U.S. Ambassador Kelly Degnan “categorically” condemned violence and intimidation against media in Georgia after meeting with the media watchdogs Georgian Charter of Journalistic Ethics and Media Advocacy Coalition, to discuss press freedoms.
Amb. Degnan denoted on July 12 that the discussion focused on the “alarming degradation in the media environment and a troubling increase in harassment, persecution, and physical attacks on members of the press.”
She emphasized that democracies must ensure independent media across the political spectrum which will be “free to inform the public and document key events and developments in their communities.”
“A responsible, ethical media is vital in holding those in authority accountable for their actions,” she added. Against this backdrop, the Ambassador reiterated support for the Charter’s work supporting journalists in producing “fair, balanced, and ethical reporting.”
Amb. Degnan underscored that those who attack journalists must be held accountable. “The shocking violence on July 5th and 6th reminds us of the importance of holding the organizers of violence responsible,” she added.
The Ambassador urged the government to realize its responsibility and take “proactive steps to protect the safety and security of journalists.” “There can be no impunity for those who would threaten Georgia’s democracy by attacking journalists – regardless of political viewpoints,” she concluded.