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…]
A controversy over the construction of a second mosque in Batumi has resurfaced after the new head of Adjara, Tornike Rizhvadze, promised it would go ahead. Batumi’s Muslims have long complained that the city’s only current mosque is too small, but Rizhvadze faced criticism for his decision from a number of ultra-conservative groups including the March of Georgians. [Read more…]
Georgia’s Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili has met with two of the leading figures in anti-government protests currently being held in Tbilisi. Kvirikashvili met separately with the parents of Davit Saralidze — one of the teenagers killed in a school brawl last December — and Malkhaz Machalikashvili, the father of a 19-year-old boy killed by security forces in Pankisi.
The Georgian Parliament’s Human Rights Committee is to create a working group to develop a bill against ‘insulting religious feelings’. The bill was co-authored and supported by two conservative Georgian groups. [Read more…]