positive for consumers in both Tbilisi and in regions. They would be discharged from arrears on their electricity bills that accumulated before June 1 2007.
2008-02-19NATO- Big Risk or Big Security
The terrible events of November 7, 2007, which a brutal crackdown on civil and human rights in Georgia, has made it more difficult for Georgia to be able to integrate into North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Our immediate aim now is to get some kind of second tier status under MAP (Membership Action Plan) or some partnership status. Experts in the aftermath of the violent crackdown that took place in November there are second thoughts about fast-tracking Georgia to full-fledged membership. NATO authorities are thinking twice about whether to give Georgia a second chance or not. Even those who voted in principle for integration into NATO during the plebiscite that was January 5, 2008 are asking one and the same question, and it is now more frequently asked than ever before: Is there any threat behind integration into NATO?
2008-02-18Government Criticized over Harassed Journalists
Various highly respected international organizations have blamed the Georgian Government for suppressing the independent media sources. UN Human Rights Committee, International Committee to Protect Journalists, “Journalists without Borders” are all deeply concerned because the Georigan government has not investigated not one instance of harassment of journalists or instance of violence being used against the media. These organizations are calling upon the Georgian authority to protect their hard earned freedom of expression, as well as to be allow to maintain the independence of printed and other media sources.
2008-02-15Hard Evidence and/or a Fourteen-Year Sentence?
Case on Malkhaz Zhuzhunadze, former Chairperson of the Akhaltsikhe Precinct Election Commission # 37, was transferred to the Akhaltsikhe District Court for further investigation. On November 4 2007 officers from the Akhaltsikhe District Police Department arrested Malkhaz Zhuzhubnadzein his house, based on operational information; the detainee was accused for having illegally purchased and stored of narcotic substances (Georgian Criminal Code, Article 260, Paragraph II, a).
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