The 30s of the XX century turned out to be one of the darkest spots in Georgian history. It was a period of impunity, when completely innocent people were shot or deported to remote, uninhabited places without trial or convictionby the Soviet State. Their family members, the elderly, women and children were evicted into the open, their homes confiscated, and, most importantly, their dignity violated with the labels of as a “traitor’s” relatives.
The formal basis for the liquidation of the Memorial was the accusation of the Prosecutor's Office of violating the mandatory labeling of a "foreign agent" by the organization, which occurred more than a year ago.
On December 16, 2021, the Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI) with the financial support of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) held the 3rd International Conference: "Openness of the State Archives and Memory Studies". The event was hybrid, attendance was also possible online, via the ZOOM platform.
Developing effective tools for monitoring large-scale information disseminated online also remains an important challenge in the Georgian context. Usually, for small languages such as Georgian, such tools are rarely available, and existing monitoring tools require considerable human resources and time investment. In addition, the issue of public trust and authority of civil society as one of the most active sectors working against information manipulation, is noteworthy. A low level of trust has a negative impact on the efforts of the civil society sector to reduce the negative effects of information manipulation and disinformation campaigns in society and to prevent the socio-political polarization based on them. Along with the issue of trust, when it comes to mechanisms to combat online information manipulation, the issue of a unified evaluation and monitoring system remains challenging for civil society organizations in the country.
On November 22, 2021 staff members of the Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI), Teona Turashvili and Nino Gozalishvili held an online discussion with students. The participants were presented with the findings of the study conducted on the issues of digital security and rights.
On November 25, 2021, the Supreme Court of Russia will consider the claim for liquidation of the Society Memorial, filed by the Prosecutor General's Office of the Russian Federation.
The participants of the workshop held within the joint academic program of the Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI) and the University of Georgia (UG) were awarded with the certificates.
From October 20 to October 22, 2021, representatives of the Polish National Memory Institute (IPN), Deputy Head of the Department of Archeology Tomasz Borkowski, and archaeologist Krzysztof Mikolajczyk visited Batumi at the invitation of the Bishop of the Diocese of Batumi and Lazeti. While there, they inspected the graves of the repressed people from the years 1937-1938. The visit of Polish specialists was organized by the Institute for Development of Freedom of Information.
In recent years, trends of information manipulation and propaganda in online spaces have been spreading with unprecedented speed and constant alterations of strategy.
From October 11 to October 15, 2021, the Institute for the Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI) carried out the major activities at the St. Mathias Apostle Gymnasium-Boarding School in Batumi as part of a project funded by the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience.