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The News in Brief

Friday, June 23
Detained Archpriest’s brother meets with Patriarch, says His Holiness is not fully informed about the ‘Cyanide Case’

As the brother of detained Archpriest Giorgi Mamaladze has remarked, the Patriarch of Georgia said that all Mamaladze's case is aimed at discrediting Georgia.

The family of Giorgi Mamaladze recently met with Georgia’s Patriarch. As his brother declared after the meeting, he still believes that His Holiness Ilia II has not been provided with the full facts of the case.

“He said he had not heard anything bad from Father Giorgi and all this was aimed at discrediting Georgia. He was interrupted by other attendants. He has listened to us and reminded me of an interview published at the newspaper, but asked nothing more. Archbishop Jacob told me the Patriarch has been fully informed but I do not think so. I still believe His Holiness has not been provided with full information regarding the case,” Tornike Mamaladze,the detained priest’s brother, said. (IPN)

Batumi streets painted in Grafikart mural festival

Dozens of fresh murals have appeared on walls and buildings in Georgia's Black Sea coast city Batumi after local and foreign street artists flocked to this year's Batumi Grafikart Festival last week.

The concrete wall around the Batumi Sea Port complex, surfaces in the public Park of Wonders and a building on Mazniashvili Street are some of the spots painted by creators invited to make the city more colourful.

Nearly 30 artists from Georgia, France and Iran worked on murals for this year's event, including Jerome Mesnager, Lambs, Artiste-Ouvrier and WISE.

Themes of their work included fictional sea scenes, the Georgian alphabet and even the country's 12th century poet Shota Rustaveli and his epic The Knight in the Panther's Skin.

The annual festival aims to feature a different group of foreign artists working alongside their Georgian counterparts every year to decorate the seaside city with murals.

Street artists involved in the event over the years have included 18 French and six Georgian creators of the Paris-based L’attrape Reve gallery in 2014. The event has also involved recognised local artists of the mural scene, including Dr. Love and Lambs. (

Senior MEP: Mukhtarli Case ‘Very Alerting’

MEP Rebecca Harms, who chairs the 60-member European Parliament Delegation to the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly, told on June 20 that the “forced disappearance” of Azerbaijani journalist Afgan Mukhtarli “needs to be investigated and the people involved must be brought to court.”

“The alleged abduction and the imprisonment of Afgan Mukhtarli is a new very alerting case,” she said, adding that the European Parliament members “have asked with a huge majority for the immediate and unconditional release of Afgan Mukhtarli, so he can return to his family in Georgia, as well as for the immediate release of all other political prisoners in Azerbaijan.”

“We also demand an independent investigation of this case not only in Azerbaijan but also in Georgia,” Harms noted. “We are in contact with our colleagues from the Georgian Parliament who are actively following this case and are requesting answers from the executive authorities.”

MEP Harms added that the situation is “worrying,” but the engagement of citizens from Georgia in support of Afgan Mukhtarli “is a good sign.” “Citizens can contribute to strengthen the rule of law and human rights in Georgia.”

The Euronest Parliamentary Assembly, a parliamentary forum to promote political association and further economic integration between the European Union and the Eastern European Partners, gathers 110 lawmakers from the European Parliament and the Eastern Partnership countries.

The Parliamentary Assembly has 60 Members of the European Parliament (who also make up the current European Parliament Delegation) and 10 members from each of the following Eastern Partnership countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. (