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The Daily Beat: 6 June

The U.S. State Department Spokesperson Matthew Millerannounced at today’s press briefing that the U.S. has sanctioned “dozens ” of Georgian individuals in its first tranche of sanctions. According to Matthew Miller the first tranche of visa restrictions “comprises of Members of the Georgian Dream party, members of Parliament, law enforcement and private citizens,” responsible for undermining democracy, violently attacking peaceful protesters, intimidating civil society representatives, and deliberately spreading disinformation.

In a letter to U.S. Congressman Joe Wilson, the initiator of the MEGOBATI Act in the U.S. House of Representatives, the Georgian opposition parties plead with the U.S. Congress “to commit necessary human and financial resources to ensure due electoral observation for the October parliamentary elections in Georgia,” stressing that “the stakes are high and our Euro-Atlantic future hangs in the balance at a historic crossroads.”

Following the June 4 Helsinki Commission’s congressional hearing on supporting Georgia’s sovereignty and democracy featuring testimonies from the EU Integration Program Manager at the Civil Society Foundation Ivane Chkhikvadze and former Georgian Ambassador to the EU Natalie Sabanadze, the ruling Georgian Dream party has unleashed a targeted campaign of harassment against the two witnesses.

On June 6, the Georgian Charter of Journalistic Ethics issued a statement saying that the Parliament continues to use the amendments adopted last year to the rules of conduct of media in the legislature as a punitive tool against critical media. In the past few days, at the request of the Georgian Dream party MPs, Speaker Shalva Papuashvili has suspended the accreditation of four journalists from critical media.

Foreign Ministry remains muted on disinformation about NATO’s credibility spread by an offshoot of the ruling Georgian Dream party, People’s Power, claiming that Article 5 of the Washington Treaty did not guarantee military assistance to Allies in the event of an attack and that the Georgian-language translation of this Article 5 of the Washington Treaty is “deliberately falsified.” “We won’t be able to help you” –  the MFA said in a written response to’s request for comment on the matter.

According to the Council of Europe’s (CoE) Annual Penal Statistics on Prison Populations (SPACE I) released on June 6 and based on data from January 2022 to January 31, 2023, Georgia ranks second among the CoE’s 46 member states in terms of prison population per capita. Among all countries, Turkey topped the list with 408 inmates per 100,000 inhabitants, while Georgia came in second with 236.6 per 100,000 inhabitants.

Transparency International – Georgia (TI-Georgia), a local corruption watchdog, says in a report that the government awarded the Anaklia Port project to a Chinese company “known for corruption scandals,” raising concerns about the deal and its impact on the country’s foreign policy course. “Bringing the U.S.-sanctioned Chinese state company into the Anaklia Port project parallel to the adoption of the ‘Russian law’ marks the continuation of the shift of Georgian foreign policy,” the watchdog says.

Khatuna Beridze, an activist and head of the NGO Alternative, was arrested and released on parole after calling Prime Minister Irakli Kobakhidze and the Head of the Adjara region’s Government Tornike Rizhvadze “slaves” and “traitors” as they walked down Batumi Boulevard. As political repressions are becoming an integral part of the campaign and political life ahead of the October parliamentary elections, is starting this blog to keep you updated on cases of intimidation, violence, and threats.


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