The messenger logo

The News in Brief

Tuesday, April 29
EU Commissioner hopes Georgia will 'quickly' adopt Anti-Discrimination Bill

EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Stefan Fule expressed hope during a meeting with President Margvelashvili in Prague on April 25 that Georgia will “quickly” adopt anti-discrimination legislation in order to move ahead with the visa liberalization.

Parliament passed anti-discrimination bill with its first reading on April 17 and it is expected to discuss the bill with the second hearing this week.

The bill, proposed by the government, has been criticized by a large group of human rights organization, who say that it lacks effective mechanism of enforcement.

The bill has also come under attack from conservative and radical Orthodox groups, but for completely different reasons – they insist on removing “sexual orientation” from non-exhaustive list of prohibited grounds of discrimination.

Adoption of the anti-discrimination law is one of those requirements, which Georgia has undertaken under its Visa Liberalization Action Plan in order to be granted short-term visa-free regime by the EU.

Three Georgian women released by South Ossetia

Three women who were detained by Russian soldiers on the South Ossetian border on Friday have been released.

The three were detained in the village Khurvaleti, which lies right on the disputed border.

Georgian news agency Interpressnews reports that they were released Sunday after a court in Tskhinvali issued them a 2000 Russian rubles (USD 55) fine each.

Rusudan Khuroshvli, one of the detainees, told journalists after returning home that Ossetians paid their fines.

Along with the others, Lali Khuroshvili and Zeinab Kharkheli, she was taken to a Russian military base after being detained and later placed in detention in Tskhinvali, the administrative center of the breakaway region.
(Democracy & Freedom Watch)

U.S. satisfied with development of democratic processes in Georgia

The diversity of the working group of the US-Georgia Charter on Strategic Partnership shows that Georgian democracy has developed, the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Thomas Melia said.

Following the meeting of the working group of the U.S.-Georgia Charter on Strategic Partnership, Melia expressed his gratitude to the Georgian side not only for the hospitability, which they felt at the Foreign Ministry, but also for the fact that this meeting was quite inclusive.

"The meeting was attended by representatives of both executive and legislative branches of government, the ruling party and the opposition as well as the Public Defender's Office. We have meetings in different countries of the world but this is quite alien to us," he said.

Melia noted that this approach to work indicates that democratic processes are in a "normal pace."

The presentation of a joint declaration prepared by the working group was held after the meeting.

Parliamentary Chairperson to visit to Moldova

The chairperson of the parliament of Georgia, Davit Usupashvili, and the delegations of the senior MPs will pay a working visit to the Republic of Moldova on April 29. Davit Usupashvili will hold meetings with the Moldovan President, Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and the parliament chairperson.

The parties will discuss the priorities of the European messages and the enhancement of relations. The Georgian and Moldovan speakers will hold a joint press conference after the meeting.
(Rustavi 2)

Soldier dies from heart attack in Zugdidi

A soldier died in the Zugdidi police second division, arguably, of sudden heart attack. The soldier was hospitalized and the preliminary expertise says the reason of the death was heart failure. The dead soldier was transferred to the Kutaisi prosectorium and afterwards to his home in Zugdidi.

Reportedly, the soldier was serving his mandatory military term at the Zugdidi police.
(Rustavi 2)

Ex-PM Ivanishvili does not interfere in government’s activities

The Government-backed candidates set to run in the upcoming self-Government elections have not been discussed with ex-Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili.

Parliamentary majority members spoke out following a meeting between coalition leaders, the current Prime Minister and the former PM. They said the ex-PM did not interfere in the activities of the ruling coalition.

"This was just a meeting between a citizen and the coalition, and meeting him is always very interesting for us," Parliamentary vice Speaker Manana Kobakhidze told journalists after the meeting.

The meeting was held at the Georgian Dream coalition headquarters. Ivanishvili joined the meeting shortly after it began.

He did not comment to journalists however Members of Parliament (MPs) from the ruling coalition insisted he did not need any particular status to attend such meetings.

"The more often I will see him, the happier I am," MP Zviad Dzidziguri said.

The Georgian Dream coalition’s Mayoral and Governor Candidates for the upcoming election were discussed at the meeting. Kobakhidze told journalists that issues surrounding the candidates were not discussed with Ivanishvili at all.

"He is just a well-wisher of ours who contributed greatly to the Georgian Dream coalition’s winning of the 2012 parliamentary elections," Kobakhidze said.

Vice Speaker Kobakhidze said the candidates had been selected with appreciation of every party's position in the coalition, and with an "absolute consensus”.

"The choice was made for those individuals who are good managers, experienced and skilled rulers, who are capable of solving problems, which are going to face them in every region," Kobakhidze said.