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The News in Brief

Wednesday, October 21
Incident Prevention group discusses human rights violations in Abkhazia, Georgia

The session of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism Group, established at the Geneva consultations on Georgia-Russia relations, was held in the village of Chuburkhinji, Abkhazia, Georgia yesterday. The session was summoned by the Georgian delegation of the group.

The sides discussed the rights of the people living in the conflict region, the situation along the boundary line and other security issues. The Georgian side objected to the multiple attacks and kidnappings of ethnic Georgians from Georgian villages. Representatives of the EU and OSCE missions and the Russian occupying forces were also present at the negotiations.

The Georgian delegation and the EU envoys reported the details of numerous violations of human rights, kidnapping, torture and robbery and submitted video evidence of these, but neither the occupiers nor the separatists made any comment. (Rustavi 2)

Parliament session delayed 40 minutes

Yesterday’s session of Parliament began after a 40-minute delay due to the absence of the required number of MPs. Only 63 were present when registration began, while the quorum is 76.

Vice Speaker Mikheil Machavariani called upon the various official factions to bring their members into the hall and added that MPs who miss sessions without grounds will have their salaries cut. At the third attempt, the session began.

Giorgi Targamadze, leader of the Parliamentary minority, spoke about the problems of Batumi based TV 25. The leader of the Christian Democratic Movement demanded the establishment of a special working group which would examine the problems the company was facing. He said that the company had problems with the local authorities in Batumi.

“While our President is being played by Hollywood stars and tells CNN that there are 27 independent TV stations in Georgia and all of these are free to criticise him, the only independent station in Batumi, TV 25, may soon be closed,” Giorgi Targamadze said, urging colleagues to look into the problem.

Another opposition MP, Jondi Baghaturia, reiterated his demand for the setting up of a special Parliamentary commission to investigate the death of Georgia’s first President, Zviad Gamsakhurdia. (Rustavi 2)

Fire breaks out in forests of Racha Region

Fire fighters are still fighting a blaze in the remote region of Racha. The emergency services managed to extinguish the fire a few days ago, but it has broken out again in various parts of the forest, 6-8 kilometres from the village of Chorzo.

As the fire is in a mountainous area the fire brigades have been unable to get their vehicles near it and are therefore using hand-held fire extinguishers. Helicopters will be called if necessary. (Rustavi 2)

Labour Party demands adoption of the law on lustration

The Labour Party of Georgia has urged the Government to speed up the adoption of the law on lustration in order to prevent NGOs controlled from abroad working in Georgia.

One of the leaders of the party, Giorgi Gugava, told journalists today that several influential NGOs, such as the Liberty Institute, the Soros Foundation and the Strategic and International Research Centre were controlled from abroad.

“These are the organisations whose activities are designed to destroy Georgia’s traditions, national identity, mother church and Patriarch. They have organised revolution in Georgia and forced the adoption of laws, by which they have strengthened their roots in the Georgian Government,” Gugava said, adding that these people had prepared the ground for the ideological destruction of the country. (Rustavi 2)

Director of building company detained

As a result of operative search activities officers of the Constitutional Security Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia have detained Giorgi Delibashvili, Director of the building company Mshen 07 Ltd., on charges of illegally appropriating 700,000 GEL from a sum of 4,000,000 GEL allocated from the state budget for repairs and building work in Tbilisi.

The crime carries a term of imprisonment of up to seven years. An investigation is being conducted by officers of the Constitutional Security Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. (Interpressnews)

Government announces new wave of privatisation

A new wave of privatisation is about to begin in Georgia. The list of objects to be sold by auction includes former Government agencies and various medical institutions.

The first lot to be auctioned will be the Telecom belonging to Georgian Railways. The company expects bidders from Europe as well as Georgian ones for this facility. Other lots include Georgian Post, the Gudauri Resort Complex and various medical institutions. (Rustavi 2)

Renny Harlin shoots scenes at Georgian Parliament

Scenes of Renny Harlin’s film on the Georgia-Russia War of August 2008 were shot outside the Georgian Parliament yesterday. Anyone who passed by could see how Andy Garcia played the role of Mikheil Saakashvili, how he worked in front of the camera and how they shoot films in Hollywood.

The scene portrays the evening of August 12, 2008, when the Presidents of Georgia and five other European states addressed the world from in front of the Parliament building and asked it to stop the Russian aggression against the post-Soviet country. (Rustavi 2)