Pride begins – what not to miss on July 1st


Who defends and who opposes the march of dignity

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Today, on July 1, Pride Week opens in Tbilisi. Violent, homophobic groups say they will disrupt the week. Their main target is the March of Dignity scheduled for July 5, during which homophobic groups announce contractions and set up tents. We do not know anything about how the police are going to maintain order.

Frequent statements by international partners indicate that the situation is not easy. “Protect the right to freedom of assembly in Tbilisi during the Pride Week 2021,” reads a statement issued by the UN and diplomatic missions, signed by the EU Delegation to Austria, the United States, Belgium, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain, Israel and Canada. , Head of the Embassies of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Norway, Greece, France, Finland, Sweden, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, and the European Union Monitoring Mission in Georgia.

“We support the equality of all people and the protection of their rights. We express our solidarity with the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gay and intersex (LGBTQ +) community and call on the Georgian authorities to protect the right to peaceful assembly for all “Conduct in a safe environment” – It is said in the statement.

The authorities openly state that they “do not consider it appropriate” to hold a march of honor “in the full context.” Part of the opposition clearly avoids supporting LGBTQ people: Aleko Elisashvili believes that the pride serves nothing but a “wave of disgust”, while Mamuka Khazaradze sees a security threat in the realization of the right to expression.

Part of the politicians from the opposition think that open support from high-ranking officials will be important for the security of the march of dignity.

In the absence of solid security guarantees, Pride participants are urging the state to pursue a human-centered policy, properly investigate hate crimes, and, most importantly, protect their own citizens regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

What should we expect in the next 5 days in Tbilisi and who will protect the safety of the stony people on the march of dignity? Read more in Nastasia Arabuli article.

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CEC Spokesperson: Tamar Zhvania Waiting for Legislative Changes to Resign

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The spokesperson of the Central Election Commission of Georgia Natia Ioseliani connects the decision of the resignation of the CEC Chairperson Tamar Zhvania with the changes made in the Election Code. In particular, at a special briefing, Natia Ioseliani said that a week ago, Tamar Zhvania said she would wait for the new law to enter into force and then make a decision:

“Exactly one week ago, when he was in the legislature, he emphasized that he is here, waiting for new legislative news. Exactly yesterday the updated Election Code came into force. Therefore, the rule of compositional choice changes. 2/3 needs a new chairman to be elected. We are waiting for the new chairman and also the members of the increased commission “, – said Natia Ioseliani. According to him, before the election of the new chairman, the deputy chairman, Giorgi Sharabidze, will act as the chairman of the Central Election Commission.

Tamar Zhvania resigned on June 30. According to him, he is not going to go into politics and will continue to work in international organizations, and the CEC chairman will no longer be from July 1, 2021.

How should a new CEC chairperson be elected? Read more Here.

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Ombudsman Refuses to Participate in Listening to Supreme Court Judicial Candidates

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The Public Defender will not take part in the hearing of the candidates for the Supreme Court. The ombudsman’s office spreads information about it. According to reports, the decision was made taking into account the most unresolved institutional problems in the judiciary and will continue until a fundamental reform of the High Council of Justice is ensured and the sole management of the judiciary by an influential group of judges is completed.

The ombudsman notes that in 2019, the Georgian Parliament ignored the most fundamental views of the Public Defender, the Venice Commission, the OSCE / ODIHR, and the non-governmental sector on the procedure for electing Supreme Court judges. According to him, in December 2019, the Parliament of Georgia elected 14 new judges of the Supreme Court on the basis of flawed legislation, some of whom, according to the Public Defender, could not meet even the minimum level of competence.

The ombudsman was criticized by the authorities yesterday for his apostasy from the process. Anri Okhanashvili, Chairman of the Legal Committee, called the decision of the Public Defender a “shocking fact”.

“All such applicants have a negative impact on their professional activities. I’m sorry that Ms. Nino, who is obliged, in my opinion, is not even authorized, to be involved in the process, [უარს ამბობს]…” – Okhanashvili said.

Read more.

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Unified National Examinations begin

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Unified national exams will start on July 1 in all examination centers throughout Georgia. The entrants will pass the first exam in Georgian language and literature. This year, more than 38,000 graduates have registered for the exam.

According to the Deputy Minister of Education of Georgia Nunu Mitskevich, all the regulations of the Ministry of Health are observed in the examination centers for the Unified National Examinations and they are fully prepared to accept the entrants.

No coroner, entrant, student, graduate student or teacher will be left out of the exams due to coronavirus infection this year. In particular, he said, the National Center for Assessment and Examinations will conduct an examination in the relevant subject according to a specially compiled schedule.

The examination center will arrange quarantine spaces for those entrants who have a temperature of 37 ° С and above, but do not have a Covid-19 certification.

July will be a month full of exams for the Ministry. The teachers’ exam will start on July 14. General master exams will be held on July 27-30.

Read more.

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The Ministry of Internal Affairs has launched an investigation into the attack on the TV First film crew

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Nodar Meladze, the head of TV Pirveli’s news service, wrote on Facebook that the TV channel’s film crew had been attacked in Tsalka.

“Complete disorder in the country – there was an attack on the First TV crew, who arrived in Tsalka to cover the problems of the people on the streets. “Gamgebeli and his Bidzina, who is an informal manager, physically assaulted our journalist and cameraman, damaged the broadcasting equipment.” – says Nodar Meladze.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs has issued a statement on the issue of TV Pirveli’s film crew. According to him, an investigation has been launched into the fact.

RFE / RL spoke to Giorgi Aprasidze, a representative of the Tsalka mayor in the village of Tsintskaro, who called the information spread by Nodar Meladze a lie. “I did not abuse anyone, I did not raise my hand, I did not take the microphone. “I answered everything they asked me,” Aprasidze said.

The opposite is reflected in the footage taken by TV Pirveli, which shows the facts of obstruction of the journalist’s professional activities.

Read on and see more.

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Putin went “directly online.”

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In addition to the socio-economic, health and agricultural issues facing the coronavirus pandemic, Russian President Vladimir Putin on June 30, in his annual live TV program, devoted a large spot to the recent incident of a British warship in Ukrainian territorial waters. “British provocation,” he said.

Moscow reported that its warship fired as a warning sign, while a military plane dropped bombs on the way of the British warship HMS Defender to change course near the Crimean city of Sevastopol.

At a multi-hour press conference broadcast live by all Russian state-run television and radio stations, the Russian leader has traditionally spoken at length about Ukraine. Vladimir Putin called the current Ukrainian government “unfriendly” towards Russia, which, according to the Russian president, has subjected its country to “international underground rule”.

In Ukraine, the statement was seen as an attempt at a cross-border confrontation by the leader of a country that has annexed the territory of a neighboring sovereign country and is openly seeking to restore its unconditional influence in the post-Soviet space.

Why did Putin mention World War III and what does he say about relations with Ukraine? These and other accents from the “straight line” Read Koba Liklikadze’s article.

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Occupied Heritage – What Happens to Monuments After the War

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There are 151 cult buildings in the Russian-occupied Abkhazia today. There are about 556 such temples in the occupied Tskhinvali region.

After the wars, a large part of the temples that remained beyond the established conditional borders (including the status of many monuments) have either already been destroyed, or are now collapsing and in a deplorable condition, or have been “restored” in the style of Russian Khaid temples.

Old and new photographs of these temples (some of which were first published) have been merged into one book, entitled Occupied Heritage. The State Agency for Religious Affairs started working on the album and finding information about the monuments about four years ago, and as the director of the agency, Zaza Vashakmadze, notes, this is how they tried to occupy Georgia and show the results of the annexation in this regard as well.

The album first published post-occupation photographs depicting the current state of many cult buildings. Next to them are archival photos, which allows comparison.

What historical-cultural heritage is left behind the occupation line and what do they look like? Read on and see more In Eka Kevanishvili’s article.

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The full opening of the tourism sector during a pandemic depends entirely on the epidemiological rate, which is constantly changing around the world. The government says that today the tourist flows in Georgia are constantly increasing. At what cost is this happening? We are asking the acting head of the Georgian National Tourism Administration, Medea Janiashvili.