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The News in Brief

Tuesday, August 23
French online magazine of Islamic State publishes testament of Tarkhan Batirashvili

The French online magazine of the Islamic State has published a testament to Tarkhan Batirashvili. According to the testament, Tarkhan Batirashvili left several recommendations and expressed hope that they would be fulfilled.

"My last recommendations, which, hopefully, will be implemented are as follows: I appeal to all Mujahideen, who were subordinated to me: please forgive me if I hurt you. As for me, I have forgiven you. I advise you to ask Allah for forgiveness.

The second recommendation: never give up on Jihad and Hijra, as only these two things can save our souls and our religion.

“The third recommendation: I particularly appeal to emirs. When choosing companions, pay attention not to their origin, but to their fear towards Allah.

“The fourth recommendation: reject this disgusting worldly life and remember that you will be judged for all the property that was in your hands.

“The fifth recommendation: oh, Emir of believers, Allah bless you and help you to unite the scattered believers and to conquer two sacred places, countries, as well as Jerusalem.

“And finally, Emir of believers, please, do not forget the Caucasus,” says the will.

The Islamic State confirmed the death of Tarkhan Batirashvili in July. Batirashvili was a citizen of Georgia and one of the influential figures of the Islamic State, serving as the Islamic State's so-called war minister.

Protesters blame Georgia’s drug policy for young man’s suicide

Activists clashed with police in a town in western Georgia on Saturday; the protesters blame the government’s drug policy for driving a 22-year-old man to take his own life.

Protesters gathered in front of the Samtredia police station shouting ‘no to the police regime’ and ‘the government murdered Demur Sturua’.

There was a brief clash between the police and the crowd of protesters.

When the young man, Demur Sturua, committed suicide more than a week ago, he left a note where he wrote that a policeman had threatened him to reveal the identity of people dealing marijuana in the town, Samtredia.

The note also said the police asked him for information about anyone cultivating the plant in the villages Dapnari, Kulashi and Sajavakho.

Sturua wrote in his note that the policeman took him to the village Ianeti, beat him and threatened to charge him with a crime he didn’t commit.

The young man’s family wants the policeman arrested.

The case is being investigated under article 115 of the Criminal Code about bringing someone to the point of suicide.

The policeman who was named in the suicide note has taken leave until the investigation is completed.

After Saturday’s rally outside the police building was over, the crowd continued demonstrating in the streets of Samtredia, gathered in a park in front of the municipality building, and then dissolved.

One of the participants, Giorgi Sopromadze, was arrested. The police said that they had wanted to question him as a witness, but he refused. Sopromadze may soon be released, as he has a right to refuse to give testimony to the police without going before a court.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) told Interpressnews that one of the participants at the rally was questioned as a witness.

Also on Saturday, a rally was held in front of the government building in Tbilisi, where protesters accused the government of having murdered Sturua.
(df watch)

GDDG Replaces Majoritarian MP Candidate in Khobi

The ruling Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia (GDDG) party has replaced its majoritarian MP candidate in the Samegrelo region’s Khobi single-mandate district, MP Goderdzi Bukia, with Irakli Beraia.

Bukia withdrew from the race less than a month after he was named by GDDG as its candidate. Bukia is a majoritarian MP from Khobi in the outgoing parliament; he was elected in 2012 elections as a member of UNM party, which he quit after the latter was defeated in the elections of four years ago.

PM Giorgi Kvirikashvili, who chairs the GDDG party, said on Sunday that Bukia plans to pursue business activities and has a number of investment projects with possible involvement of the state's Partnership Fund; he said that Bukia decided not to run for re-election in the Parliament in order to avoid any possible conflict of interest.

The GDDG’s new candidate in Khobi, Irakli Beraia, has been part of a management team in former PM Bidzina Ivanishvili’s Cartu Bank for the past decade. More recently he served as the director of the centralized administration department at Cartu Bank. The GDDG’s two other majoritarian MP candidates, whose previous tenures were related to Cartu Bank, are Guram Macharashvili, who is running in Kakheti’s Lagodekhi district and Grigol Liluashvili, who is running in Imereti region’s Vani and Khoni single-mandate district.

The head of the UNM opposition party’s local branch in Khobi, Mamuka Chokhonelidze, as well as two independent candidates are also running in the Khobi single-mandate constituency.

Georgia has a mixed electoral system in which 73 lawmakers are elected in 73 single-member constituencies, known in Georgia as “majoritarian” mandates (a candidate has to win over 50% of votes in order to be an outright winner otherwise a second round should be held), and rest 77 seats are allocated proportionally under the party-list contest among political parties, which clear 5% threshold in nationwide popular vote.