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The News in Brief

Tuesday, May 28
Council of Europe to consider consolidated report on conflicts in Georgia

The Council of Europe (CE) will consider Secretary General Thorbjorn Yangland's seventh consolidated report on the conflicts in Georgia on May 29.

Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister Tamar Beruchashvili stated at a press conference on Monday that the Council of Europe continues monitoring the commitments of Russia and Georgia taken in connection with the August 2008 War.

The seventh report on the conflicts in Georgia covers the period from October 2012 to March 2013. Georgian first deputy Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani will deliver a speech at a meeting of the CE Committee of Ministers.

Large-scale military actions were launched in South Ossetia in Georgia on August 8, 2008. Later Russian troops occupied Tskhinvali and expelled the Georgian military.

Russia recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia in late August. Tbilisi ended diplomatic relations with Moscow in response and has announced the two unrecognized republics to be occupied territories.

Amnesty report notes worldwide abuses, as well as courage of activists

Amnesty says rampant violations of free speech took place in Georgia in 2012. The assessment cites reports of harassment, intimidation, and even beatings of opposition supporters in the run-up to the October parliamentary elections that led to Bidzina Ivanishvili's appointment as prime minister. Amnesty says many opposition sympathizers, particularly schoolteachers, were reportedly fired from their jobs for their political views. Following the election, a number of high-ranking officials close to President Mikheil Saakashvili were charged with crimes, prompting international concerns about the possibility of selective prosecution. Amnesty also notes cases of harassment against Muslim worshippers and gay-rights activists by Orthodox Christians.

Irakli Gharibashvili to visit Brussels

Georgian Minister of Internal Affairs Irakli Gharibashvili will pay an official visit to Brussels on 28-29 May. Gharibashvili will meet with the European Commissioner for Home Affairs Anna Cecilia Malmstrom and Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Stefan Fule and High representative of the European Union of Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton. Georgian Minister will deliver a speech and speak about the reforms carried out in terms of justice.

MIA – 26 May events held safely in 26 towns of Georgia

The events of May 26 were held safely in 26 towns of Georgia, the Ministry of Interior Affairs of Georgia reports. The Georgian MIA informs that many events were held, including the exhibition of military and police ammunition and armaments, concerts by folk music ensembles as well as the exhibition of painters.

“Tens of thousands of people attended the events throughout Georgia. The MIA has been taking care of their security for the whole day. Despite the large scale events, there have not been any accidents throughout Georgia”, MIA statement says.

“Long Live Georgia”

A video titled "Long Live Georgia - Sao Paulo 26 of May 2013" - supposedly tied to the celebration of Georgia's Independence Day by a Georgian resident in Brazil - has been released on social networks. The video shows a man cycling on one of the streets of the South American megacity carrying a Georgian flag.
(Georgian News TV)

Prime Minister hosted guests at Bazaleti complex

A special event was held on behalf of the Prime Minister of Georgia at the Bazaleti tourist complex on Independence Day May 26. The Prime Minister hosted the Patriarch of Georgia, lawmakers, athletes and foreign diplomats. Bidzina Ivanishvili delivered a speech, emphasizing the meaning of the May 26 in the history of Georgia and thanked the guests for sharing the joy of the Georgian people.
(Rustavi 2)

Two persons face conditional sentence for assaulting two opposition MPs

Two persons arrested for physical assault on the members of the parliamentary opposition, Chiora Taktakishvili and Sergo Ratiani, have been given a conditional sentence by the Tbilisi City Court. Attorneys of Gela Mamaladze and Nika Arabuli demanded an administrative fine for their defendants, however, they say the court ruling is satisfactory for both defendants, as they admit to the crime and say this kind of ruling was not unexpected for them.

Gela Mamaladze and Nika Arabuli were accused of hooliganism and the assault on two lawmakers on February 8, 2013, during the clash that occurred outside the National Library.

The two will have to serve the conditional sentence over the next 20 months.
(Rustavi 2)

The North Atlantic Council’s delegation to visit Georgia on June 27-28

The North Atlantic Council’s delegation led by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen will visit to Georgia on June 27-28.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, Tamar Beruchashvili commented about it at the briefing today.

"This is a very good opportunity for the members of the North Atlantic Council to learn about the situation in Georgia, to hold meetings and discuss the responsibilities undertaken by Georgia for the integration into NATO,” Beruchashvili said.
(Front News)

"Army does not belong to any party or a politician, it belongs to the society"

According to Georgia’s President Mikheil Saakashvili, "The army does not belong to any party or a politician, it belongs to the society."

"Our soldiers are dying sometimes, but their lives and their deaths are one of the main sources of Georgia’s everlasting life. Your mission is very difficult, but it is more difficult for your mother, wives, children and brothers, because they have much more to worry about. I would like to congratulate them on Independence Day." Saakashvili said in his speech at the meeting with Georgian soldiers in Afghanistan.
(Front News)