The messenger logo

The News in Brief

Wednesday, July 27
Catholics win discrimination lawsuit in Georgia

Catholics in Rustavi, 20km south of the Georgian capital, have won a courtís backing that they were discriminated against after failing to get a construction permit to build a church there.

The Catholic community in Rustavi applied for permission to build the church on April 16, 2013. There is no church for them in the city, and they currently have to congregate in private homes.

But the application process took longer than normal, and in 2014, they sued the city for the first time, and won.

But City Hall refused to comply with the ruling, which decided that a construction permit had in effect been given due to the long bureaucratic delay. The city challenged the court, offering the Catholics to build a church at another location on the outskirts of town. This offer was rejected.

After going back to court again, this time represented by the Education and Monitoring Center of Human Rights (EMC), Rustavi City Court decided in favor of the religious community. The ruling said City Hall has deliberately been dragging the process out in time.

Local followers of the Orthodox Christian Church are opposed to the Catholics getting permit to build a church. They are backed by clerics and some members of the city council. (

Autograph Collection Hotel to Open on Freedom Square in 2018

Hotel construction works on the place of the former building of Tsekavshiri has moved to active phase.

The top-class hotel will open in 2018. The projectís investment value makes up 90 million USD, the Co-investment Fund representatives noted.

The hotel will comprise 220 suites of 6 categories, presidential apartments, conference spaces and office spaces, spa and fitness centers, cable railway station that will connect the hotel with Sololaki.

It should be noted Autograph Collection, a brand of Marriott International, will manage the new hotel on Freedom Square.

Autograph Collection will also manage two other hotels in Georgia. Construction works of Shekvetili based hotel will be completed by the end of 2016. The projectís investment value is 75 million USD.

Another 200 million USD project will be implemented in Sololaki and the project implementation will be finished in 2019. (

Drivers slowing down speed only near surveillance cameras to be also fined from autumn

As Deputy Interior Minister of Georgia Shalva Khutsishvili has declared, most of surveillance cameras are not turned off in Georgia but 30% of them include the cameras that do not function well.

As reported by Shalva Khutsishvili the cameras have already been counted throughout the country and procedures of purchasing new ones are underway.

According to him the new, improved system will be installed in autumn throughout the whole country.

ĎIt will not be a minimum chance for anyone to violate the traffic rules and avoid fine. The program will increase the control effectively. We will purchase the technique that corresponds to our reality the most. The program is able to calculate the distance between two cameras and what distance should be covered by a driver by average speed. So if a driver slows down only while approaching a camera it will be perceived by the camera. As for the distance between the cameras it will be of rational length, - the Deputy Interior Minister has said.

According to him the mechanisms have proved effective in Latvia and the number of road accidents have reduced by 50%. (IPN)

Georgian army unit returns from Afghanistan

Another unit of the Georgian Armed Forces (GAF) has successfully ended a seven month deployment within a peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan.

A United States Air Force plane brought 130 soldiers of the Bravo Company of the III Infantry Brigade safely back to Georgia's capital Tbilisi on Saturday, July 23.

The company-sized unit were welcomed by the Deputy Minister of Defence of Georgia Besik Loladze, along with Deputy Chief of General Staff of the GAF Lieutenant Colonel Nikoloz Agladze and other high ranking military commanders.

The 130 soldiers spent seven months serving in Afghanistan. Photo from the Ministry of Defence of Georgia.

I would like to extend my gratitude to each and every service member. We are proud of these soldiers. I congratulate them with the safe return to their homeland and wish them further success," Loladze told reporters following the ceremony.

The Deputy Minister of Defence added the unit had "brilliantly executed" its responsibilities within the mission.

The company-sized unit spent seven months serving within the German contingent in Afghanistan's third largest city Mazar-i-Sharif.

The unit was tasked with serving as the Quick Reaction Force at the Camp Marmal military base of the German armed forces, responding to security challenges and emergency situations facing their allies in the area of operation.

The returning company was replaced in Afghanistan by the Reconnaissance Company of the II Infantry Brigade of the GAF.

Georgian troops will continue to participate in the NATO peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan after the alliance approved plans on extending the Resolute Support Mission beyond 2016 at its recent Warsaw Summit in Poland. (