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The News in Brief

Friday, December 8
Georgian Lawyers’ Association Elects New Chairman

(TBILISI) – Human rights watchdog the Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA) on December 5 elected Sulkhan Saladze as its new chairman.

Saladze will replace Ana Natsvlishvili, who had headed GYLA since 2014.

In a statement released Wednesday, Saladze said the organization would continue focusing on issues related to human rights, ongoing problems in the judiciary, as well as press freedom.

Saladze has worked for GYLA since 2011 and was appointed by the parliament in 2016 as a member of the Georgian Public Broadcaster’s Board of Trustees.

GYLA’s chairs are elected for 12 month terms, but are barred from serving for longer than three consecutive years. (

Abkhazia Likely to Demand Release of Prisoner in Tbilisi’s Custody

(TBILISI) – Georgia’s breakaway region Abkhazia is expected to demand the release of one of its residents from a Georgian prison after the rebel government helped free a Georgian villager from captivity in South Ossetia.

Giorgi Giunashvili was detained by rebel troops in Georgia’s other pro-Russian secessionist region South Ossetia and charged with “terrorist activities”.

He was released on November 26 after 18 months in prison.

Russian state-run media company Sputnik reported that South Ossetia’s de facto president Anatoly Bibilov had his Abkhaz counterpart Raul Khajimba act as an intermediary and handed Giunashvili over to the Abkhaz side in order to exchange him for an Abkhazian prisoner held in a Georgian prison. The identity of the latter person wasn’t released.

Tbilisi has not commented on the potential about a possible exchange. (