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The News in Brief

Monday, August 4
Public Defender's Human Rights Report Debated in Parliament

Parliament adopted on August 1 resolution calling on various state agencies and ministries to address most of the recommendations laid out in Public Defender’s annual human rights report.

Adoption of the resolution came after series of parliamentary committee hearings last month on the Public Defender’s annual report, culminating with debates at a parliamentary session on July 31 during which opposition UNM lawmakers slammed Public Defender Ucha Nanuashvili for “failing to efficiently” react on human rights violations and accused him of bias in favor of the ruling Georgian Dream coalition. Nanuashvili responded that he would not engage in political debates as he would fail to outdo them in “political demagogy.”

Among Public Defender’s recommendations is a proposal to establish an independent mechanism for looking into complaints filed over alleged cases of human rights violations by the law enforcement agencies.

Proposal echoes a recommendation, which was laid out in his final report in the capacity of special advisor to Georgia on human rights and legal reforms, Thomas Hammarberg, who said that “oversight over the law enforcement structures remains a problem.”

“There is a need for an independent and effective complaints system to which one can turn knowing that the complaint will be dealt impartially. This should not only cover police but also prison staff and prosecutors,” reads Hammarberg’s report. “Sometimes, when the general inspections send complaints to the Prosecutor’s Office due to suspicion of crime, they are returned back by the Prosecutor’s Office. This practice contributes to the current public mistrust in the system.”

In its resolution prepared based on Public Defender’s recommendations, Parliament stopped short of straightforward endorsement of this recommendation; saying that proposal is “noteworthy”, the resolution calls to continue working with the government on this initiative.

Ambassadorial to be opened by Giorgi Margvelashvili and Irakli Gharibashvili

Ambassadorial will be held in Tbilisi on 4-7 August.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, ambassadorial will be opened by Georgia’s President Giorgi Margvelashvili and Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili.

President Giorgi Margvelashvili, Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili and Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze will deliver their speeches.

The Foreign Ministry will assess the activity of the diplomatic service. The opening of the ambassadorial will be attended by representatives of the Georgian executive and legislative governments. SUAM Secretary General; diplomatic corps accredited in Georgia and the head of the Georgian Foreign Ministry's Diplomatic Training Centre are invited.

In addition, Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze will meet with Georgia’s ambassadors abroad on 8-9 August.

Action against KaZantip to be held in Anaklia

On August 14, an action against KaZantip will be held in Anaklia – the archimandrite Father Antimoz told InterPressNews. He states that the action will be peaceful and the church and parish are preparing.

“We plan to hold a large protest on 14 August in Anaklia. People do not know what KaZantip is. I also thought it was a simple entertainment, but when I searched for information and saw photos, I was shocked. It is freedom of everything. Freedom of drugs, sex and pornography. They have their own constitution and rules. They have a president, who says he’s a magician. This is oblation,” said Father Antimoz.

The KaZantip event will be held from 20 to 30 August in Anaklia.

Manana Berikashvili re-appointed as Deputy Minister of Culture

Manana Berikashvili has been re-appointed as Deputy Minister of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia.

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili signed a decree about her appointment on Saturday.

We remind you that Manana Berikashvili resigned from the above-mentioned position several days ago.

Young learners reap benefits of new technology

Almost 50,000 of Georgia’s youngest learners will enjoy a more modern learning environment with top of the line of portable computers. At the start of the new academic year in September, 46,000 First Grade students will be gifted a new portable computer from the Education Ministry and local communication company UGT. The computers offered educational and interactive games, exercises and more than 50 different activities in a range of subjects. The portable computers were not as advanced as laptops but would significantly assist student learning, said Georgia’s Minister of Education and Science Tamar Sanikidze. Samples of the new devices were presented to media today. Sanikidze spoke about the characteristics of the devices, which distinguished them from earlier models."The basic characteristics which distinguish the new model are the screen, weight, image and screen resolution, which is improved by 40 percent. The processor is two times more powerful than the previous model,” she said. A report by the Expertise Bureau of Samkharauli confirmed the new computers were high quality, met modern standards and not have any defects. The devices were made by ACER and were lighter than what was previously used, which would make them easier to carry to school, Sanikidze said. She said the computers had undergone rigorous testing to determine if they would withstand the pressures of school use, including a ‘drop test’ at the factory. Each device had an eco-certificate safety rating that was recognized by the European Union. It also had a one year free warranty service.