Ilham Aliyev is to serve a fourth presidential term in Azerbaijan, with the Central Election Commission announcing he received 86% of votes in Wednesday’s snap election. The opposition-leaning Meydan TV reported major violations, airing footage of people voting multiple times at different polling stations. International observers said the election ‘lacked genuine competition’, and reported ‘serious violations’ including ballot-box stuffing. [Read more…]
A number of black students were attacked by a group of local men in Tbilisi over the weekend at a public football pitch. Police have launched an investigation and are considering whether the incident qualified as a hate crime. [Read more…]
Russia has dropped a ‘temporary embargo’ on Abkhazian agricultural goods, just a week after it was announced. The move comes just a week after Georgia’s announced a new initiative to simplify trade with Abkhazians and South Ossetians. [Read more…]
Georgia’s public defender has called on the government to legally recognise same-sex relationships, for example with civil partnerships. In their 2017 report, the public defender also denounced recent constitutional changes defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman. [Read more…]
Abkhazia has denounced Georgia’s recent ‘peace initiative’ to simplify trade and movement of people for Abkhazia and South Ossetia, while the US, EU, and a number of other countries welcomed the initiative.
Georgian authorities have unveiled a wide ranging plan ‘to encourage contacts, movement, and relations’ with people in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The plan includes efforts to simplify trade, including from Abkhazia and South Ossetia to the EU, and encourage students from Abkhazia and South Ossetia to study in Georgian institutions and abroad. The initiative will also include changes to Georgia’s Law on Occupied Territories.
Zviad Devdariani, the former head of Georgian non-governmental organisation CIDA who is facing allegations of sexual harassment from at least 10 women, has announced he will sue his accusers for ‘violating his and his family’s dignity’. On Tuesday, Devdariani held a press briefing with his lawyer where he vowed to pursue legal means to ‘protect his dignity’, as he claimed the ‘court of Facebook’ had already found him guilty. [Read more…]
The state-owned Georgian National Film Centre (GNFC) has condemned the holding of the Sukhum International Film Festival in Abkhazia. They say the festival represents ‘soft power deployed by Russia’s occupation regime’.