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The Daily Beat: 20 June

Today marks the fifth anniversary of the infamous “Gavrilov’s Night” in Tbilisi when the Georgian Dream government brutally dispersed protests against Russian Communist Party MP Sergei Gavrilov‘s address in Russian from the Speaker’s Chair in the Georgian Parliament during the session of the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy (IAO). To this day, the people suffering lasting injuries due to the massive use of tear gas and rubber bullets have not been recognized as victims.

The People’s Power party, an offshoot of the Georgian Dream lashed out at the US Ambassador Robin Dunnigan on June 20 in response to her June 19 interview with IPN, denouncing the current U.S. policy toward Georgia as “inappropriate,” ”oppressive” and “insulting.” In its utterly insulting statement, the People’s Party also questioned the billions of dollars in U.S. aid to the country, claiming that it has been less and the money was spent on US agents in the country.

Parliamentary committees continue to discuss the GD-initiated anti-LGBT legislation without the participation of opposition representatives. Only Vakhtang Megrelishvili from the opposition “Girchi” party attended the joint committees’ hearing who also left after posing a question to GD lawmaker Rati Ionatamishvili.  Head of the Legal Affairs Committee, Anri Okhanashvili, argues that by not taking part in the committee discussions, the opposition parties are demonstrating that they have nothing against LGBT propaganda.

“The West’s agenda in the South Caucasus does not always correspond to the interests of the region’s countries,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Galuzin told Russian state-controlled news agency RIA Novostion June 20 commenting on the intensification of military cooperation between Paris and Yerevan. “Today, Western countries come to the South Caucasus with an openly confrontational anti-Russian agenda. We believe this will not contribute to stability and security in the Transcaucasia,” Galuzin said.

The Social Justice Center, a local human rights CSO defending the interests of the Machalikashvili family in the case “Machalikashvili and Others v. Georgia”, issuedstatement today, June 20, criticizing the Special Investigation Service (SIS) for its decision not to renew the investigation in the case, saying that the SIS decision is “formal, not well studied, groundless” and “contradicts the obligation to respect the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights.”


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