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The News in Brief

Tuesday, May 1
Coalition for European Georgia calls on Parliament to pass Magnitsky

The Coalition for European Georgia has demanded visa and financial sanctions against those Russian officials found guilty in the death of lawyer Sergey Magnitsky.

It called on Parliament to support an international initiative of human rights advocates to pass a law that will impose these sanctions – the Magnitsky Act. The Act has been adopted or discussed by the legislators of Canada, the US, the UK, and other European countries.

The coalition considers the passing of such a law will confirm that Georgia is a nation that will not stand for violations of human rights, "no matter against which citizens or by whom they are committed,” their statement read.

Sergey Magnitsky died on November 16, 2009 after being tortured in Butirka, a Moscow prison.

Vladimir Sanakoev named as possible Geneva participant

Speaking to Ekho Kavaza, former head of the Kokoity Fandarast movement Vladimir Sanakoev, says that Head of South Ossetian Provisional Administrative Entity, Dmitry Sanakoev, has asked him to participate in the Geneva talks as an "independent expert".

He said that Dmitry Sanakoev’s proposal coincided with a statement from Minister of Internal Affairs of Georgia Vano Merabishvili, who is ready to allow Vladimir Sanakoev to work in Georgia. The latter Sanakoev said the South Ossetian leader asked him to prove if the term “occupied territories” is accurate.

Russia had recognized Georgia’s independence in the framework of the Soviet Union and for 18 years did not recognize Abkhazia or the territories now known as South Ossetia.

“In 2008, Russia didn’t violate Georgian territorial integrity, but by violation of its own constitution, recognized legal personality of the departments of the government that are located on the territories of Abkhazia and so-called South Ossetia. South Ossetia is Georgia’s territory and Russian troops are located there as occupation forces,” Vladimir Sanakoev said.

He explains that will not return to Georgia, but is ready to participate in the Geneva negotiations.

Merabishvili announced at the government hour in Parliament last week that he is ready to enable Sanakoev to work in Georgia. He said that Sanakoev has played a positive role in Georgia and has fought against former South Ossetian President Eduard Kokoity’s regime.

Sanakoev left for Russia in January 2011, after claimed that he had been working for Russian special forces while living in Georgia. He currently lives in Vladikavkaz.

Ivanishvili: Once Georgian Dream in power, Tamazashvili will serve in MIA

The father-in-law of the former head of Bidzina Ivanishvili's charity fund Cartu, Tamaz Tamazashvili, will be a member of the Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia political party, Ivanishvili announced.

He explained that Tamazashvili, who is currently incarcerated, will not just be a member of the party, but after Georgian Dream comes into office, he will take on one of the main posts at the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA).

“Today is Tamaz Tamazashvili’s trial... who was detained the day after I made a statement about coming into politics,” Ivanishvili said, noting that Tamazashvili would have been set free if Irakli Gharibashvili resigned as chair of Cartu, but Tamazashvili refused.

“He sacrificed his freedom for what we do, and when Irakli Gharibashvili raised the issue with his family that he was ready to resign for the freedom of his father-in-law, Tamazashvili said no to this. Tamazashvili will be a member of our party and when we come into power, he will take one of the main positions at MIA, he has the experience,” Ivanishvili maintained, claiming that the government refused to release Tamazashvili as part of a plea bargain.

“Often inmates are released as part of a plea bargain. You can kill a man, but if you pay money, you are free after a plea bargain. This is Saakashvili’s court. Tamaz Tamazashvili is the only man on whom the plea bargain didn’t work. The court will make the decision that Saakashvili wants,” Ivanishvili stated.

Youth Affairs Ministry, UN launch a contest

The United Nations and the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs of Georgia have announced a joint competition for journalists in Georgia.

Representatives of the Georgian media are invited to submit their work on the topic of youth in Georgia – education, civil rights, healthy lifestyle, and social problems.

The competition is open to both broadcast and print journalists. The deadline for submission is November 25, with the winner being chosen at the end of the year.
(Rustavi 2)

Georgian wrestler wins gold in Russia

Georgian wrestler Varlam Liparteliani has won a gold medal in the 90kg category at a competition in the Russia city of Chelyabinsk Monday. He won all four games in the tournament before defeating Russian wrestler Gregory Sulemin in the final.

Another Georgian wrestler, Levan Zhorzholiani, won a silver medal in the 100kg weight category, losing the final to Aryel Zeev of Israel.

In total, the Georgian team won four medals at the tournament.
(Rustavi 2)