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CSOs Criticize Continued Dismissals in Adjara TV

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Coalition for Media Advocacy, a group of a dozen civil society organizations, as well as the Georgian Journalistic Ethics Charter, have slammed continued dismissals in Adjara TV and Radio Company, a public broadcaster based in the city of Batumi on Georgia’s Black Sea Coast.

On July 30, the management of Adjara TV dismissed Bacho Gurabanidze, editor of “Dilis Talgha” (“Morning Wave”) program and Giorgi Murvanidze, creative director and program “Hashtag” author, as well as Guga Kadize, montage editor.

The management said the three employees were sacked for their involvement in a scuffle that took place on the television premises on July 1. Emzar Paksadze, the broadcaster’s acting HR manager said the TV management deems violence unacceptable.

Gurabanidze and Murvanidze claim they were rather sacked for being critical against the new management. Both are members of the Alternative Trade Union of Adjara TV, a group of journalists criticizing policies of new director Giorgi Kokhreidze. Both also reportedly co-organized June 26 rally against Kokhreidze’s recent dismissals. 

The Journalistic Ethics Charter, journalists’ self-regulatory union, said in its statement of July 30 that the ongoing developments in Adjara TV are “extremely concerning.”

The Coalition for Media Advocacy stated early on July 31 they regard the dismissals as “persecution” of critical journalists. It maintained that the measures taken by the Adjara TV leadership are “inhumane, aimed at punishing the employees.”

Follow our tag for more background about developments in Adjara TV.

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