Georgia’s State Security Service (SSG) has launched an investigation into Malkhaz Machalikashvili, the father of Temirlan Machalikashvili, a 19-year-old boy killed by security forces in Pankisi in December, after he said he ‘and several hundred others’ had planned to blow themselves up at the SSG offices but changed their minds. Machalikashvili later explained his speech was merely an emotional speech, insisting he would do no harm to Georgian people.
Luiza Mutoshvili, 27, Pankisi Valley.
‘Five years ago, I started a job as a teacher at the public school in Duisi, Pankisi Valley, which completely changed my life. The goal of my teaching programme was to overcome the language barrier in regions with ethnic minorities. I’m ethnically Kist myself, and since Georgian is not my native language, I was well familiar with the language barrier problem.’ [Read more…]
On 22 November, in a special operation in Tbilisi, Georgian special services liquidated an armed group which included Akhmed Chatayev, also known as ‘one-handed Akhmed’. Chatayev was considered one of the leaders of the Islamic State. During the battle with Georgian special services he refused to disarm, and committed suicide by detonating a grenade. This is, perhaps, everything that is known from official sources about the operation in the Georgian capital, which lasted for almost a day.
As the number of arrests in the wake of November’s deadly counterterror siege grows, the killing by security forces of a 19-year-old in Pankisi has caused controversy. [Read more…]
The Salafi community and Sufi Council of Elders in Pankisi Valley, northeast Georgia, agreed to cooperate on 14 June and to work together on issues in the valley. [Read more…]
The Administration of Muslims of All Georgia is supposed to represent the interests of all of Georgia’s Muslims. However, instead of responding to community concerns — it acts in concert with the state. To support the political integration of Georgia’s Muslims it must undertake reforms. [Read more…]
Zaur Gumashvili, chairman of the board of Pankisi’s Council of Elders, discussed with OC Media the fading role of Elders in the valley, the rise of the Salafi movement, the subsequent cultural decline, and an action plan how to stop it.
Salafi imam of Pankisi, Bekkhan Pareulidze, sat down with OC Media for an exclusive interview, in which he discussed the region’s religious divisions, the outflow of young Kists to Syria, and the role civil society has to play in the valley. [Read more…]
Someone intentionally set the community centre in Pankisi valley on fire two weeks ago. The official investigation is still in progress, while the parties, involved or associated with the incident, blame it on each other. [Read more…]