The U.S. Ambassador to Georgia, Kelly Degnan said on October 20 that the rights and safety of journalists must be protected especially during the election campaign period.
“Over the past weeks, we have received increasing reports of Georgian journalists being threatened or injured. Responsible journalism is a fundamental pillar of democracy and is essential to the election process,” U.S. Ambassador highlighted during meeting with civil society organizations, adding that “the rights of journalists must be respected.”
Ambassador Degnan then encouraged civil society representatives “to carefully monitor and report on how journalists are treated during this election period.”
Five journalists and camera operators of Mtavari Arkhi TV and Georgian Public Broadcaster were physically assaulted on September 29 in the southern town of Marneuli while covering election campaign developments. Pro-opposition Mtavari Arkhi TV accused the ruling Georgian Dream party activists of confrontation. The police have been leading investigation into unlawful interference with the journalist’s professional activities.