The messenger logo

The News in Brief

Thursday, July 7
Georgia demands an apology from officials who accused Georgian soldiers of involvement in sex abuse – Defense Minister

“The Ambassador of France to Georgia and representatives of the EU and UN missions to Georgia received a report on the investigative activities carried out by the Georgian side in the Central African Republic. Defence Minister Khidasheli hosted the foreign diplomats together with the members of the investigative team at the MoD. Deputy Defense Minister Besik Loladze and Colonel Nikoloz Agladze, Deputy Chief of General Staff of the GAF, attended the meeting as well,” Georgia’s Defense Ministry reports.

At the meeting, the sides outlined that Georgia is a reliable partner for the EU and makes significant contributions to global security. As Besik Loladze stated, the Georgian government takes pride in the values and standards of the Georgian Armed Forces. In addition, the protection of human rights is a national priority, which is why the Georgian government launched an investigation into the issue in order to ascertain the truth.

“We considered the investigation case on allegations of sexual abuse of minors as very important and do our best to be very transparent. Everybody should know the details concerning how inappropriate management may insult in innocent people being accused of serious crimes. Georgia demands an apology from the same officials who accused our troops. It is of the utmost importance that our partners have detailed information on the case and be assured that Georgian soldiers are innocent. This case may become an example that any organization has to act more carefully and not accuse the military of any country without any prior investigation,” stated Tinatin Khidasheli.

The investigative team delivered the information to foreign diplomats on the investigative activities in the Central African Republic and negotiations with the local law-enforcement authorities. The team members also familiarized the diplomats with the planned steps in the investigative process.

Ambassador of France to Georgia Pascal Meunier and head of the Political, Press and Information Section of the EU, Dorota Dlouchy-Suliga, expressed their appreciation and thanked the Georgian side for transparency of the investigative process and efforts to ascertain the truth.

“It was an important meeting. We appreciate the that the Georgian government conducted the investigation into the issue, because allegations of sexual abuse of minors by soldiers is a very serious problem. This kind of attitude means that the truth had to be put forward. If soldiers are guilty, they should be punished. If they are not guilty, the truth has to be known by everybody, because the reputation of the Armed Forces is at stake. So we are very satisfied to see that the Georgian government is taking this seriously and the transparency with which they are reporting to us,” outlined Ambassador Pascal Meunier. (IPN)

CEC rejects referendum bid about gay marriage due to shortfall of signatures

One of the attempts to hold a referendum about same-sex marriage has been rejected by Georgia’s Central Election Commission (CEC) because the sponsors failed to collect the required 200,000 signatures.

The CEC’s decision was unanimous. The proposed referendum question was registered on March 28 and the wording was: ‘Do you want to allow same-sex marriage in Georgia?’

The sponsors of the proposal were Zurab Toloraia, Giorgi Korganashvili, Kakha Nikabadze, Badri Kvirikashvili, Petre Gogosashvili, Teimuraz Tsiskarishvili and Davit Kuchava. The deadline for collecting signatures was June 30.

CEC has registered another referendum bid related to the same-sex marriage, about whether the Constitution should defined marriage as union between a man and a woman. (df watch)