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The News in Brief

Friday, November 25
Belarus journalists visit ministry of Internal Affairs

Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Shalva Khutsishvili hosted a delegation of journalists from Belarus. The Belarusian delegation was comprised of journalists from television and printed media.

At the meeting, Shalva Khutsishvili discussed work specifics of the various MIA departments, projects planned at the agency and priority directions. The Belarusian journalists were interested in both implemented and ongoing reforms, and especially in the newly-established Joint Operations Center.

The Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs acquainted his guests with a new project entitled “A Safe City, A Safe Region, A Safe Country”, which was launched under the initiative of the Minister of Internal Affairs, Giorgi Mgebrishvili, and is being implemented by the Joint Operations Center.

“Within the frames of the project, the installation of so-called smart cameras with video analytical programs is planned in pre-defined areas across the country. Cameras will be connected to a joint network, the monitoring of which will be implemented by video-analytical programs of the Joint Operations Center. The project aims to increase the role of technology in police activities and improve crime prevention. The project is being implemented by the Joint Operations Center of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, which was opened on October 4 2016, and acts as a centralized technology hub of the agency,” stated Shalva Khutsishvili.

At the end of the meeting, the guests had an opportunity to see patrol police vehicles and special patrol equipment.

The Belarusian journalists also visited the Operative Response Center “112”, and became acquainted with work specifics and innovative projects. (

Procedures for expression of confidence to new governmental team launched

The Georgian Parliament will express confidence in the new governmental team on Saturday November 26. Procedures for the expression of confidence in the new membership of Georgian Cabinet of Ministers will be launched in Parliament.

The candidates will be then considered at parliamentary committees. The parliamentary majority and minority members will also meet with ministerial candidates.

The membership of the new Cabinet of Ministers is already known. Giorgi Kvirikashvili, the Acting Prime Minister, presented new ministers at the Governmental Administration on November 22.

The Office of the State Minister of Diaspora Affairs will merge with the Foreign Ministry. Nodar Khaduri, the Finance Minister, will be replaced by Dimitri Kumsishvili. Giorgi Gakharia will replace Kumsishvili in the post of Minister of Economics and Sustainable Development.

Zurab Alavidze will head the Ministry of Infrastructure and Regional Development instead of Nodar Javakhishvili, while Kaha Kaladze will retain the post of Energy Minister. (

Georgian Transgender Woman Dies After Attack

A 34-year-old Georgian transgender woman has died in a Tbilisi clinic after succumbing to injuries inflicted on her during an assault in October.

Zizi (formerly Zurab) Shekeladze was hit several times by a concrete bar and her throat was slashed by a blade several times in the Georgian capital on October 14. She had been hospitalized since then.

A man suspected in the attack, Giorgi Murjikneli, was arrested and charged with attempted murder on October 15.

A preliminary hearing into his case is scheduled for early December.

LGBT rights defenders in Georgia have demanded the suspect be charged with a "hate crime".

Although homosexuality and gender-change practices are legal in Georgia, society's view of the LGBT minority remains negative.

In 2013, Georgian LGBT activists were severely beaten up in Tbilisi after trying to hold a rally against homophobia. (

Gov’t takes step to declare circumcision as criminal offense

Acting Justice Minister of Georgia Thea Tsulukiani has announced her organisation initiated an article that would make female circumcision and female genital mutilation a criminal offence.

Yesterday’s statement came after the local media reports that two or three villages in eastern Kakheti region, inhabited by Muslim Kist people, still addressed female genital mutilation.

Some of the locals told the media that circumcision remained part of their tradition that played a role for a female to be married.

In the villages, Kist people still believed that a circumcised female would remai a virgin before her wedding and then faithful to her husband, as the mutilation decreases the female sex drive.

Herewith, the process, which is generally conducted by people without medical knowledge and experience, and is carried out with no anesthesia, can lead to fatalities.

“Over the last four years the Government of Georgia has taken a range of steps, in terms of legislation among them, to ensure the protection of children’s rights,” Tsulukiani stated.

“The process must continue and conclude with the ratification of the Istanbul Convention I had honour to sign two years ago. I have high hopes that the new Parliament of Georgia will ratify the convention,” the Minister added.

“A couple of days ago we [the Ministry of Justice] introduced an article in the convention that envisages circumcision to become punishable,” Tsulukiani said, and added that "unfortunately” there was no earlier information over the existence of the tradition in the "two or three” villages.

Representatives of the Muslim religion have stated their holy books "said nothing” about the circumcision and highlighted it was a custom of some ethnic groups mainly in Africa.

Georgia’s civil sector has already addressed the facts and stated the circumcision was one of "highest-level violation of human rights.”

Circumcision is generally conducted in 2-3-4 year-old children, but it can also take place in adults on the initiative of family members. (