Georgia’s parliament overrode President Giorgi Margvelashvili’s veto of a controversial surveillance bill on 22 March. The bill has faced criticism for not making core changes to the previous surveillance legislation, which gives state security agencies easy access to citizens’ personal information. [Read more…]
Protest rallies erupted in the Armenian capital of Yerevan last week after the death of Artur Sargsyan, who passed away after being on hunger strike for 25 days. Sargsyan was accused of assisting the ‘Daredevils of Sasun’ — an armed group of Karabakh war veterans who stormed a police station in Yerevan in July 2016, taking hostages. Two police officers were killed during the crisis.
Georgia’s port city of Batumi on the shores of the Black Sea was shaken by spontaneous outrage on 11–12 March. Riots supposedly over the issuing of a parking ticket were rooted in a peculiar mixture of anti-police sentiments, ethno-nationalism, and social exclusion. [Read more…]
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…]
Georgian supermarket chain Fresco was investigated by the the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia for alleged exploitation and forced labour, but ‘the allegations were not confirmed by any of Fresco’s employees’, the Minister of Labour said on 9 February. [Read more…]
The Georgian government has shown no enthusiasm for changing its long-condemned secret surveillance system, which grants the authorities direct access to mobile operators, leading to illegal surveillance. Their reluctance to give up on this defective approach has led rights organisations to boycott the working group on a new bill in parliament. [Read more…]
The Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB) has decided to temporarily shut down all of its talk-shows in order to ‘fight the crisis’ and remobilise financing to renew the broadcaster. Among the closed talk shows will be Realuri Sivrtse (Real Space); activists and journalists, as well as the sows audience, have opposed the move to shut down the show. [Read more…]