2008-11-19Russian Passports Distributed in Perevi Village?
The situation has improved in the village of Perevi after Ossetians left the villages in Upper Imereti. However, the Russian soldiers have stayed behind and are controlling the situation in the Georgian villages in Imereti Region that are situated along the border of South Ossetia. They say that Russians distribute Russian passports among the inhabitants of Perevi village, Imereti Region.
2008-11-18More of Samtskhe-Javakheti up in Smoke as Forest Fires Blaze Again
The Bogi Forest in Akhaltsikhe District has been burning since November 6, ravaging 3 hectares. “The fire appeared to be extinct the day it started but then winds picked up and fanned the flames into unaffected areas. The area of the fire is difficult to reach and fire engines have been unable to affectively control the situation. We are trying to put out the fire with shovels,” says Malkaz Gikoshvili, head of Samtskhe-Javakheti Regional Forest Department.
2008-11-18Head of Shida Kartli Police Department Threatened Regional Journalists with Imprisonment
Press service department of Shida Kartli regional administration has replied to information provided by the Human Rights Center titled: “Journalists Are Not Allowed Into the Regional Administration according to Shida Kartli Regional Governor’s Orders.”
2008-11-18Instead of Amnesty, Prisoner Rewarded with Extended Sentence
Several days ago, mentally disabled Vazir Khudoian, was slated to be pardoned as part of the wide scale Amnesty on November 23, 2008. However, Khoni district investigation bureau increased his sentence. Khudoiani is placed in Kutaisi Penitentiary Establishment #2. His attorney and relatives are now requesting that the investigation be reopened.
2008-11-17Poor Living Conditions Force People from Conflict Zone
The inhabitants of Zemo Nikozi, Kvemo Nikozi, Kvemo Khviti and Ergneti villages, Gori District are asking for help as nobody can provide security guarantees for the locals. The inhabitants of these villages also say that they have neither food, heating nor drinking water. The population is also demanded to have to pay for electricity bill for the months that they did not live in the villages at all (during the August war and afterwards).
2008-11-17Details of Policeman’s Murder
On November 15 thirty-three-year-old Zurab Jejelava, officer of the division # 2 of the Main Department for Special Unit within the Ministry of Internal Affairs, died as a result of the double-fire at the Georgian-Abkhazian administrative border. Abkhazian band formations opened fire at Georgian law enforcers at the village of Pakhulani in Tsalenjikha district when they were patrolling in the direction of the village of Kalaghali. Armed militants took hostages among local inhabitants and disappeared from the scene of crime.
2008-11-17IDPs Are Forced To Return Home
“How can I, a pregnant woman, protect the village?”
IDPs who returned to the village of Knolevi are not safely living there. Despite the danger, they are not being allowed to continue living in a safe place. Officials from the Ministry of the Refugees and Accommodation offered a choice to the IDPs: either they will return home or they will not be provided with humanitarian aid at the buildings were they have been warehoused in the aftermath of the August Georgian-Russian war.
2008-11-14Changes in Georgian GEL Rate Pokes Holes in Georgians’ Pockets
The exchange rate of the Georgian Lari has now temporarily stabilized at around 1.65 GEL against the US Dollar and has also lost value against the Euro. Despite the promising prognosis of the National Bank, which claimed that the exchange rate will not change radically and prices on products will not increase, people remain confused and afraid of what the future will hold. Many are frantically buying US Dollars.
2008-11-14Director of Radio “Imedi” Persecutes Journalists for Expressing Diverse Opinions
Nino Gabriadze, director of the Radio-Company “Imedi”, persecutes correspondents of the Information Department for having varying opinion to her own. Journalists Manana Tokmajishvili and Nino Tskhvarashvili stated at a meeting held at the Public Defender’s Office to that the director has forced them to write resignation letters. Prior Gabriadze’s decision, social-political programs that were presented by Tokmajishvili and Tskhvarashvili were pulled off the air.
2008-11-14Lack of Press Freedoms: Dissident Movement vs. Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB),
Five journalists have been beaten since the Georgian - Russian war of early August, 2008. Georgian TV Companies are not airing documentary films criticizing the Georgian government. On November 13 independent journalist Irma Inashvili, film-director Levan Anjaparidze and Levan Kordzaia, member of the movement “November 7” held a press-conference at the Hotel “Prima Vere”, where they discussed instances of being harassed and victimized only because they exercised their Constitutional protection of speech.
2008-11-14Shida Kartli Regional Governor prevents Journalists from entering Regional Administration Office
Journalists were insulted at Shida Kartli Regional administrative office because they asked the administrative office security police: “why are people deprived of the opportunity to enter the Shida Kartli regional Governor’s office and Gori District Governor’s office without a special warrant.” “Son of a bitch, mother f…ers”- these were the insulting words the security police used against inquiring journalists. One of the police officers was so angry that he even tried to physically assault the journalists. This outspoken police officer explained that the security police were instructed by Shida Kartli Regional and Gori District government leaders to remove such kinds of journalists from the governmental office.
2008-11-13Russian Military Base to Be Constructed in Perevi
The village of Perevi of Upper Imereti region is emptying. Several days ago Russian occupying forces hoisted Ossetian and Russian flags over a checkpoint that was set up in the village. Locals are leaving their homes in order to avoid potential future threats.
2008-11-13Georgian Attorneys Assess Judicial Reform
Beginning in 2009, Georgian judges will be appointed for life. They will leave their posts only in case of disciplinary mistake, resignation due to age or personal appeal. The attorneys express their discontent with this recent decision.
Konstantine Kublashvili, head of Supreme Court of Georgia made a statement on the upcoming court reform. He highlighted the most important reform as being the decision to appoint judges for life. “Guarantee of immunity, stability and continuity of judges” – this is how Konstantine Kublashvili described the amendment.
2008-11-13“Shoddier Saakashvili and Georgian Democracy Now than before November 7, 2007
Souhayr Belhassen, president of the Human Rights International Federation FIRH, visited Georgia for the first time to participate in a three-day regional seminar in Tbilisi. The president also met officials from various governmental structures and visited IDPs. In her interview with the www.humanrights.ge Belhassen assessed the human rights situation in Georgia, and the background of the recent events of the Georgian-Russian war in August.
2008-11-12Military Settlement Dwellers Accuse «Sakhlmmartveloba», a Property Management Organization of Malfeasance BUT Don’t Pay Utility Fees
It is the responsibility of the Ministry of Defense of Georgia to take care of the problems of military settlements in the town of Akhaltsikhe. Consequently local government refuses to solve the problems associated with such settlements.
There are three military settlements in Akhaltsikhe town: They are called “Adinattsetebi” (the Elevens), “Patietashkebi” and “Pagranatriadebi”. It was the responsibility of the property management offices to care fro these settlements during the 1992-2000 years.
2008-11-12Georgian Ministry of Refugees and Accommodation Refuses IDPs Status
Internally displayed persons from Shida Kartli and Tskhinhvali region, who escaped with their lives as a result of the August war, have to live under the most unbearable of conditions in Gori, Tbilisi and other Georgian cities; they are compactly warehoused in various institutions. The Ministry of Refugees and Accommodation has not yet granted these people the status of IDPs. People, who are seeking for IDP status, are being ill-treated when they apply to the Ministry and related structures, and they are sometimes even being verbally abused. The applications they fill out are refused to be registered. Consequently, the victims of the war cannot receive the social benefits and other allowances that are envisaged under acting Georgian legislation.
2008-11-12Monitoring Group Demands Investigation of Kutaisi Prison Break
On August 11 2008, when Russian aircraft were bombing the Khoni military battalion, 153 prisoners managed to escape from the Khoni Penitentiary Establishment # 8. However, shortly 90 out of the total number were quickly caught but the rest are still fugitives. Some of the prisoners who were placed in Kutaisi Penitentiary Establishment # 2 after their capture went on hunger strike for the next four days. The protest started following a visit by the chairperson of the Public Monitoring Group to the prison.
2008-11-11FIDH Speaks About Human Rights Violations in Georgia
Problems of IDPs, lack of independent court, issue of political prisoners, restriction of freedom of expression, mistakes committed during August war-this is the list of those issues that were discussed at the three-day seminar -“National, Regional and International Remedies for Victims of Human Rights Violations” organized by International Federation of Human Rights in Tbilisi at the Vera Palace Hotel, on 8-10 November 2008. As closure to the event, participants passed on behalf of their respective organizations two declarations: the first one addressed issues of human rights and the second was about the Russian-Georgian War of August 2008.
2008-11-11Governmental Job Announcements for Already Filled Vacancies in Kutaisi
Georgian President declared Kutaisi to be second capital of Georgia. He promised to do his very best to turn his words into reality. While making statements about the increased role of Kutaisi in the development of the country, President Saakashvili meant that some central governmental bodies will be moved to Kutaisi. He reported the entire Georgia about his decision at the meeting of the government in Kutaisi and promised local residents that new job vacancies would be created in the region. Although, the president really kept his promise-National Regulation Commission of the Energy and Water Supply moved to Kutaisi, people are dissatisfied with the innovative change. Locals complain about “previously arranged deals” and “previously occupied vacancies”.
2008-11-11Family of Murdered Soldier Is Threatened
The family of Roin Shavadze, soldier who was first tortured and then murdered has been offered money in exchange for keeping quiet about the case. Otherwise it is claimed that either drugs or weapon will planted on family members, or they will become the victims of some accident. Tsitsino Shavadze, wife of the murdered soldier, and her brother have already shared information about the brutal threats with the prosecutor’s office of the Adjara Autonomous Republic. Yesterday, Sozar Subari, Georgian Public Defender, visited the family.
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How do you think, did the political prisoners, released by the Parliament of Georgia short time ago, deserve freedom?