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2008-10-31
Results of Russian-Abkhazian Provocation or another Georgian Mistake
Two people died in the explosion allegedly from a distance remote detonator in village Muzhava, Tsalenjikha District on October 25, 2008. Gia Mebonia, Tsalenjikha District Governor and Otar Sabulua, a local both immediately died from blast.

2008-10-31
Security of Returnees to Conflict Zone NOT Guaranteed
Forced Return or by “Free Will”?

Despite looting, beatings, torturing, planted landmines and unexploded ordnance in the yards and gardens, a total of 38 thousand IDPs have returned to their villages in the conflict zone since the end of the August Georgian-August war.  Most of them have no place to live and have found shelters in livestock sheds or find temporary housing with their neighbors. They have no alternative as their houses have been burned to the ground. Governmental officials claim that IDPs have returned to their villages based on to their own free will. Moreover, those who are afraid to return or have their houses burnt down, are offered alternative places to live. However, experts who personally work with IDPs speak of other reasons as to why IDPs had no choice but to return.

2008-10-29
Shida Kartli Prosecutor’s Office Protects former Governor
Guram Mikhanashvili, a resident of the village of Ateni in Gori district, had to leave his native village along with his family because of problems that his brother, Robinzon Mikhanashvili, had experienced.  The family has been trying to return their property from Robinzon Mikhanashvili already now for two years. Shida Kartli regional Prosecutor’s Office considers that Robinzon Mikhanashvili had not committed anything wrong. However, in the past he was governor of the village of Ateni. According to the investigation materials, the former governor cut down the vineyard of his brother, dismantled iron construction of the wine-terrace in his brother’s yard, as well as dismantling the wine-press… the construction materials of the wine-press then disappeared.

2008-10-29
Case on Inhuman Treatment is Prepared for the Human Rights Court in Strasbourg
Ioseb Guloshili, Deputy Prosecuter of Sighnaghi District has closed the criminal case on inhuman treatment against Gela Kutibashvili . Guloshvili’s decree indicates that Otar Dighmelashvili, deputy head of Sighnaghi Police did not assault Gela Kutibashvili despite evidence proving otherwise. Guloshvili asserts that Kutibashvili was injured when he was resisting the police officers. However, the victim Kutibashvili denies this allegation. He said that the deputy head of the Sighnaghi police department smashed his face against the car and he received injuries so serious that he is now considered as being physically disabled.

2008-10-27
Russia is a big, fluffy but misunderstood pussy-cat - how the August war started?
The debacle of the Georgian army and its national security policy has proved what the Georgian leadership has re-discovered in a standby old maxim: that a foreign policy without a credible military is no foreign policy. Much debate and learned commentary has been made as to how the war started, which may be a moot point in the final analysis of the situation that Georgia faces today. The much acclaimed US train and equip program has proved a dismal failure at best.  It was likely more designed to train Georgian troops for planned rotations in Iraq and Afghanistan rather than for protecting the legitimate territorial integrity of a sovereign state within the framework of a democratically-elected government.

2008-10-27
Teacher Salaries Squandered on Parties and Feasts for “Big-Wigs”
Thirty-five teachers of Bakurtsikhe Agricultural-Industrial College have been unsuccessfully demanding their salary arrears dating back to August, September, October, November and December of 2006. Reportedly, the teachers could not get their salaries based on the resolution of Gurjaani Municipality Board issued on May 24, 2006. The municipality board reduced the funds for the college and the expenses for the institution by 33 600 GEL. The previous budget provided for 49,100 GEL in the budget. However, the same board increased the expenses allocated for serving guests to the district. That money was actually wasted on parties held in Gurjaani restaurants that arranged by Akaki Sikharulidze, former Gurjaani district governor. He is now the head of one of the departments within the Ministry of Agriculture.

2008-10-24
Rights of Subscribers Are Sacrificed to the Controversy between Caucasus Online and United Telecom
Subscribers of the Caucasus Online have been without internet for several days already. The reason for the delay is the deconstruction of network; it was done last week by the Tbilisi City Hall Supervision Service Department. The officials from the Tbilisi City Hall state that Caucasus Online did not have right to stretch wires from one to another roof. The people from the company think that the real reasons of the deconstruction were quite different that are connected with the controversy between them and United Telecom. The latter intends to destroy the Caucasus Online finally. In any case, the subscribers of the Caucasus Online are damaged. The situation showed that the rights of the internet-users are not protected in Georgia.

2008-10-24
IDP Prisoners have no Access to Meager Social Assistance
 
Approximately 4 months ago prisoner IDPs at Kutaisi Prison # 2 were asked a question regarding the state social assistance which is only 14- GEL. This is the amount of money all registered IDPs, prisoners and non-inmates are to receive every month. After this question was raised, the prisoners still have not received any social assistance whatsoever.

2008-10-24
Unbearable Conditions in Prison Results in TB Death
Inmate Ilia Tarashvili died for want of proper medical treatment in jail from the long-term complication of tuberculosis. Although family members and attorneys of Ilia Tarashvili requested to postpone the discussion of his criminal because of his acute health conditions, the court did not consider their request. Instead, they proceed and imposed a sentence of 8 years and seven months in prison on him.

2008-10-23
One More Georgian Forest Flogged Off for Easy Money
Long-term license was granted on harvesting and use of wood products from the forest in Tsinaubani, which is located in the Samtskhe-Javakheti of Southern region. The local population is worried as to the economic, social and environmental implications. Environmental organizations and the parliamentary minority now demand that the law be followed when granting a long-term license is granted to one certain company over another.
2008-10-23
Massive Cut-off of Social Assistance to Socially Excluded Families in Kakheti Region
The budget of poverty reduction state program was 82 million GEL in 2007 and 115 million in 2008. The budget of state program will practically be doubled in 2009, according to 2009 state budget draft. The decree of Georgian Government on activities aiming at reduction of poverty level and perfection of social security system aims at using the state funds effectively. However, there are still many poor families in the country who have no access to social assistance program. Moreover, the Agency for Social Subsidies stopped several days ago. The socially excluded families used to receive the social assistance within the framework of a governmental state poverty reduction program.
2008-10-23
Voters Tired of Pre-Election Promises in Adjara
On November 3, the elections of the Supreme Council of Adjara Autonomous Republic are scheduled to be held. However, there is little fanfare, as the pre-election campaign is very passive in the region. There are not any election posters on the walls in the streets as yet. People are saying that they are tired of pre-election promises.
2008-10-22
Journalists’ Fiery Language of Hatred in Reporting Conflicts
“Separatist Ossetians,” “aggressor Russians”… “Looters and ugly Northern enemies…” these are the common terms most often used in the articles published by Georgian media sources or various TV programs. Georgian conflict resolution and media experts  take exception and condemn this tendency as being inappropriate and point out that activities of journalist should serve a purpose of preventing conflicts and not escalation – adding fuel to the fire.

2008-10-22
Returned IDPs Sheltered in Cattle Sheds Need Assistance
Tbilisi-Nikozi-Tbilisi

Special Reportage

The head of the family of Giguashvilis is standing before their ruined and burnt house in the village of Tkviavi in Gori district. He is looking at the charred walls that remain as a remnant of what was their home.  His wife, daughter-in-law and child are all waiting for us in the cattleshed that was recently cleaned up to set up housekeeping. A homemade electric space heater keeps the former cattle shed warn. It cost but only seven GEL. The homemaker is baking “Mchadi”. A boy of seven is sitting on the sofa-the only furniture that survived from the former home.  “We will freeze out this winter,” said Natia Giguashvili in a whisper. There is a stack of firewood in the yard that was delivered by non-governmental organization; it is only enough for three weeks.

2008-10-22
Disaster Preparedness and Civil Defense Response Doesn’t Work in Georgia
IDPs from Tskhinvali region retell how they had to abandon their houses escape from the approaching occupants through alternative side roads. People in Tbilisi were also in a state of  panicked too  explosions; the situation was particularly tensed on August 11 when the motor-way Tbilisi-Kakheti region was so overcrowded that people could not move because of the traffic. The war demonstrated that civil security is working in Georgia at all. What does emergency response mean? Who should be responsible for responding to such situations and what danger do people face if the state does not have proper civil response system in emergency situations?

2008-10-21
“Great Plan of Health Reform” 300 Medical Jobs Cut in Zugdidi”
According to the April 10, 2007 resolution of the Georgian Minister of Economical Development four medical institutions in Zugdidi were purchased by Ltd “Block Georgia”  for symbolic price 1000 USD within the scheme of the “Great Plan for the Development of Hospital Sector”. Zugdidi central hospital was one among the four purchased institutions in the region. This deal was completed in spite of the fact that the doctors are said to have owned 10 % of the shares of this hospital. Consequently, the minority stockholders are protesting the purchase, and they have already organized two protest demonstrations in an effort to protect their rights.

2008-10-21
Hotel Erected Illegally in Adjara
“Toothless 5 Star Legislation for Owner of Establishment”

 Georgian Hotel Palace is one of the five star hotels in Adjara region. The hotel was opened on June 16, 2008. The situation was rather tricky as there was no official license on the hotel construction at that time. The license does not even exist up to present time. Temur Chkonia, a Georgian businessperson and the owner of Coca-Cola Georgia invested 30 million US Dollars in the hotel construction.

2008-10-20
Four-months of Darkness in Unravel Village, Akhaltisikhe District
Four months ago electricity transformer malfunctioned in the village of Uraveli in the Akhaltsikhe district. Consequently 63 families in the village have not been supplied with electricity for the last four months. The villagers unsuccessfully demanded electricity supply and reimbursement for the damage caused by a surge of high voltage.

2008-10-20
“Evicted”, “Demoralized” and “Greedy as Pigs” IDPs
People – “The Russians have departed and now I will take care of you,” these are the words of Lado Vardzelashvili, Shida Kartli Regional Governor who repeated these fine and supportive words front of TV cameras on two occasions. Later, you pigs - have you not had enough care and assistance,” this is what he said to the IDPs from the villages of Avnevi and Nuli when the cameras were not rolling. However, his insulting words were recorded by a recorder of Roman Kevkhishvili, a journalist of radio Hereti. This was spotted by Regional Governor and he took the recorder away from the journalist. However, Lado Vardzelashvili returned the recorder when the Public Defender of Georgia intervened. Vardzelashvili’s angry shouting can be distinctly heard from the tape.

2008-10-20
“I want so”- Modus operandi of Prosecutor’s Office
“The law enforcement system is based on the principle “I think so,” “I want so, the manner of working, the M.O. or simply method of doing things. The prosecutor’s office does not want to surrender. This is the common tendency throughout the country,” said attorney Raul Gamisonia. He said the reason for similar statements is the case where he represents the side of the defense. The prosecutor’s office has the testimony of the victim for use against Nika Kanteladze, his client. The testimony raises question marks and creates many doubts. Aside from other claims and evidence, case material demonstrates the innocence of the defendant.

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