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Georgia

Yearbook 2016

Georgia. At the beginning of the year, an investigation into war crimes concerning the war between the Russian Federation and Georgia was launched in 2008. It was the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague that was going to investigate war crimes outside Africa for the first time. Both parties have accused each other of crimes, and according to the prosecutor, there is reasonable grounds to believe that such crimes have been committed, including murder and forced displacement.

2016 Georgia

In March, the Council of Europe criticized Georgia for failing to provide adequate protection for religious and sexual minorities exposed to rising violence and verbal hatred. A report from the European Commission on Racism and Intolerance called on the government to strengthen its anti-discrimination policy and legislation. According to the report, there is a generally homophobic climate in the community with repeated attacks on groups representing sexual minorities. Religious minorities, too, lack adequate protection, it was called.

In May, the Russian Federation condemned an exercise held by the Georgian military with American and British soldiers. A total of about 1,300 people participated in the largest maneuver of their kind so far. Moscow called it a provocation.

In May, several former officials at the Department of Defense were sentenced to multi-year prison sentences accused of misusing state funds. According to the indictment, they had manipulated a procurement process, but opposition politicians saw the judges as part of a vendetta against former Defense Minister Irakli Alasania. He was dismissed after criticizing the then prime minister, and he has been seen as a leading candidate for new head of government.

According to countryaah, US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Tbilisi in June and signed an agreement on defense cooperation between the United States and Georgia. The agreement was seen as a mark against the Russian Federation and a compensation for Georgia not being closer to NATO membership despite promises made in 2008.

In October, Georgia signed a trade agreement with China. It will apply from the end of 2017 and opens, among other things, for increased Georgian wine exports to China. In addition, Chinese companies are expected to make extensive investments in Georgia, including rail and port construction.

Former Prime Minister Vano Merabishvili, who has already been jailed for corruption, was sentenced in September to a new prison sentence of 6.5 years. Merabishvili was accused of abusing a Member eleven years earlier. The opposition sees the judgments against Merabishvili as political.

In October, an opposition politician was attacked with a car bomb. He escaped unharmed, but several other people were injured in the act, which was carried out three days before the parliamentary elections. At an election meeting held by an independent candidate, two people were shot.

The October parliamentary elections were held in the shadow of the country's economic crisis, but according to the official figures, the government coalition Georgian dream nevertheless won a grand victory in both rounds. The coalition took a total of 115 seats, while the opposition in the United National Movement (ENM) received 27 seats and the new party Patriotic Alliance 6 seats. Through its grand victory, the government coalition gained more than three-quarters of a majority, enough to change the constitution. The opposition accused Georgian dream of stealing election results through cheating, which international observers did not agree with.

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