A secret audio recording released on Friday suggests that former Georgian sports minister Levan Kipiani attempted to extort expensive cars for other ministers from Omega Group, a business group that owns local TV channel Iberia TV. The authenticity of the recording has not yet been verified, but this is the second secret audio recording released in recent weeks suggesting the government is applying pressure on Omega Group. [Read more…]
A South Ossetian court has ruled that the local prosecutor’s office committed procedural violations when dismissing a complaint by journalist Tamara Mearakishvili. Mearakishvili told OC Media she had complained regarding the ‘inaction of the general prosecutor’s office’ while investigating her for slander. [Read more…]
Leaders from the ruling Georgian Dream party have criticised American rights watchdog Freedom House, for suggesting democracy declined in the country in 2017. ‘Absurd, unobjective and amusing’ were some of the words PM Giorgi Kvirikashvili and Parliament chairman Irakli Kobakhidze used to describe their 2018 Nations in Transit report, which said informal governance was ‘one of the key features of GD’s rule’. [Read more…]
Democracy declines in the Caucasus with ‘half-hearted reforms’ in Georgia, improper investigation of high-level corruption in Armenia, ‘deeply entrenched’ authoritarianism in Azerbaijan, and a crackdown on queer people in the North Caucasus, according to American right group Freedom House’s Nations in Transit 2018 report. [Read more…]
A journalist and activist in South Ossetia, Tamara Mearakishvili, has been accused by the authorities there of forgery. Mearakishvili says she has been under ‘unofficial house arrest’ since August.
Several thousand people protested in Baku on 10 March, in a rally organised by Azerbaijan’s two largest opposition groups against President Ilham Aliyev. The groups have announced they plan to boycott the presidential elections scheduled for 11 April. [Read more…]
Journalists have been barred from attending Yerevan City Council days after reporting on the physical assault of two female councillors. Two women from the opposition Yerkir Tsirani (Apricot Country) party were attacked last week and thrown out of the council by a number male councillors from the ruling Republican Party.
More than 70 Georgian NGOs and prominent cultural figures have published a plan to ‘resolve the crisis’ in the Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB). The 6 point plan includes a call for the resignation of the head of the GPB, Vasil Maghlaperidze. [Read more…]
Azerbaijani opposition politician Gozal Bayramli was sentenced to 3 years in prison by an Azerbaijani court on 23 January. Bayramli was detained at the border last May while crossing from Georgia, and charged with attempting to smuggle €12,000 ($13,400) in cash. [Read more…]