The messenger logo

Press Scanner

Prepared by Diana Dundua
Thursday, March 13
“First Lady becomes Georgian citizen”

Akhali Taoba reports that First Lady Sandra Elizabeth Roelofs acquired Georgian citizenship in January, 14 years after marrying President Mikheil Saakashvili.

On January 10, then-acting president Nino Burjanadze signed the appropriate documents conferring citizenship on Roelofs, who has retained her Dutch citizenship.

Roelofs born in 1968 in Terneuzen, the Netherlands.

“Lagodekhi policeman in custody”

Rezonansi reports that patrol police chief of Lagodekhi in eastern Georgia Davit Gvaladze was arrested on March 11. Local radio station Hereti also reported the story.

On March 9 Gvaladze’s car collided with two pedestrians in the village of Kavshiri, leaving one dead and the other in a serious condition in Tbilisi Republican Hospital.

“Georgian Academy expresses solidarity with opposition”

Sakartvelos Respublika reports that the Georgian Academy, a self-described NGO for the Georgian intelligentsia, has expressed solidarity with the opposition coalition and the New Rights who are currently taking part in hunger strikes at parliament.

The Academy is calling on the government to meet the opposition’s 17 demands outlined in a joint memorandum.

“We welcome the New Rights Party’s decision to join the hunger strike started by the united opposition coalition and think this could become an example for unity and consolidation across all opposition parties,” Academy member Nukri Kantaria said at a March 11 press conference.

The Georgian Academy also made an appeal to the nation to protest against election fraud and call for fair and democratic parliamentary elections in May.

“The political dialogue between the opposition and the ruling majority has failed. Society witnessed one more time violence and lies from the government. The authorities will not be able to rig the forthcoming parliamentary elections as well,” Academy member Temur Naneishvili said.

“Giorgi Targamadze meets Azerbaijani ambassador to Georgia”

Akhali Taoba reports that leader of the recently established Christian Democratic Party Giorgi Targamadze met Azerbaijani Ambassador to Georgia Namig Aliyev on March 11 to discuss the living conditions of ethnic Georgians in Azerbaijan.

They also planned a trip for Christian Democratic Party representatives to Saingilo, which the paper describes as a historic part of Georgia now under Azerbaijani jurisdiction.

Namig Aliyev said he is ready to cooperate on the rights of Georgians living in Azerbaijan.

“Mother of four asks for assistance”

Sakartvelos Respublika reports that Lia Shioshvili, a mother of four who was deported from Russia in November 2006, has appealed to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg demanding financial compensation from Moscow.

“Before deportation my children and I were detained by police and they took my three-year-old daughter away from me for several hours. At the Dagestan-Azerbaijan border we were detained for a second time, and I was separated from my children again. We walked a long way to reach Georgia and my fifth child died shortly after I gave birth. My children and I need medical treatment but we cannot afford it.” Shioshvili said.

“Irakli Okruashvili plans hunger strike”

Rezonansi reports that former defense minister and founder of Movement for a United Georgia Irakli Okruashvili plans to express solidarity with members of the united opposition coalition and begin a hunger strike in Paris, where is he awaiting a court ruling on an extradition from Georgian prosecutors.

He called on the opposition not to agree to dialogue with the administration.