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The News in Brief

Tuesday, February 24
PM Appoints New Governor of Imereti

PM Irakli Garibashvili appointed head of Tbilisi’s Vake district administration, Givi Tchitchinadze as new governor of Imereti region in western Georgia.

Tchitchinadze has replaced Zaza Meparishvili, who announced about resignation on February 22.

Tchitchinadze, who served as head of Tbilisi’s Vake district since August 2014, held an executive post in Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia party in 2012-2013.

I don’t think anything unfair happened - Zaza Urushadze comments on not winning the Oscar

“I don’t think that anything unfair happened,”- told Zaza Urushadze, director of the Oscar-nominated movie Tangerines, to Rustavi 2TV in a phone conversation.

"Mine was the only movie to receive a standing ovation. This happened twice and the overall reaction to it was very good, "- Urushadze claimed.

He added that "Ida", winner of the Oscar, was a good film and it is a great honor to be nominated among the top five films in the world. He also claimed to have already received numerous offers from various production companies.

George Nakashidze, who played a leading role in the film, remarked that being among the world’s top five is an honor in itself.

‘’I was ready for both cases. You cannot imagine the feeling of being among the world’s top five, I cannot explain it,’’ Giorgi Nakashidze said.

At the 87th Academy Awards in Los Angeles, Polish movie “Ida” was declared the winner in the “best foreign language film” category.

Unfortunately, the Estonian-Georgian movie “Tangerines”, directed by Zaza Urushadze, did not receive the award.

Besides these two movies, Russian “Leviathan”, Mauritanian “Timbuktu” and Argentinean “Wild Tales” were also nominated for an Oscar.

Lifetime prisoners in Georgia demand fixed terms and better conditions

Family members and relatives of 55 prisoners with life sentence who claim being on hunger strike during almost a month, rallied on Sunday outside notorious Gldani No 8 jail in Tbilisi outskirts, demanding reducing their terms and better conditions for inmates.

A parallel rally also was held in Kobuleti, a Black Sea resort, by relatives of Gldani and Rustavi prisons inmates.

They demand relieving sentences of prisoners citing that the mass amnesty of January 2013, soon after changing the government, that slashed prison population by about 60 percent and reduce terms to many other inmates, didn’t affect those with life sentence.

Now they ask for fixed terms instead.

Georgian law applies live sentence to those committing terrorism, aggravated murder and aggravated drug dealing.

If not heard by authorities, the relatives warn to hold permanent rallies. They plead to the president, the prime minister and the public defender to review their cases individually.

Gocha Kontselidze, brother of one of the prisoners, told journalists during a rally in Kobuleti that government promised to revise 81 cases of prisoners with life imprisonment and discuss this issue in parliament as well, but the promise hadn’t been fulfilled.

They’ve blocked the bridge on river Kintrishi in Kobuleti for about five minutes. They also want from appropriate bodies to ensure proper healthcare for the prisoners who, they claim, are on a hunger strike for almost a month.

Penitentiary officials haven’t yet commented on the issue. Representatives of the Public Defender’s office came on to the rally saying that the office studies this issue and its employees check on the prisoners’ health and living conditions daily.

Zviad Koridze, a prominent journalist and media expert, who chairs the Pardon Commission subordinate to the President, told Channel 1 of the Public Broadcaster there are only seven prisoners who served 15 years of necessary term that gives the commission formal grounds to review their cases. The Commission has reviewed seven cases, but none of them got a positive recommendation that enables the President either to fix their terms. Other cases will be reviewed during future meetings of the commission.
(DF watch)

MPs refuses to attend Nino Gvenetadze’s address

A government hearing to discuss the Chairman of Supreme Court has been delayed due to an absence of quorum. Instead of the minimum eight MPs required, only six parliamentarians showed up to the committee hearing. MPs Zakaria Kutsnashvili and Karlo Kopaliani didn`t attended the sitting. Kutsnashvili commented later that he had personal business to which he had to attend.

Georgia expresses solidarity with Ukraine following tragedy in Kharkiv

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia has expresses solidarity with Ukraine following the tragedy in Kharkiv.

A bomb killed at least two people, including a police officer, and injured at least 10 more at a rally in Ukraine's second city Kharkiv on Sunday.

The rally was one of several being held to mark a year since the Kiev uprising that led to the fall of pro-Russia leader Viktor Yanukovych.

The explosion in Kharkiv happened at 13:20 (11:20 GMT) as people gathered near the city's Palace of Sport for a march in support of national unity, Ukrainian media say.