The U.S. Embassy said today’s ruling in the case against government-critical Mtavari Arkhi TV director Nika Gvaramia, former Rustavi 2 chief, “calls into question Georgia’s commitment to rule of law, and further demonstrates the fundamental importance of having an independent, impartial judiciary in Georgia.”
“From its inception, this case has raised questions, including about the timing and the charges,” the U.S. Embassy stated.
“The disturbing pattern of selective investigations and prosecutions targeting those in opposition to the current government undermines the public’s confidence in the police, prosecution, the courts, and the government itself.”
“Particularly at this time, when Georgia has an unprecedented opportunity to advance its Euro-Atlantic integration, even the perception of politicized prosecution is detrimental,” the Embassy added.
The statement further highlighted that “it is the United States’ firm position that a healthy democracy depends on ensuring judicial independence and protecting media freedom.”
“That is why we have repeatedly called for the government to undertake comprehensive reforms to advance these fundamental democratic principles,” the U.S. Embassy concluded.
Also today, Acting UK Ambassador to Georgia Clare Allbess stressed she was “disappointed” at Gvaramia’s sentencing.
She stressed that the UK is a strong defender of “media freedoms, which are essential for citizens to exercise their democratic rights, on all sides of political debate.”
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