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The News in Brief

Wednesday, April 12
Statement of the MFA on the Breakaway Regions of Georgia

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic is concerned over the developments in breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in Georgia.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs does not recognise the so-called parliamentary elections held in Abkhazia in March 2017, neither the presidential elections and referendum in Georgia’s region of South Ossetia held in April 2017. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reiterates its support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. (Embassy of Czech Republic in Tbilisi)

Kremlin: Bibilov Victory ‘Convincing’

Russian President Vladimir Putin sent a congratulatory message to the South Ossetian leader-elect Anatoly Bibilov, the Kremlin reported on April 10.

"Please accept my sincere congratulations on your convincing victory in the elections of the President of the Republic of South Ossetia,” the message reads.

Putin highlighted “the high level of the traditionally friendly Russian-South Ossetian relations” and expressed his “confidence” that the relations between Moscow and Tskhinvali “will be further developed, based on the principles of alliance and integration.”

Russia will continue to render “full assistance” to South Ossetia in solving “the important matters of social and economic development, as well as in ensuring national security,” he also stated.

According to the region’s election administration, Anatoly Bibilov, who chairs the legislature won with 57.9% against his main opponent, seating president Leonid Tibilov, who gained 30%. The results are preliminary, but are unlikely to change significantly until the commission will announce its final tally in five days. Tibilov conceded defeat on April 10 saying that “the choice of the people should be respected." (

President, PM wish happy Passover to Georgia’s Jewish community

Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili and Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili have wished a happy Passover to Georgia’s Jewish community and all those celebrating the holiday.

Kvirikashvili said Passover is a symbol of freedom for Jewish people from all over the world.

"I join in the joy and happiness of our Jewish citizens and wish freedom, welfare and peace for their families”.

Margvelashvili stressed the symbolic importance of the holiday and said that this holiday is an important day for all nations who appreciate freedom.

"Together with citizens of my country, I’m wholeheartedly joining in your celebration”, he said.

Passover is a major Jewish holiday that commemorates the liberation of Jews from slavery and the exodus from ancient Egypt. It began at sundown Monday and ends next Tuesday, April 18.

Georgian Jews are one of the oldest communities in Georgia, tracing their migration into the country back to the Babylonian exile and expulsion in the 6th century BCE.

The 2600-year-long history of the Georgian Jews is notable for its lack of anti-semitic events and a visible assimilation of the Jews of the country into the Georgian language and culture. (

GYLA presents domestic violence report

The Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association held a presentation on the topic of “Domestic Violence, Domestic Crimes and Violence against Women,” wherein the results of the GYLA’s monitoring of criminal cases in Tbilisi, Kutaisi, Batumi, Gori and Telavi City Courts and Tbilisi and Kutaisi Appellate Courts were presented.

The monitoring is conducted by the GYLA with financial support of USAID through the Promoting Rule of Law in Georgia (PROLoG) Activity implemented by the East-West Management Institute (EWMI). The project aims at increasing the transparency of criminal proceedings in Georgian courts and improving the standards of protection of human rights by monitoring the proceedings at court hearings and analysing collected factual information.

The GYLA previously presented nine court monitoring reports that covered the period from October 2011 to July 2016. GYLA’s report ¹10 covers the period from August 2016 to January 2017. In this reporting period, GYLA set apart the cases of violence against women and domestic violence in the form of a separate report and prepared an individual, topic-based paper.

The specific examples in the report refer to the cases of males beating females, violence perpetrated by a husband against a pregnant wife, burning a woman with petrol, serious psychological abuse and threats of murder and other cases of violence perpetrated in families.

The monitoring revealed the following findings:

- In most cases, judges fail to adequately assess existing threats in cases of domestic violence, domestic crimes and violence against women, and they impose unreasonably lenient preventive measures on defendants. This poses a potential threat to the life and health of victims of violence. In comparison to the previous reporting period, the percentage of inappropriately applied preventive measures in such cases significantly increased;

- The adequacy of punishment with respect to such crimes remains a problem. Despite the judgments of conviction and the gravity of crimes, judges are reluctant to impose imprisonment on perpetrators of violence;

- Investigation and assessment of gender motivated crimes is still a significant challenge for the prosecution and the judicial authorities. In none of the cases related to violence against women that were identified as a result of the monitoring, were the crimes classified as committed on discrimination grounds (no reference was made to Article 53(31) of the Criminal Code of Georgia). Despite circumstances indicating a gender-based discrimination motive, the prosecution and judges do not address such motives in the consideration of cases;

-There are cases of violence against women and domestic violence that were given incomplete and lenient classification, indicating ineffective and neglectful activities by the prosecution.

The GYLA remains hopeful that the recommendations prepared and conclusions made will be taken into consideration by representatives of the judicial authorities. In addition, the report contains data that should be of interest to the Prosecutor’s Office. The GYLA hopes that the authorities mentioned above will pay an appropriate attention to our findings and recommendations and contribute to the existence of gender sensitive justice and to improving proceedings on cases of violence against women. (