The European Parliament has said it will not ratify a comprehensive agreement with Azerbaijan if the country ‘does not respect fundamental EU values and rights’. In Wednesday’s plenary session, parliament instructed the European Council, European Commission, and specifically EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini to prioritise fundamental freedoms and the fight against corruption in ongoing negotiations with the authorities in Baku.
For many people with disabilities in Georgia, finding any job at all seems all but impossible. A lack of basic services or even formal schooling and widespread prejudice compounds the problem. The government is taking steps to help people with disabilities into work, but NGOs, who often have to fill the gap, argue that much more needs to be done. [Read more…]
Opposition MP Nika Melia and protest leader Zviad Kuprava were detained in Tbilisi on Monday, during anti-government protests into the Khorava Street murder investigation. Kuprava has been sentenced, along with three others to 14 days in jail. [Read more…]
Georgia’s Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili has been accused of using Facebook bots to ‘like’ a post defending embattled Justice Minister Tea Tsulukiani. On Wednesday, demonstrators left dozens of boots outside the government Chancellery building to protest the government’s use of ‘shameful propaganda tools’. [Read more…]
A Jehovah’s Witness Kingdom Hall was shot at in Gori on 16 May, according to Trialeti TV. The front door of the group’s house of worship was reportedly damaged by a gunshot from a hunting rifle, with a cross and the words ‘believe in our God’ spray-painted on the outside of the building. [Read more…]
The authorities’ failure to confront homophobia in Georgian society has perpetuated hate, violence, and emboldened the far right. If the government is truly serious about democracy, human rights, and the rule of law, they must dare to pursue policies based on equality, no matter the political cost.
Georgia’s State Security Service has warned a neo-Nazi group to abstain from using Nazi symbols in public. Small groups of neo-Nazis marched through Tbilisi several times last week, including on 17 May, International Day Against Homophobia, giving Nazi salutes and chanting ‘death to the enemy’. [Read more…]
On 17 May 2013, International Day Against Homophobia, a small group of around 50 queer rights activists were confronted in Tbilisi by thousands of counter-demonstrators led by Georgian Orthodox priests. Demonstrators carried posters with homophobic messages such as: ‘We don’t need Sodom and Gomorrah in Georgia’. The crowds, some carrying nettles to beat queer rights activists with, broke through police lines to attack the activists. Police were forced to evacuate the small number of activists from the city centre. Below is the story of Giorgi Kikonishvili, one of those present. [Read more…]