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The News in Brief

Wednesday, April 16
Georgian NGO files lawsuit against Russia for violating human rights

The Georgian Young Lawyers' Association (GYLA) has applied to European Court of Human Rights on behalf to people living near the barbed wire fences in one of Georgia’s breakaway regions.

On April 11, GYLA filed a lawsuit against Russia at the European Court on behalf of 19 citizens living in Dvani, a South Ossetia’s village located near the dividing line.

The non-governmental organization claim the 19 citizens’ rights have been violated, which included a violation of peaceful enjoyment of possessions.

At the European Court, the GYLA argued about the citizen’s living conditions (Article 8 of the European Convention), freedom of movement and violation of the right to an effective remedy (Article 13 of the European Convention).

In September 2012 in the Dvani village, Russian and Ossetian ‘border guards’ made and erected barbed wire fences to mark the so-called boundary between Georgian and Ossetian territory. As a result, the border line moved 400-600 meters deeper into Georgian territory.

Due to this fact, more than 50 families’ agricultural land now appeared on the South Ossetia’s controlled territory.

Currently, as a result of installing fences, the livelihood of people living in 23 Georgian villages close to the dividing line has been severely impacted.

Installing barbed wire fences began in 2011 and intensified in February 2013. (Agenda.Ge)

Georgia to host NATO 2017 Parliamentary Assembly Spring Session

NATO Parliamentary Assembly has decided to host the 2017 Spring Session in Georgia.

The decision was announced following a request of the chairman of the defense and security committee of Georgia's Parliament Irakli Sesiashvili to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, which serves as the consultative inter-parliamentary organization for the North Atlantic Alliance.

Sesiashvili believed hosting such a high level meeting confirmed the NATO Parliamentary Assembly supported Georgia in joining the Alliance.

"The assessment committee will arrive in Georgia to examine the local infrastructure for hosting the delegation, which is expected to include more than 800 people,” Sesiashvili said.

The Assembly meets and participates in two sessions per year – in spring and in autumn.

At the Spring Session, each of the five committees (Political, the Defence and Security, the Committee on Economics and Security, the Committee on the Civil Dimension of Security and the Science and Technology Committee) hold a one-day meeting to consider reports and to meet with government officials and policy experts. (Agenda.Ge)

ODIHR Observation Mission for Local Elections Unlikely for Now

OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) is not likely to deploy its observers in Georgia to monitor the June 15 local elections because of financial reasons.

ODIHR’s spokesperson, Thomas Rymer, told in an email on April 14 that the organization received an invitation from the Georgian authorities to observe the local elections.

“Unfortunately, given the fact that the OSCE annual unified budget for 2014 has still yet to be agreed, our Office has had to reply that we would not be able to send a mission to observe the elections due to financial reasons,” Rymer said. “In the event that the budget is passed in the near future, we might be able to reconsider this decision, but the deployment of an observation mission for these elections seems unlikely at this point.”

Earlier on April 14 Georgian Foreign Minister, Maia Panjikidze, told journalists that ODIHR “may not send observers because these are the local elections and it does not fall within its [ODIHR's] competence.” ODIHR deployed both long-term and short-term observation missions for Georgia’s local elections in2010 and “limited” observation mission was deployed in 2006.

After Panjikidze’s these remarks with journalists, the Foreign Ministry released a written statement saying that Georgia invited observers from OSCE’s democracy and rights arm in February and again in March, but received a response that it was not likely to deploy the mission because of the budget-related problems. The Georgian Foreign Ministry also said that observers from the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe would arrive to monitor Georgia’s local elections. (Civil.Ge)

Zurab Abashidze leaves for Prague

Georgian Prime Minister’s Special Representative in Relations with Russia has left for Prague to meet with the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia. Zurab Abashidze`s meeting with Gregori Karasin was postponed several times and finally, the parties agreed that the meeting will be held on April 16th.

“It is very important for us to know and to obtain information about the vision of Russia on the prospects of this dialogue and on the relations with Georgia in general. We have to use such meetings from the point of view of obtaining information. Of course, we are going to raise the most troubling issues for us, including the situation along the occupation line and other problems,” Abashidze said before departing.

According to him, the Georgian party will also object to the facts of violation of Georgian airspace by Russian helicopters. (Rustavi 2)

Georgian soccer player awarded for saving life

A Georgian football player who saved an opponent’s life in a Ukrainian Premier League match has been recognized for his heroic act by the State Emergency Service of Ukraine.

Ukrainian football club Dnipro midfielder and captain of Georgia’s national football team Jaba Kankava received a medal for the heroism he displayed in a match where an opposition’s knock to the head had near-fatal consequences.

Kankava was awarded the honor before the Dnipro-Metalurg match started on Saturday.

In the game between Dynamo Kiev and Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk last month, Kiev's captain Oleh Husyev was knocked unconscious as he took an accidental knee to the head from the Dnipro goalkeeper. Husyev appeared to swallow his tongue during the collision.

Reacting immediately to the suddenly dangerous situation, Kankava rushed to the aid of his opponent and immediately began life-saving first aid.

Kankava worked to remove Husyev’s tongue from blocking his airway.

As soon as Husyev’s tongue was moved into a safe position in his throat, he immediately jolted to consciousness and began to cough and kick violently.

Shortly after, Husyev was taken to hospital with a concussion, a bruised jaw and damage to three teeth, the team announced.

Doctors said if no immediate first aid had been performed the result could have been fatal. (Agenda.Ge)