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The News in Brief

Tuesday, April 3
Akhlagori forces residents to reject Georgian citizenship

The de-facto administration of Akhlagori in the South Ossetia breakaway region has asked its residents to reject their Georgian citizenship, locals told InterpressNews.

Once they have given up their citizenship, they are provided with Ossetian passports, which are not recognized internationally. Reports say if the residents do not obey the government, information about their rejection of Georgian citizenship will be sent to the Georgian government anyway.

Document rules for passing Russian checkpoints have also been made stricter.

Embassy ready to transfer body of drowned Georgian

The Georgian embassy in Canada has arranged all necessary documents for the transfer of the body of Tengiz Motsonelidze to Georgia.

The Georgian national died on board the yacht SV Tabasco 2 off the coast of Nova Scotia on March 27. Three Georgian nationals drowned in the incident, although the bodies of two others Zaza Latsabidze and Gocha Gotonelidze are still missing.

The men were travelling to Canada by boat, along with Russian and Ukrainian nationals, in a suspected human smuggling scheme.
(Rustavi 2)

Visitors to Georgia increase in 2012

The number of visitors to Georgia in first three months of 2012 has increased by 40% over last year, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs. It reports that 680,000 visitors have arrived since January 1, 2012.

The majority of visitors are tourists from Turkey, Iran, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Russia, who primarily visit the tourist-friendly regions of Georgia. The number of visitors from Russia, who primarily enter Georgia along its northern border, tripled after the Georgian government lifted the visa requirement for Russian citizens.

As for western European countries, a growth of visitors has been reported from Austria. The number of tourists from this country has doubled in 2012.
(Rustavi 2)

Murder of Georgian boy discussed on Russian talk show

The murder of Georgian national Mamuka Kakhishvili, 19, was discussed by the participants of Enteveshnik, a late-night Russian talk show. The boy was killed by police officers in Samara, Russia in November, possibly because of his ethnicity.

The mother of the boy was invited on the program Sunday night, where she asked the Russian public to help with the investigation.

"I want to address the nation to help punish the guilty. They are beasts and not human beings, this is my only appeal," Maia Kakhishvili said.

Russian government MPs and representatives from the Ministry of the Interior were also guests on the show.

Member of the public council of the Ministry, lawyer Anatoly Kucheren, said he was personally observing the investigation process.

Member of the Fair Russia party, Genadi Kudkov, commented, "I have a feeling that we live in an occupied country, where we are permanently humiliated, tortured and killed. Of course, our society should be blamed for this too, because of tolerating all this. But the problem is that this society lost control of the police long ago. Nobody can know what's going on backstage and for this closed system the control of the police is impossible".
(Rustavi 2)

Marine Code to be amended

The Marine Code of Georgia will be amended due to frequent incidents in which employers fail to fulfill obligations undertaken in contracts signed with Georgian sailors.

Until now, activities of maritime corporations were not regulated by legislation. Deputy Minister of Sustainable Development and Economics, Giorgi Karbelashvili, has initiated the formation of a working group, which will be in charge of preparing draft amendments to the Marine Code.

The Transport Agency will be authorized to issue licenses for the companies and carry out monitoring of their activities in order to provide fulfillment of contract terms and protection of sailors' rights. It has been already determined that employers will be prohibited from taking cash from sailors.
(Rustavi 2)

Four more to join League of Voters

Gia Gachechiladze, Levan Gachechiladze, Gia Karkarashvili, and Goga Khaindrava will join the public movement the League of Voters, League founder Koka Guntsadze told InterpressNews.

According to Guntsadze, other famous public activists will also join the movement. However, he declined to identify them.

The new members were announced at the Nodar Dumbadze Theatre Monday.

The League of Voters was founded last month by former MP Guntsadze, actress Nana Shonia, and lawyer Levan Chikvaidze.