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Compiled by Sopo Datishvili
Tuesday, February 10
People in Gali demand a meeting with Saakashvili

Kviris Palitra reports that the citizens of Gali have asked for the President’s help to combat the actions of the Abkhaz de facto authorities, who are trying to force them to take unwanted passports.

“We have asked the head of the Abkhazian Autonomous Republic, Temur Zhvania, to arrange a meeting with the President. It is necessary to find a solution, even if this means giving us double citizenship,” say Gali citizens.

The villagers say they are being made to sign statements renouncing their Georgian citizenship. “We want to be Georgian citizens, but we have no other way to live. Living in Gali without an Abkhaz passport has become impossible,” the people complain.

Bendukidze turns to education

Mteli Kvira reports that ex Head of the Government Office Kakha Bendukidze will remain in Georgia after leaving the Government and will become more involved in projects concerning science and education.

As the ex-spokesperson of Bendukidze’s office, Eka Gabadadze, said: “He will stay in Georgia and continue to support the Knowledge Fund founded by him.” She explained that Bendukidze established the Knowledge Fund a few years ago to encourage science and education in the country. Among the fund’s projects are Freedom University, the European School of Management, the Asia-African Institute and the School of Law.

Another amnesty expected in February

At the end of February another official amnesty is planned. The head of the Amnesty Commission, Elene Tevdoradze, and other members have confirmed this, but it is possible that the President might release prisoners independently.

No one is saying yet how many prisoners will be set free but it is believed that this amnesty will not be as large as that in December 2008. Head of the Parliamentary Human Rights Committee and member of Amnesty Commission Gia Arsenishvili has told Mteli Kvira that Government policy on this issue is liberal.