01:04, Thursday, 11.02.2016
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Tbilisi Based Disputed Armenian Churches Are On the Edge of Collapse
Nowadays, there are several temples in Tbilisi, which are topic of controversy between the Georgian Orthodox Church and Armenian Apostolic Church. They are: Norasheni Church of Dormition of the Mother of God, Surb Nishani, Mognisi St. George Church, Surb Mina and Shamkaretsi. Nowadays all these temples are on the edge of collapse. All five temples have status of the cultural heritage. Today, only Norsheni Church is being reconstructed.
Orthodox Liturgy Continues in Batumi Catholic Church
Catholics call it Batumi Holly Mother’s Church; the Orthodox call it Batumi Annunciation Church. Its construction started on April 12, 1897 and finished on June 30, 1902. Famous catholic Maecenas Stepane Zubalashvili funded the construction. In 1903, Episcope Baron Eduardo Ropp sanctified the church. In 1937, the soviet government closed the church and arranged a high-voltage sub-station in it. Based on the March 15, 1989 Edict # 240 of the Council of Ministers of the Adjara Autonomous Republic the Batumi Catholic Church was assigned to the Georgian Orthodox Patriarchate under ownership.
“State Has Responsibility to Return Properties Seized during Soviet Period to Corresponding Religious Groups”
Humanrights.ge interviewed the head of the Legal Maintenance Office at the State Agency for Religious Issues Archi Metreveli about ongoing assignment process of the places of worship to religious minority groups and the position of the State about the disputes between the Orthodox Church and other religious groups in Georgia. 
Beka Mindiashvili: “Religious Minorities Shall Get Seized Chapels Back through Restitution”
“The best solution will be if the State adopts the law and returns chapels seized during soviet period to religious minorities based on restitution. It is the best lawful way to resolve the ownership issue of places of worship,” head of the Tolerance Center under the auspices of the Public Defender’s Office Beka Mindiashvili told humanrights.ge. 
Father Michael: “We Must Achieve Agreements on Common Peace”
Neither Orthodox Church nor Catholic Church considers ownership over the Kutaisi Annunciation Church and Batumi Nativity Church to be disputable. Both claim the churches are their properties. Similar relation is between Armenian Apostolic Church and Georgian Orthodox Church. Humanrights.ge interviewed secretary of the Georgian Patriarchate Father Michael (Botkoveli) about these issues. 
Joint Press-Release of FIDH - International Federation for Human Rights and its member organisation in Georgia Human Rights Center (HRIDC)
ICC opens a long-expected investigation into crimes of the 2008 Georgia-Russia war

Paris, Tbilissi, The Hague, 1 February, 2016 - Our organisations welcome the decision of the International Criminal Court [ICC] on 27 January 2016 to authorize the Prosecutor’s Office to open an investigation into the 2008 Georgia – Russia war, whose  victims deserve long-awaited justice. Perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity should not remain unpunished. 
Victimized by Pyrotechnics Request Prohibition Import of Explosives for New Year
Over 20 patients applied to the traumatic unit of the Gurjaani Geo Hospital early in 2016. Majority of patients were children. Head of the unit Tamaz Simonishvili said they had operated 3 patients injured by pyrotechnics in their hospital.
Nikoloz Antidze – Law on Cultural Heritage to Get More Drastic
Humanrights,ge interviewed the Director General of the National Agency for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage Nikoloz Antidze and asked him about the care the state takes of the cultural heritage, what kind of mechanisms are applied to preserve them and why it became necessary to make the law stricter.
Ketevan Tsikhelashvili: “It is illegal when freedom of movement is violated”
In 2015, 341 persons were arrested for illegal crossing of the so-called “border” to occupied Abkhazia and 162 to the occupied Tskhinvali region. Institute for the Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI) spread information about it based on the data provided by the State Security Service of Georgia.
City Hall Announced Tender on the Rehabilitation of the Swimming Pool Second Time
The swimming pool in Gori has not functioned for two years already because of the demolished building. In accordance to the conclusion of the Levan Samkharauli Expertise Bureau, the technical conditions of the building are not satisfactory. As promised by the local government, the rehabilitation of the swimming pool was to be finished before the end of 2015 but it has not finished yet.
Human Rights Center Welcomes Decision of The Hague Court
Human Rights Center welcomes the decision of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to authorize the Prosecutor’s Office to open an investigation in Georgia. and will help the sufferers of August 2008 war to timely address the Court in Hague. Victims of the Georgian-Russian War deserve restoration of justice and punishment of perpetrators. State officials, who allegedly committed war crimes and crimes against humanity, shall not remain unpunished. 

Session to Be Held in the Gori City Council on February 5
On January 25, a session of the Gori City Council bureau was held where participants discussed the agenda of the February 5 session. Discussion of the bill of 2016 budget is on the agenda, which was rejected twice by the Council. According to the February 5 agenda, secret ballot will be held to declare mistrust to the chairman of the City Council Papuna Koberidze, his deputy Nino Zurabishvili and chairmen of four commissions.

Telavi Municipal Board Allocated 45 000 Lari for the Procurement of Vehicles for Two Senior Officials
Local budget allocated 45 000 GEL to purchase vehicles for the chairman of the Telavi Municipal Board Archil Tkhlashadze and his deputy Gia Gigiashvili.

European Parliament Adopts Resolution on Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine
The European Parliament adopted on January 21 resolution on implementation of Association Agreements and deep and comprehensive free trade treaties with Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.
The resolution, which was preceded by debates a day earlier, acknowledges the European aspirations of the three countries and calls on them to pursue reforms.
Historical Mosques of Adigeni and Phlate Are on the Edge of Collapse
Remnants of the historical mosque attract attention in the center of Adigeni village, which was built in 1885-1886. Today, the mosque is on the edge of collapse – it has no roof and the walls may fall down any time. Another mosque in Phlate village, constructed in 1927, is also in poor conditions. Human Rights Center requests the National Agency for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage to grant status of cultural heritage to the mosques in Adigeni and Phlate villages. 
Two Citizens of Georgia Remain in Tskhinvali Detention Setting
On January 20, the 62nd round of the meetings in the frame of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism was organized in Ergneti village. Detention of people for alleged illegal crossing of the so-called border was one of the topics on the meeting agenda. Head of the analytic department of the State Security Service of Georgia Irakli Beraia said all of 11 detainees were freed for the past one month but two more citizens of Georgia still remain in the Tskhinvali based prison. Tskhinvali court sentenced them to one-year imprisonment for illegal crossing of the so-called border.

Orthodox Christian Woman Forbidden to Take Care of Sakuneti Mosque
“There is Saint George’s Church here. People come and give alms to the church. Once, on the St. George’s Holiday, a man from Atskuri village brought a sheep and sacrificed to the church. Then he heard a voice in the dream – “have I offended you?” and next day he come and sacrificed the sheep to the Mosque too,” you will hear many similar stories in Sakuneti village from locals, the Mosque and Orthodox Church are located several meters away from each other. The church is functioning but the mosque is abandoned. In 2012 the Sakuneti village mosque received status of the cultural heritage. According to the inscription it was constructed in 1927.
Human Rights Center Requests Effective Investigation into Aleko Elisashvili’s Case
On January 14, representatives of Human Rights Center held press-conference about the case of Aleko Elisashvili, former chairman of the Pardon Commission.
Twice Rejected Budget and Impeachment in Gori City Council
Opposition members of the Gori City Council state the Council chairman and his deputy stay their interests higher than the city interests. According to the Council members, the twice rejected 2016 budget was to be presented to the City Council on January 14 but the announced session was postponed to February 5. The Council members state it is connected with the requested impeachment of the Council chairman and chairmen of four commissions.  
Issue of Ownership over the Kutaisi Holly Annunciation Church Is Still Unresolved
Nowadays, there are five historical churches in Georgia which the Catholic Church claims as theirs though all of them now belong to the Georgian Orthodox Church. The disputed churches are located in Kutaisi, Gori, Batumi, Ivlita (Akhaltsikhe municipality) and Ude (Adigeni municipality).
How has appointment of Giorgi Kvirikashvili on the position of prime-minister influenced state of human rights in the country?
Improved Worsened Nothing has changed I cannot answer


Fragile Peace in Balkans
After a long and complicated preparation period, on July 30, we landed in Sarajevo. Despite scary landing caused by bad weather conditions, I
Hungry Commission Members and Commission Chairpersons Angry with Observers in Batumi
Seal without Carve and Voter with Two Names in Guria


Villages of the Hopeless
I learned about healing water Dzuguri first several days ago. Having searched information, we learned that Dzuguri water is sold near the chain
What happened to Dream of Justice Revival?
Triggers of Prisoners’ Mass Protests

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