Within the framework of international police cooperation, members of various criminal groups - citizens of Georgia - were taken under arrest in Italy and France with the active involvement of the Central Criminal Police Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia and active participation of Georgian police attaches.
On February 9, 2021, with the direct involvement of the Police attache of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia to Italy, the officers of Central Operative Service of the Ministry of Interior of Italy, Regio Emilia Regional Police under the Public Safety Department and Interpol, as a result of intensive operative search and investigative activities, exposed and detained 21 Georgian citizens in Italy, 2 individuals in Poland, 1 individual in Greece, one in Belgium and another one in Slovenia within the frames of the operation under the name “Thief-in-law”. The mentioned persons were involved in illegal activities on the territory of Italy and EU member states.
The investigation established that the detained Georgian citizens were robbing the apartments in northern Italy, sending the stolen items to specific venues for further realization, and attempted to start a legal business on the territory of the Italian Republic with the money illegally obtained from the stolen items.
Due to the mentioned criminal actions, the Department of Public Safety of the Italian Republic has launched an investigation against the citizens of Georgia under Articles 416, 624 and 648 under the Criminal Code of Italy, envisaging the formation of criminal groups, theft and money laundering. The mentioned criminal action envisages up to 7 years of imprisonment.
Within the framework of operation “Thief- in –Law”, Georgian law enforcers, as a result of a 6-month cooperation and direct participation of the Police Attache of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia, exchanged operative information a number of times on Georgian citizens involved in the mentioned criminal activities with the Italian side.
In order to conceal the traces of crime to Italian police forces, Georgian citizens actively used forged data and documents. As a result of the complex measures and active involvement of the Forensic-Criminalistics Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia, all the individuals who participated in the mentioned crimes were identified.
Operation “Thief –in- Law” is only the part of a large-scale operation being carried out jointly by Georgian and Italian law enforcement agencies.
In addition to the mentioned, on February 9, 2021, joint operation "BRATVA-35" was carried out in the Republic of France, as a result of intensive operative-investigative activities with the direct involvement of the Georgian police attache and the Georgian Liaison Officer deployed by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia to the French National Police.
As part of the operation, in the cities of the French Republic: La Roche-sur-Yon, Noir, Angers, Bordeaux and Rennes, the "thief in law" of Georgian origin - K.A. And 17 citizens of Georgia were detained.
The detainees were members of an organized criminal group and actively involved in criminal activities in France and other EU states. In particular, they are charged under Articles 131, 132, 311, 321, 450 of the Criminal Code of the French Republic and Article 414 of the Customs Code, which includes a number of episodes of theft committed by an organized group in commercial premises on the territory of the French Republic, participation in an organized criminal group, purchase / sale of criminally obtained property and illegal trade of illegally obtained tobacco products, which envisages up to 10 years of imprisonment and a fine in the amount of 375 thousand Euros.
Letters from Citizens to National Leaders: Endorsing Accountability for Global Peace Building at the UN General Assembly
On March 14th, about 30,000 people from all sectors of the society including government officials, religious leaders, heads of NGOs, media persons, and citizen gathered in Seoul, South Korea, to redouble efforts for the establishment of international law for peace.
Hitting the 3rd anniversary this year, the annual commemoration of the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW) was hosted by an international peace NGO, Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), to share the progress of activities undertaken to introduce the DPCW to the UN as a resolution.
The DPCW drafted by international law experts includes principles of peacebuilding such as the prohibition of the use of force, development of friendly relations, and peaceful dispute settlement. And it emphasizes international cooperation based on interfaith dialogue and civic participation to create and spread a culture of peace.
Mr. Pravin Harjivandas Parekh, President of Confederation of Indian Bar, said “The strength of HWPL is to awaken and tie the civil with the idea of peace. The DPCW connects considerably with civil societies contributors since peace cannot be continued just through the voices of elites and institutional processes. It suggests civic societies function as the peace-building actors which aim for the implementation of the citizens’ advocacy encouraging a culture of peace.”
Regarding a culture of peace, Ms. Anna Cervenakova, member of Human Rights Research Center, explained that it means a certain system of values where on the first place is a respect for human life, ending the war, armed conflicts or violence and taking action in promoting peace, human rights, fundamental freedoms, sustainable development, and environmental needs for present and future generations.
According to the progress report announced at the event, the DPCW has been supported by Seychelles, eSwatini, and Comoros at the governmental level. At the international level, the inter-governmental organizations such as PARLACEN (Central American Parliament), PAP (Pan-African Parliament), and Centre for BBS (International Centre for Black Sea-Baltic Studies and Consensus Practices) have cooperated with HWPL for the enactment of the DPCW through signing MOU.
Along with the official support from governments and international organizations, this year’s anniversary highlighted the “Peace Letters” to the heads of states and UN ambassadors in 193 countries. Written by global citizens, the “Peace Letter Campaign” as a part of advocacy plan for the international movement for peacebuilding by civic participation has been carried out worldwide to collect support from women, youth, and citizens for the establishment of a legally-binding framework for international law for peace.
“Since 2018, IPYG has collected over 200,000 peace letters and sent them to the 7 heads of states: South Africa, Indonesia, New Zealand, Namibia, Malaysia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, South Korea. Starting from today, we have great expectations for its future. The first goal is to submit the DPCW to the UN General Assembly in the form of a draft resolution and have it adopted. The second is to create a new peninsula to achieve peaceful unification. Let us become all heroes of peace together,” said Mr. Young Min Chung of general director of IPYG.
After the first session, peace lectures on “Civil Society’s Role for Peaceful Unification, Exchange, and Cooperation of the Korean Peninsula” followed at the second session. This peace lecture was aimed to call for the collaborative efforts of civil society for peacebuilding among the two Koreas based on the principals of the DPCW.
Chairman Man Hee Lee of HWPL said, “Korea has undergone much sorrow from the division, which still threatens our daily lives. When I was 20 years old, I had no choice but to join the tragic war. We need to listen to what the soldiers said. They blamed their countries. Do the countries compensate for the loss of life? There should be no longer victims of war in our globe. Should we stand still and do nothing in this reality?”
“The unification of Germany was triggered by citizens, not the force or politics. Some might say that the military confrontation serves as a major challenge to peace and unification. Use of force must be dissuaded to achieve peace, which is also designated in the DPCW. It has principles to secure peace in our times. When we advocate peace to our national leaders, they can be peace advocates; But if they do not listen to their people, they will be offenders against peace,” he added.
The host organization, HWPL, is a peace NGO in Special Consultative Status with the UN ECOSOC and associated with the Seoul Metropolitan Government and the UN DGC. For the purpose of ceasing all wars and creating a peaceful world as a legacy for future generations, HWPL has been carrying out 3 main peace initiatives - International law for peace, Inter-faith dialogue meeting, and Peace education.
Due to high public interest concerning the second round of presidential election, the Central Election Commission (CEC) presents information about certain procedures and terms.
In order to participate in the second round of presidential election, Georgian citizens residing abroad shall get consular registration or be registered abroad according to Georgian legislation.
Georgian citizens willing to participate in the second round of presidential election of Georgia and lacking consular registration may already contact consular offices/diplomatic representations or visit website www.geoconsul.gov.ge of consular office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia and register online at the consular registry.
The final date to pass the list of citizens being on consular registration to the CEC is related with the date of the second round which will be defined by the CEC after summarizing October 28 election results.
It is noteworthy, that according to the legislation, the District Election Commissions (DEC) shall summarize election results no later than November 8th at electoral districts. Accordingly, the CEC within its powers plans to define necessary procedures and terms for the second round of the election.
In addition, after the CEC summarizes the final results of the first round, the CEC officially defines by ordinance the date of the second round of the election.
Election of President of Georgia will be held on October 28th. Citizens of Georgia will elect the president for a six-year term. 25 presidential candidates participate in elections, including 19 nominated by political parties and six – by initiative groups of voters. 3 703 electoral precincts are ready to hold elections, including 55 precincts abroad and 11 precincts established in exceptional cases.
Two electoral precincts were opened in Afghanistan for Georgian armed forces dislocated abroad where polling already took place and the vote counting will begin on October 28th in Georgia once the voting is completed.
The Total Number of voters amounts to 3 518 877, together with persons registered abroad for elections, including 14 795 citizens registered abroad based on Georgian legislature.
The Election Administration (EA) offered a number of services to voters to simplify the process of verifying personal and family data in the unified list of voters. Overall, voters used such services more than million times (1 182 031) and verified their data in the voter list. Voter lists and its public versions are placed at Precinct Election Commissions (PEC).
On October 28th, at 08:00 morning all electoral precincts will be ready to serve the voters. Ballot papers are handed out to Electoral districts which are printed into Georgian, Armenian, and Azerbaijani languages and trilingual ballot papers (Georgian-Azerbaijani-Armenian) are printed for certain precincts (4). The process of handing out the electoral documentation and relevant materials to precincts is being actively launched. Precincts are equipped with all necessary inventory.
Two magnifying sheets will be available for voters with vision impairment and a tactile ballot guide for filling in ballots for blind voters every electoral precinct. Posters depicting the voting process is available for voters at every polling station. More than one-third of precincts are adapted for voters using wheelchairs, namely, 1264 adapted electoral precincts are available for voters using wheelchairs along with special voting cabins.
On October 28th, in addition to Election of President of Georgia, Sakrebulo By-elections to be held through majoritarian contest will be conducted at 6 polling stations in Terjola and Samtredia municipalities where the total of 7 925 voters are registered. 8 candidates are registered for Sakrebulo By-elections (4 in Terjola and 4 in Samtredia). Voters participating in Sakrebulo By-elections at 6 electoral precincts will be provided with two ballot papers, one for the presidential election and one for Sakrebulo By-elections.
In 2018, political parties and domestic observer organizations were enjoying the new technologies of the EA namely they were appointing members, proxies of the electoral subjects and observers at election commissions through online registration program.
It is noteworthy, that more than 82 000 proxies of electoral subjects, more than 22 000 observers of 73 domestic observer organizations and more than 1100 international observers of 58 international organizations registered for the presidential election will monitor the elections. Electoral process will be covered by more than 2000 journalists of 125 media organizations; among accredited media outlets, 31 are international and 94 are domestic media organizations.
According to election legislation, it is prohibited to conduct election campaign at the polling station on polling day. Therefore, we call on authorized persons at electoral precincts not to appear at the polling stations with advertising/agitation symbols and signs of electoral subjects.
On October 28, it is also prohibited to place paid or free advertisements on TV and radio broadcasters and publish public opinion polls before the polling ends.
Also, with regard to procedural violations on polling day, if proxies of electoral subjects and domestic observers identify violations, they shall immediately apply the relevant PEC with application/complaint; if the complaint is not responded appropriately, complainer may immediately appeal the above violation to upper DEC. Based on the legislation, any complaint submitted at CEC concerning violations detected at electoral precinct will be left undiscussed.
On October 28th, at 20:00, once the polling process is completed vote counting procedures will begin. Following the drawing up the PEC summary protocols, they will be sent by relevant district election commissions to the CEC in earliest possible time and CEC upon its receipt will gradually upload summary protocols at special website www.results.cec.gov.ge.
Summary protocols are being uploaded to the CEC results summarizing center and operators enter the summary protocol data in the special program.
At the same time, those non-governmental organizations who are actively attending the CEC sessions and are monitoring the CEC activities and participate in the activities of the EA, may participate in process of summarizing results, more precisely, their respective observers may if they wish along with CEC operators enter PEC summary protocols in special electronic program.
It is noteworthy that for ensuring transparency of the electoral processes, the CEC enables every interested person to observe the process of summarizing the preliminary results at the CEC via internet livestream. A 360-degree camera will be used to broadcast the process through CEC official Facebook account, Youtube and CEC official website”.
CEC Call Center - 2 51 00 51 and online chat of the Central Election Commission will operate for 24 hours. Deaf and hearing impaired voters after registering at CEC web-page may receive relevant information in sign language through a video call. Armenian and Azerbaijani language speaking voters may receive CEC Call Center’s services in their respective languages.
The CEC Media Center will also operate for 24 hours enabling representatives of the media and observer organizations to receive relevant information. The news briefing will be regularly held during the whole day at Media Center.
According to the legislation, the EA is fully prepared to serve voters in a professional manner; we call upon voters to actively participate in elections. Also, we appeal to electoral stakeholders to respect the public interest, be highly responsible towards the electoral process, respect the rule of law, and support the conduct of elections in a peaceful and free environment and ensure the realization of the free will of the electorate.
The Georgian side has been informed through diplomatic channels by the Iranian side that a number of Iranian citizens have expressed their discontent with security procedures at the Tbilisi International Airport.
Immediately upon receiving the information, the competent authorities of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia made an immediate enquiry into the procedures conducted by aviation security officers at the Tbilisi Airport.
The preliminary enquiry has found no evidence of wrongdoing, including actions insulting religious feelings.
The Ministry has already reported the findings to the Iranian side. The inquiry results will also be communicated to the Iranian ambassador in Tbilisi.
On March 28 the EU decision on visa free travel for Georgia enters into force. “The decision on visa free travel to Georgia was made by the European Parliament on February 2. March 28 is a historical day for modern Georgia as it his opportunity becomes real for Georgian citizens. I would like to congratulate our citizens with this significant progress and wish Georgia good luck on EU integration path”, - the Chair of the EU Integration Committee, Tamar Khulordava stated at the briefing.
This decision is a result of the reforms held in Georgia with active participation of all Governmental branches. “It is valuation of the wide-scale legislative and institutional reforms we started in February, 2013 since Georgia was granted VLAP. Georgian citizens were the witnesses of the entire process. We expected the day when we would be able to state that since now on Georgian citizens with biometric passports are entitled to travel visa free to EU”.
This day and this decision are historical not only because travel to Europe will be technically simplified but because this day is the symbol that Georgia regains its appurtenant historical place in European family amongst the countries to which Georgia always belonged according to the value system, approaches and ambition. She also spoke about active campaign on visa liberalization for public awareness. “We shall take due responsibility to realization of this right. I am glad to see the active campaign by Georgian Government to inform Georgian citizens about visa free travel to Europe and Schengen. All the citizens shall realize the responsibility imposed on us as we all saw the vast time realization of this opportunity took. It is no reality and it is the matter of our dignity how we will realize it”.
She called on Georgian citizens to have high responsibility and adhere to the regulations established in EU. “Once again, let me congratulate you with this progress and I wish it not to be the last step of our progress to European family. We have higher ambitions and we are aspired to make our European wishes come true. Europe is our common future and we shall stand united on this path”.
The President of Georgia: "With This Step We Are Presented with More Opportunities of Integration with Europe"Thursday, 02 March 2017 11:40
The officers of investigation-operative main division along with land border defense department, as a result of operative-investigative activities detained two Cote d’Ivoire and two Ghana citizens for attempting recross the state border illegally in group.
Investigation established that detainees attempted to cross state border to the direction of the Turkish Republic by avoiding border crossing point clearance.
Investigation is in progress on the fact of the attempted crossing of the state border illegally in group, article 19-344 II part, sub-paragraph A of the Criminal Code. Investigation is conducted by investigation-operative main division of the border police.
The so-called guard of occupied South Ossetia arrested 3 citizens of Georgia. According to the so-called State Security Committee of occupied South Ossetia, the citizens of Georgia were arrested at the so-called border at October, 21-23.
The arrested persons are residents of Karkushaani village, Didi Mejvriskhevi and Kirbali village.
"Given the fact that the violators did not have any documents, the South Ossetian State Security Committee is working of the data,” –it is said in a statement.
Batumi has become a platform for the high-level events - 13th international conference "Georgia's European Way - Stability, Development and Diversity" has opened today.
Prime Minister of Georgia addressed the participants of the Conference. Pursuant to him, it is significant that 13th annual conference takes place in European city of Batumi - the crossroads of Greek, Roman, and Ottoman civilizations from ancient times
"Georgia is Europe" - this was the opening message of the Prime Minister's speech, who considers that Georgia's history is linked forever to Europe's.
"Of course, it is not enough simply to say it to make it happen. We understand this, which is why Georgians are dedicated to doing all that is required-and more-to become a full member of the European Union. I am certain you will agree that our progress is impressive. I am pleased to confirm that Georgia is making steady progress in implementing the Association Agreement and the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement. The Agreement represents our roadmap for reforms in the economy, the environment, energy, industry, transport, consumer protection, and many other areas. We have already overhauled our legal and electoral systems aggressively. We have fulfilled all visa liberalization requirements, according to the European Commission and the European Parliament. Moreover, we met and applied many of the Agreement's provisions even before the agreement officially entered into force on July 1st,"- Prime Minister indicated.
According to him, Georgia is deadly serious about Georgia becoming full member of the EU. He welcomed the European Council's decision two weeks ago to convene a special meeting in Slovakia in mid-September to review the future of European integration.
"We urge EU members to understand that Georgia's commitment to Europe represents not a new problem for the EU to solve but a visible demonstration of everything right with the Union. Georgia does not mean more injury to the EU. Rather, it is a useful tourniquet to injury occurring elsewhere. It is hard for us to imagine a better advertisement for defending our unique European values than Georgia's passionate desire to share them wholly.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is not the time for the EU to turn inward, to become consumed by injuries to our body while ignoring its vibrant healthy parts. We very much hope, therefore, that the process of admitting Georgia will be concluded at the earliest possible opportunity," - Giorgi Kvirikashvili stated.
Head of the Government also elaborated on the NATO Warsaw Summit results. He outlined that Georgia's place is among NATO's most active members. He emphasized Georgia's contribution to the cause of strengthening international peace and noted that Georgia will spare no effort on its path to its Euro-Atlantic integration.
Prime Minister highlighted Georgian reform agenda and importance of holding fair and free environment for the October elections.
"This October Georgia is moving towards legislative elections, which the polls suggest will be highly contested. We have conducted successful free Presidential and local elections, and we will complete the circle with the legislative elections,"-Prime Minister stated.
Giorgi Kvirikashvili also elaborated on regional developments as well as Georgia's leading positions in region and situation in the occupied territories.
"These developments are particularly alarming in Georgia's Abkhazia and South Ossetia - given the absence of any international monitoring on the ground. The EUMM is denied access to the occupied territories and thus cannot fulfill its mandate. We must, therefore, redouble our efforts to restore a comprehensive OSCE presence in Georgia," - Prime Minister stated.
Pursuant to Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Georgia will continue our efforts to restore confidence, promote reconciliation and consolidate Georgian, Abkhazian and Ossetian, as well as other ethnic societies in one country.
He also presented his vision on future of Europe.
"This is kind of Europe we want to see: Europe that is open, tolerant and relevant to citizens; Europe that is self-confident and embraces technological change to promote economic growth; Europe without walls or barriers; Europe that can increasingly take care of its own security and be a provider of peace and stability in the world. In other words, we want to see united and free Europe," - Prime Minister stated.
State Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration David Bakradze and Honorary President of GLOBSEC Policy Institute Rastislav Káčer. The opening ceremony was attended by European Commissioner Johannes Hahn, Speaker of Parliament of Georgia David Bakradze, as well as members of legislative and executive branches of government, representatives of private, civic and academic sectors of EU and its member states as well as Eastern Partnership countries.
The apparatus of the State Ministry on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration organizes the event. GLOBSEC Policy Institute is the partner of this year's conference.