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CSOs Say TV Chief Jailing ‘Selective Conviction’

42 Georgian civil society organizations have said they perceive the prison sentence for Nika Gvaramia, critical Mtavari Arkhi TV chief, “as a warning and threat to other independent media outlets to stop critical coverage of the govt’s performance, to cease watchdog activities and to refrain from the disclosure of facts undesirable to the government.”

“The imprisonment of the General Director of a critical media outlet, including on the basis of managerial decisions, is yet another example of selective investigation, prosecution, and conviction,” CSOs said in the joint statement released on May 17.

The organizations also noted that the development “may have a negative impact” on Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations.

Transparency International Georgia, Georgian Young Lawyers Association, International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED), and the Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI) were among those who signed the declaration.

The ruling marked the first time that an opposition-minded TV chief has been jailed in independent Georgia, which is currently awaiting a decision on its EU membership candidacy in the coming weeks after it submitted its EU Questionnaire on May 10.

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This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)


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