Over 70 Georgian media organizations, including Civil Georgia (Civil.ge) have appealed to the international community in the aftermath of the death of TV Pirveli cameraman Aleksandre Lashkarava, saying that “cases of violation of the rights of media representatives in Georgia have reached a critical level.”
The signatory media organizations asked the representatives of the diplomatic corps and international organizations accredited in Georgia immediately and effectively respond “to the purposive persecution of media representatives on Rustaveli Avenue on July 5, the facts of damage to health, obstruction of professional duties and inaction of the Georgian government.”
“Dozens of cases against the media are still uninvestigated. The authorities fail to ensure the safety of journalists, while the statements by the officials of the ruling party encourage the violence even more,” highlighted the statement of July 11.
The media organizations asserted that despite the preliminary calls from the civil society, the authorities have not taken appropriate measures to protect the media representatives at July 5 far-right counter-protest against Tbilisi Pride march, which left at least 53 journalists, including Lashkarava, attacked.
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The signatories said various violent groups continue to openly threaten journalists and cameramen, to which the law enforcement agencies do not respond accordingly. They added that “the organizers of the violent demonstration of July 5, whose identities are not known, have not been arrested either.”
The signatory media organizations also recalled that earlier the attacks on journalists, obstruction of media activities and violence have not been investigated so far and the issue of responsibility of the organizers of the violent groups has not been outlined.
Among the signatory organizations are Mtavari Arkhi TV, Formula TV, Rustavi 2 TV, TV Pirveli, Imedi TV, Kavkasia TV, The Charter of Journalistic Ethics, Georgian Public Broadcaster, Adjara Public Broadcaster, InterPressNews.ge, Tabula, Netgazeti and Batumelebi, Publika, On.ge, OC Media, JAMNews and Civil Georgia (Civil.ge).
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