Solidarity Campaigns

Solidarity Campaigns

August 1, 2023

Medicine for Children!

On April 3, 2023, parents of children with the rare genetic disease achondroplasia gathered at the Government Chancellery. For over a year, they had demanded that the government import and finance vital medicine for their children in Georgia. Their concern was for 17 children.

Soon, the mothers began a 24-hour protest. They spent the night at the government office, surrounded by a black iron fence, demanding a meeting with the Prime Minister.

The government again resorted to disinformation and discrediting tactics. Due to false promises, the parents stopped and renewed their protest several times. To hinder them, the police also forbade the mothers from pitching their tents at night.

However, the tireless strength and dedication of the mothers yielded results, and Georgian society expressed their unconditional support. Numerous organizations and media outlets participated in creating and disseminating an information campaign. Many citizens volunteered for night vigils, and small businesses and their employees brought drinks and food for the protest participants.

After several months of protests, the government was finally forced to import and fund the medicine for the children.

May 5, 2022

In Support of Iulon Gagoshidze

On April 27, 2022, the Chancellery of the National Museum handed a dismissal statement to scientist Iulon Gagoshidze for his signature. With this act, the new museum administration continued Tea Tsulukiani’s repressive policy against individuals who were critical of the government in culture. Naturally, Mr. Iulon will not leave his job voluntarily and continue to fight against injustice. We gathered at the National Museum to support and encourage him.

Once again, many thanks to Mr. Yulon for his immeasurable contribution to the development of our country.

March 12, 2022

Thanks to Lithuania! - Sveikiname!

On March 11, 2022, we gathered at the Embassy of Lithuania to congratulate Georgia’s strategic partner and friend, Lithuania, on its Independence Day! Lithuania was the first Soviet republic to declare independence on March 11, 1990. This marked the beginning of its path to independence. However, similar to Georgia, the Soviet government tried to block this path with tanks and bloody methods. In January 1991, a mass transfer of Soviet military units to Vilnius began. Thousands of Vilnius residents took to the streets—they did not want to return to the Kremlin’s control. Between January 11 and 13, 1991, 14 civilians were killed, and 702 were injured as a result of the intervention of Soviet troops in the capital, Vilnius.

Lithuania said goodbye to the Soviet heritage forever and embarked on a path that led to a democratic system, membership in the European Union, and NATO.

“If only true friends would come to congratulate us in such weather,” the representative of the Lithuanian Embassy told us.

July 1, 2021

Ninotsminda boarding school children

The boarding house of Ninotsminda became the center of special attention of the society on June 2, 2021, after the noisy statement of the public defender, who said that during the last 5 years, between 2016 and 2021, four cases were initiated in the boarding house, on the facts of alleged violence, including the alleged rape. Soon after, in addition to these four cases, an investigation was started on the facts of possible crimes committed against the foster children in the children’s boarding school under the Criminal Law Code of Georgia – violence against minors.

Ninotsminda boarding school for orphaned, abandoned and neglected children functions under the direct supervision of the Patriarchate. The boarding house is a state-licensed facility that houses one of the most vulnerable groups of society – children, and therefore there is an increased public interest for it to be subject to periodic monitoring.

On June 3, “Sirshvilia” came to the action held at the prosecutor’s office with the request to punish the perpetrators and transfer the children to family-type homes. First Giga Makarashvili, and later Zuka Berdzenishvili and several friends of our organization were violently arrested on the spot. Giga Makarashvili requested a medical examination immediately after being transferred to the department, and it turned out that he had a broken arm during his arrest.

Two weeks after the information about the violence spread, Archbishop Spiridon Abuladze of Skhalti, who for years did not allow the representatives of the Public Defender to enter the territory of the boarding house, resigned as the director of the boarding house based on a personal statement, and his place was taken by Bishop Yakob of Bodbel.

On June 5, based on the appeal of “Partnership for Human Rights”, the court made a decision to immediately remove children with disabilities from Ninotsminda boarding school. After this decision, the removal of children from the boarding house began, which was monitored by international organizations protecting children’s rights, the State Welfare Agency and the Public Defender.

Despite the protest, up to 15 minors remain in the boarding school until this stage.

April 20, 2021

Is Abkhazia Georgia after 5 Days of Quarantine?

On April 7, 2021, rescuers found four drowned people in the flooded Enguri River near the village of Shamgona in Zugdidi Municipality. They had attempted to cross Enguri from occupied Abkhazia to the territory controlled by the central government of Georgia.

The reason was that Georgian citizens living beyond the dividing line could not go to the territory controlled by Tbilisi without undergoing a 5-day quarantine. This rule created complications for the citizens residing in Gali, leading residents of the occupied regions to try often to move to the rest of Georgia by detours.

On April 7, a protest rally was held at the Ministry of IDPs, Labor, Health, and Social Protection, demanding the cancellation of the quarantine for the population living in Abkhazia.

As a result of the protest, the 5-day mandatory quarantine for citizens moving from the occupied regions to the territory controlled by the central government of Georgia was canceled on April 19. Instead of quarantine, residents of the occupied areas were tested with an antigen test. The inter-departmental coordination council made the decision on April 14.

May 16, 2020

In Support of Adjara Television

In 2019-2020, the ongoing developments around Adjara Television raised and later confirmed suspicions that the main goal of the organizational and personnel changes initiated by the broadcaster’s management was to alter the critical editorial policy, exert pressure on journalists critical of the management, and limit their independence.

During the administration of the former director, Natia Kapanadze, Adjara Television was positively evaluated by local and international organizations as a balanced and impartial company in a polarized media environment. However, despite this positive assessment, the Council of Advisors dismissed Kapanadze from her position, without justification, by way of impeachment.

The new director was selected after many efforts and after 6 months of recruiting a new advisory board. The advisory board itself was recruited amid sharp controversy. In the end, in the council that elected Giorgi Kokhreidze as director, three of the four active members were represented by the “Georgian Dream” quota. Kokhreidze expressed a critical tone towards journalists on the day of his election as director. Natia Zoidze, the deputy director, faced issues and repeatedly stated that she was under pressure. Later, the terms of Zoidze’s contract were changed, and she left the television. The international organization, “Reporters Without Borders,” responded to Zoidze’s departure, assessing it as “political pressure.”

In February 2020, the new director, Giorgi Kokhreidze, with the advisory board’s approval, canceled the deputies’ positions on the condition that he offer them an equivalent position. In this way, the management aimed to remove individuals not aligned with their agenda from the newsroom, and they succeeded. Disputable disciplinary proceedings were initiated against the head of the information service. Amid these events, journalist Nino Khozrevanidze left the television as a sign of protest.

These developments made it clear that the current changes were intended to alter the TV channel’s editorial policy.

Numerous protests and solidarity actions were held to save the broadcaster. Our organization also participated in the information campaign supporting the channel’s journalists.

March 29, 2020

To Save "Anna's Garden"

A small square between the buildings of the 2nd microdistrict of Varketili Upper Plateau is called “Anna’s Garden.” The square was named in honor of the deceased grandson of one of the neighbors, and the residents have been protecting it to this day.

In 2018, the Tbilisi Architecture Committee issued a permit to construct a high-rise building in the area adjacent to the square, and the company started construction in November 2019. The “Anna’s Garden” neighborhood went into permanent protest mode from that time. A tent was set up near one of the walls of the fenced construction space, where residents were on duty 24 hours a day.

After several months of protests, arrests, and a legal battle, in February 2020, the court decided to suspend the ongoing construction in the territory of “Anna’s Garden.” As a result, the supervision service of the City Hall was obliged to stop the construction temporarily.