On 8 March, International Women’s Day, the Akhmad Kadyrov Foundation — named after the late father of Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov — hosted and paid for a wedding service for six couples. The Chechen president spoke against the background of six brides dressed in Islamic wedding dresses, and wished all women of the world a happy Women’s Day.
The eighth of March marked the 73rd anniversary of the mass deportation of the Balkar people by Stalin’s Soviet Union, from their homeland in Kabardino-Balkaria to Central Asia. A commemoration was held in Kabardino-Balkaria’s capital of Nalchik, at the city’s memorial to the victims of the deportation.
On 6 March, the Sovetsky District Court of Makhachkala dismissed the lawsuit of Magomed Gadzhiyev, a member of the public council at the city’s Tanghim Mosque, against the Sovetsky District’s Department of Internal Affairs (ROVD). Gadzhiyev was trying to find out whether or not he was included on the ‘preventive supervision list’ (profuchot), which imposes restrictions on freedom of movement.
Women’s rights activists marked International Women’s Day in Georgia’s capital Tbilisi on 8 March with demonstrations and performances. The Independent Group of Feminists (IGF) and other supporters marched from the Tbilisi Event Hall to the Parliament building via Tbilisi’s central Rustaveli Avenue. [Read more…]
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on 7 March indefinitely suspended Georgia’s Supreme Court ruling on the ownership of Georgia’s most watched TV Channel, Rustavi 2. The suspension means that the channel will remain in the hands of its current owners until the ECHR considers the case. [Read more…]
On 6 March, the Legal Issues Committee of Georgia’s Parliament voted against a draft law against femicide. [Read more…]
The Prime Minister of Georgia’s initiative to establish a national Media Ombudsman has drawn widespread criticism from several experts and watchdogs. Given the timing, shortly after the Supreme Court handed over control of Rustavi 2 to it’s former owner, Kibar Khalvashi, the move is seen by many in the country as an empty gesture to give the impression that the government is concerned about independent journalism. [Read more…]
Azerbaijan is working on a draft law to amend legislation regulating the internet to increase tighten rules on online media. While the Azerbaijani government claims the amendments are aimed at ensuring information security and protection of human rights, activists see the proposed changes as restriction of the freedom of the internet.
On 5 March, the de facto government of Abkhazia closed two of the three remaining checkpoints between Abkhazia and Tbilisi-controlled territory — the Khurcha–Nabakevi (Bataiguara) and Orsantia–Otobaia (Bgoura) crossings.
Following a wave of protest over the Georgian Public Broadcaster’s (GPB) announcement on 6 February to cancel all programmes except for the news bulletin, the company reversed its decision on 6 March. According to a new action plan, all programmes will last until at least the summer. [Read more…]