Over 50 Georgian media outlets and civil society organizations have urged European Council President, Charles Michel to continue his “close engagement with Georgia’s leadership and speak publicly against democratic setbacks [in Georgia], and work with Georgia’s civil society to ensure the country’s progress on the path to the Euro-Atlantic integration.”
The letter was unveiled today as President Charles Michel is visiting Georgia to attend Batumi International Conference, coming few days after July 5 anti-LGBT pride pogroms in Tbilisi, which left 53 journalists injured, including cameraman Aleksandre Lashkarava, who passed away few days after the attack.
In the missive, the signatories accused the Georgian Dream government of appointing the Supreme Court justices in violation of Michel-mediated April 19 Agreement, and “the lack of political will to undertake meaningful changes” regarding electoral reforms ahead of October 2021 local elections.
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The signatories also said although police arrested several perpetrators of homophobic violence, “the organizers of the pogroms remain at large.” “The ruling party continues attacks on the media and boycotts critical media outlets, flouting Georgia’s obligations on freedom of expression and information,” the letter underscored.
“Now more than ever, Georgia’s international partners should stand united in support of democracy and fundamental freedoms in the country,” the Georgian media organizations and CSOs asserted.
Among the letter signatories are CSOs — International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED), Transparency International Georgia, Georgian Young Lawyers Association, Open Society Foundation, as well as media outlets, including Mtavari Arkhi TV, Formula TV, TV Pirveli, TV Kavkasia, Publika, Netgazeti, and Tabula, among others.