2008-03-17Consumers’ Rights in Georgia
“It is new, don’t worry”, - if a salesperson characterizes the sausage of vague origin that is being sold in unhygienic conditions in a Tbilisi bazaar, do not believe him and do not buy it. The union 21st Century responded to the consumer’s rights day on the 15th of March with the publication of a research on consumers’ rights in Georgia.
2008-03-17Nino Burjanadze-MP through Majority System of the Canceled Elections
“The government remembers about voters only during elections and it is self-evident. This woman [Nino Burjanadze] does not care about the people, she never asks us about our problems. However, during the pre-election campaign she promised us many things but it has all been in vain. Shame on her,” it is an extract from the interview with seventy-four-year-old Natela Gorgadze. Almost every resident of Kutaisi shares grief because of that woman.
2008-03-14Changes Resulting from Constitution Amendments
There are no more places for Abkhazian majority MPs in the Georgian Parliament
Amendments to the Constitution were supported by 152 MPs and voted against by 2 MPs. The amendments aimed to increase the number of majority MPs in the Georgian parliament. However, opposition parties protested the change before it was adopted, even boycotting the vote.
2008-03-14Police Seized List of Supporters of the Political Movement “Tavisufleba”
On March 9 a list of 30,000 supporters of the Political Movement “Tavisufleba” disappeared from the Zugdidi-Tbilisi Central highway. Near Abasha distinct two unidentified people stopped the driver of the mini-bus as it was traveling towards Tbilisi and seized the documents from him by force. Regional representatives of the “Tavisufleba” have already appealed to the Abasha district police station to investigate a politically motivated holdup.
2008-03-13Budget Increases at the Expense of Drug-Addicts
The total amount of the money transferred to the national budget as a result of imposed fines from both recreational drug users and hard core addicts has totaled more than 14 million GEL. Fines are based on two articles in acting Georgian legislation. Experts consider the courts are ordered from above to impose fines on addicts. Various allowances envisaged under the current legislation on drugs, have been removed from the draft law. It appears that the motivation is to increase fines four fold.
2008-03-13“Delayed” Promised Vouchers or “Runaround”
Fighting poverty is claimed to be a main reduction of the Georgian government. Much has been said, especially in promises made in the run-up to presidential elections and now in the countdown to parliamentary elections. It is debatable, however, if the rhetoric is close to the reality.
2008-03-12Not Guilty Findings in Batumi
Courts of Adjara Autonomous Republic have not passed any verdicts of not guilty in the last two years. According to official statistics the number of plea-bargains has been increased. “I have not seen anyone found not guilty in the courts as of yet. How can we speak about justice in such an unjust country,”- it is the collective attitude of Batumi residents when it comes to situation that now exists in the judiciary system.
2008-03-12Trafficking or Family Tragedy?
The Criminal Case Chamber of the Kutaisi Appeal Court is now discussing a criminal case that has turned into a family tragedy. A balance is sought on the scales of justice when it comes to the adoption of an infant. Was it a crime of trafficking or not?
2008-03-12Draft Law on Drugs: A Step Forward or Pre-election Hype
Why and for whom was the draft law drawn up?
Supposedly, there are 250 thousand drug-abusers living in Georgia. Experts think the aim of the current law that is to punish drug addict is one that is being currently discussed in various committees of the Georgian Parliament. Who is eager to classify drug-abusers into drug dealers? Why cannot non-governmental organizations accept the draft law at face value? And in general what will the draft law really make any difference in this sphere?
2008-03-11Moderators blame the Ministry of Internal Affairs for internet-censorship
Organization “Reporters without Borders” launched the first International Online Free Expression Day on March 12. The freedom of word needs to be protected in on-line editions too. After the famous events of November 2007 it was evident that the opposition was abused on on-line forums. The photo or video materials of the November 7th crackdown gradually disappeared. Not too long ago, the newspaper “Basta” published an article about internet-censorship. We want to introduce our reader with the same article as well.
2008-03-11“I Will Not Give Up My Land Even if I Need to Appeal to Strasbourg Court”
Dispute on transfer and barter is still under way
Batumi City Hall is in a property dispute with “Sheremeti Ltd” located on # 16 Firosmani Street in Batumi. The Batumi City Hall annulled the resolution based on which Sheremeti received 277 sq. meters of non-agricultural property in exchange for other territory.
2008-03-11Georgian Citizen against the Russian Federation
On October 20, 2006 Russian policemen arrested thirty-one-year-old Lia Shioshvili, mother of four children in her own house in Ruza, Russia. Without having informed anyone they locked the pregnant woman in the district police isolator for preliminary detention along with her young children.
2008-03-11Demonstration of Employed Women
On March 8 women from Batumi held a demonstration and demanded to introduce amendments to the Labor Code and to protect the rights of the employed people. Representatives of the Trade Union sent a petition to the Georgian President with the above-mentioned demands.
2008-03-11The Special School for Cerebral Palsy is Suffering due to a Lack of Water
The Gurjaani Boarding School for Children with Cerebral Palsy is the only state establishment of its kind in Georgia. There are nearly 100 students in the school. The boarding school has not been supplied with water for seventh months already. The situation exacerbates the hard living conditions of the children.
2008-03-11Forgotten Deported People
Nato Shavshishvili, who was deported from Russia last year during the “Big Deportation”, is now living together with her family in Varketili distict of Tbilisi. She was paralyzed and found herself living in very difficult conditions when she returned to Georgia through Armenia. It was very difficult for her to start her life from the beginning. She became a private entrepreneur and opened a small shop, but this ended up causing her even more problems than benefits. Many other Georgians who were deported as a result of the Georgian Russian Spy Scandal in November of 2006 are also now living in difficult situations.
2008-03-10How People from Gori Are Transported to Turkey to Get Jobs
“We were stuck in Istanbul for 24 days. I worked at one place for two or three days without pay. We were nearly ten people in total and we had only one meal a day. The meal was one loaf of bread divided among ten people. The boss would disappear throughout the day. Our passports were taken from us. Nino Gelashvili and one more woman named Lela threatened to tear up our passports if we decided to leave. Finally I called my family in Gori and asked them to send me money to arrive back. Otherwise they would have never seen me again.” These are the words of a distressed twenty-eight-year-old woman named Tamar Dzabakhidze. She is a resident of Gori who became a victim of human trafficking after being seduced by her neighbor and friend Nino Gelashvili.
2008-03-08The Head of Police Department is Accused for Beating a Georgian Citizen
Gela Kutibashvili blames Otar Dighmelashvili, the Sighnaghi District Police department for physical assault. As a result of the incident Kutibashvili sustained a variety of injuries to body, including eight broken teeth, a cut lip and a broken lower jaw. Despite the injuries, law enforcers detained Gela Kutibashvili for resisting arrest. The Sighnaghi District Court has already sentenced him to seven-day term in jail. In the evening of March 6 the lawyer was kicked out of the hospital where she met the injured person under the direct order of Ioseb Gulashvili, Sighnaghi District Prosecutor.
2008-03-08Nebulous Gori Municipality Budget
Shida Kartli Regional Governor, Vladimer Vardzleashvili, is happy with Japanese grants, and has been for a long time already. However, he has not decided how to spend the money yet. A month ago the governor met local NGOs. The media sources were not allowed to attend the meeting. Nonetheless, the Human Rights Center was able to get access to the news.
2008-03-08Moot Service” Probation Bureau?
Imereti Regional Branch of the non-custodial and Probation National Service Department is located in Railway Square # 3 in Kutaisi. There are few people working in the office and the same thing can be notice in other cities. Most don’t know what the Probation Service Department does, not even what it is suppose to do. For all practical purposes it is something that looks good in theory but has not been put into practice.
2008-03-06A Five- year-sentence for Finding Scrap-iron on a Dump
Tamaz Nadirashvili, 38 an invalid of the first category was sentenced by Gurjaani Court to five years in prison for searching for scrap-iron at a dump. Even when what would have appeared to have been an outrageous verdict, the decision of the Gurjaani District Court was not changed by the Tbilisi Court on appeal. Now a disabled prisoner from the Tbilisi Penitentiary Establishment # 5 is urging the Georgian President to pardon him. The convicted person has two children-fifteen-year-old daughters and six-year-old boy. Both of them suffer from an acute form of epilepsy. They and their mother are doing all what they can to get justice for the head of 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?