Crimea, South Ossetia, and Azerbaijan have been ranked the least free places in Europe, in the latest edition of American rights group Freedom House’s Freedom in the World report. The report measures the degree of civil liberties and political rights across the world.
Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili has vetoed a controversial bill which would have allowed more advertising to be aired on the Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB). Parliament can now choose consider comments from the president, or to overrule the veto.
Imprisoned Azerbaijani journalist Afgan Sadigov, jailed on charges of aggravated assault, faces additional time in prison on yet unknown charges.
International queer rights group All Out, together with the Russian LGBT Network, have launched an online campaign urging Russian authorities to investigate the disappearance of Chechen singer Zelimkhan Bakayev. #JusticeForZelim launched on 8 January — five months after his disappearance.
The EU, US, OSCE, and local and international rights groups have urged Azerbaijani authorities to release Azerbaijani journalist Afgan Mukhtarli, who was sentenced on 12 January to 6 years in prison. Georgian authorities have also faced criticism for a the slow pace of the investigation into his abduction from Tbilisi. [Read more…]
In the last six years, 5,885 people registered for asylum in Georgia, only quarter of which were granted humanitarian or refugee status, data published by Institute for Development of freedom of Information (IDFI) indicates. In most cases proceedings were terminated by the applicants themselves (2,743), with 1,346 people being rejected. [Read more…]
The Labour Inspection Department under Georgia’s Ministry of Health and Labour will now be able to examine state institutions and private companies for violations of labour rights. However, the department is still unable to inspect workplaces without prior consent from employers, and recommendations issued following an inspection are not legally binding. [Read more…]
Azerbaijani journalist Afgan Mukhtarli, who was abducted in Georgia last May, was sentenced to 6 years in prison by an Azerbaijani court on 12 January. He was convicted of smuggling €10,000 ($11,200) in cash, border trespass, and disobeying border guards. [Read more…]
A 20-year-old girl abducted for marriage has been returned to her parents’ house. [Read more…]
Protests in Tbilisi’s old neighbourhood against constructions above the city’s historic sulphur baths are set to resume, as urban policy activists vow to fight plans to construct two large multifunctional complexes. [Read more…]