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The News in Brief

Monday, May 4
Iraqi Media Says Tarkhan Batirashvili is Killed

Iraqi news agency claims that the Islamic State military leader Umar al-Shishani (Tarkhan Batirashvili) has been killed.

News agency “Alforato” informs citing its source that Batirashvili was killed in Salakh Ad Din in the special operation conducted against Islamists.

Reports about Batirashvili’s death have repeatedly been spread.

17 Year Old Girl Travels from Pankisi to Syria

17- year old girl has traveled from Pankisi Gorge to Syria. Reportedly, the girl left Pankisi with the consent of her parents.

The girl studies at Jokola School. According to her teacher, the 11th grader girl had not come to school for a few days, and when she asked about her pupil, the parents confirmed that the left the country.

Reportedly, the underage girl is married to Beqa Tokhosashvili, the young man, who left for Syria two years ago. Locals suggest that the girl left to meet her husband.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia explains that the girl has crossed the border in accordance with the procedures provided for by law - she had the consent of her parents.

Police Seize 30 Pills of Subotex Drug

The officers of Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti Main Regional Division as a result of investigative and searching activities held on the basis of operative information detained convicted in the past Koba S. (DoB 1974) and Archil T. (Dob 1972) for illegal purchase, keeping and smuggling of drugs in especially large quantities in Kobuleti.

As Internal Affairs Ministry informs, during the searching activities of detainees, law enforcers seized 30 pills of subutex drug. According to the results of expertise the seized drug contains 0,237588 gr of buprenorphine. Investigation established that detainees smuggled the mentioned drugs from Turkey.

Investigation is in progress on the fact of illegal purchase, keeping and smuggling of drugs in especially large quantities, article 260, II part, sub-paragraph B and III part, sub-paragraph A, article 262, II part, sub-paragraph B and IV part sub-paragraph A of the Criminal Code.

Japan offers visa-free travel to Georgian diplomatic passport holders

Georgia and Japan will work to simplify visa procedures for Georgian citizens to Japan.

In the meantime, Japan will lift visa-regime for Georgian citizens who hold diplomatic passports.

This news was announced by Georgia’s Foreign Ministry during the Japan delegation’s visit to Tbilisi.

The Ministry said under the agreement signed today, Georgian citizens with diplomatic passports will have an opportunity to stay in Japan for 90 days without visa from June 1.

"This agreement creates very good grounds for further continuing working to launch easier visa procedures for Georgian citizens to Japan,” the Ministry’s statement read.

Meanwhile, the two countries’ collaboration in the fields of trade and investment were the main topics discussed during the Japanese delegations visit to Georgia.

The delegation was led by Parliamentary Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan Kentaro Sonoura.

Georgia experiences less emigrants/immigrants, shows 2014 Census data

Initial data from the 2014 Census reveals less people were emigrating from Georgia, and fewer were also coming in.

In 2014 there were 88,704 emigrants - a 6.7 percent decrease on 2013, while the number of immigrants coming into Georgia reached 82,161 year-on-year (y/y) – a decrease of 11.1 percent.

This information comes from preliminary Census data released by the National Statistics Office of Georgia (Geostat).

In 2014 the net migration (difference between the number of emigrants and immigrants) was negative (-6,543).

Geostat representative Paata Shavishvili explained the data was not collected according to citizenship, where the term ‘emigrants’ covered any person (foreigner or local) who had lived in Georgia for 12 months or more and six months had passed since they left the country.

"Such people could be, for example, those Russians who used to live in Georgia for at least one year, then left Georgia and have lived in another country for at least six months.”

As for ‘immigrants’, the same methodology was used, said Shavishvili.

"For example, those Georgians who used to live in Greece for more than one year and returned to Georgia and have lived here for six months already are also deemed as immigrants. Immigrants can also be foreigners who came to Georgia and now live here,” Shavishvili explained.

Countries whose citizens emigrated/immigrated to Georgia in 2014 were recorded as coming from the Russian Federation, Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Iraq, the US, Greece, Iran and others.

Georgia has a lot of ethnic minorities from Azerbaijan and Armenia, so intensive moving of these people can be explained in the emigration/immigration data.

The Census data revealed the majority of emigrants were Georgian males (31.8 percent), followed by Georgian females (36.1 percent). Just over 35 percent of foreign males and 34 percent of foreign females emigrated from Georgia in the past year.

Furthermore, the majority of immigrants were Georgian females (39.4), followed by males (34.1 percent), while 35.7 percent of immigrants were foreigner males and 34.6 percent were foreign females.

This information was part of preliminary data released by Geostat for the first time in 12 years.

The new Census revealed Georgia’s population had decreased by 14.7 percent from 2002 to 2014. Geostat noted this could be the result of high emigration rates.

GeoStat is currently reviewing the Census 2014 data that was obtained during the field work held in November 2014. Geostat was responsible for carrying out the survey, which saw about 12,300 employees go door-to-door and survey every citizen and foreign resident in Georgia.

Surveying took place from November 5-19, 2014 across the country, with the exception of Georgia’s two breakaway regions Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia).