The suicide of a teenage girl in western Georgia’s Guria Region sparked outrage over the weekend after it emerged that prior to her death she was being blackmailed. The suicide led to widespread discussions in Georgia about online blackmail, suicide prevention, whether there is a ‘culture of shame’ in Georgia, and media ethics.
Ketevan Tsikhelashvili has served as Georgia’s State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality, responsible for coordinating the country’s conflict resolution policy, since 2016. Tsikhelashvili sat down with OC Media to discuss the ministry’s successes and failures, her new peace initiative, and the barriers to and prospects for peace.
Georgia’s national wrestling team made headlines on Friday after a photo was published online of the team wearing T-shirts of a North Ossetian MP to the background of the Russian flag. The backlash follows a series of controversies around the 10th anniversary of the August War, including in restaurant chain Machakhela, nightclub Bassiani, and with Radio Free Europe’s Georgian service. [Read more…]
Former Prime Minister of Abkhazia, Sergey Shamba, has said that there is a need for more dialogue between Georgia and Abkhazia, and that it was time to think about a ‘common future’ as neighbours. Shamba, who served as PM from 2010–2011 as well as foreign minister from 2004-2010, made the comments in an interview published on 13 August with Echo of Moscow. [Read more…]
Georgia’s liberal rights groups, neoliberal political parties, and their supporters in the media have consistently tried to discredit neo-nationalists by simply labelling them ‘pro-Russian’ — a misguided claim that only mirrors the opposite claim that rights groups follow an anti-Georgian ‘Soros agenda’. To address growing far-right authoritarianism in Georgia, the underlying social and economic roots of the problem need to be addressed, as well as the legacy of authoritarianism of the previous ruling class. [Read more…]
On Wednesday, commemorations were held in Tbilisi, Tskhinvali (Tskhinval), and elsewhere commemorating the 10th anniversary of the August 2008 War. As the presidents of three countries gathered in Tbilisi, Georgian presidential candidate Salome Zurabishvili described the war as ‘recklessness, the obsessions of a deranged president, or confusing collusion with a centuries-long enemy’. [Read more…]
On Monday, the Georgian Interior Ministry said it arrested seven individuals for breaking safety protocols during mining operations. Six of the charges were filed within the investigation into the 5 April coal shaft collapse in Tkibuli, in central Georgia, that killed six miners and injured three.
More than 25 years have passed since the beginning of Georgia’s armed conflicts — more than enough time for Georgian society and the political elite to assess what happened and why. It’s important that we evaluate where our progress stands in solving these conflicts, and whether we, as a country, need to reevaluate our aims and revise our policy — whether the achieved result are acceptable or not and if not, what we can change. [Read more…]
The chairperson of the Supreme Court of Georgia, Nino Gvenetadze, has resigned for ‘health reasons’, sparking controversy about whether she was pressured to leave the post. Some officials, including Justice Minister Tea Tsulukiani, said her resignation came as a surprise. President Margvelashvili meanwhile pointed to ‘harsh conditions’ in the court system, with Gvenetadze having called herself a ‘victim of violence’ on the Georgian High Council of Justice (HCOJ). [Read more…]
A poll by the National Democratic Institute (NDI) showed a small gain since 2015 in the public support for queer people in Georgia. Nevertheless, queer people remain one of the least supported groups, with only 23% of the Georgian population stating that the protection of their rights was important. [Read more…]