Public Defender Finds Public Broadcaster Journalist Purge a ‘Substantial Violation’

The Public Defender’s Office of Georgia concluded that the dismissal of three journalists – Imeda Darsalia, Sofio Zedelashvili, and Tamta Janadze – from the Georgian Public Broadcaster represents a “substantial violation” and requested that they be reinstated to their posts.

Transparency International – Georgia (TIG) revealed the news and stated that it is defending the journalists who were “illegally fired” and who “exposed the TV channels censorship attempts and the existence of a ‘black list’ of pundits.”

According to the organization, alongside the Court, they applied to the Public Defender’s Office with requesting a study into the legality of the 3 journalists’ dismissal from the Public Broadcaster’s “Akhali Kvira” (New Week) show.

Per TI – Georgia, after studying the case materials, the Public Defender’s Office recommended that the employees be reinstated and compensated in accordance with the Labor Code of Georgia. The Public Defender’s Office has given the Public Broadcaster 20 days, in accordance with the law, to respond.

The TV show had initially been off the air since December 2021, when Darsalia, Zedelashvili, and Janadze, held a briefing in March 2022, to accuse the Georgian Public Broadcaster of interfering and censoring their work at the show. Darsalia claimed during the briefing that the network’s management tried to pull the plug on reports critical of Russia and the Soviet Union, and tried to blacklist pundits from the show, among others.

The trio were consequently fired at the end of April, and announced on May 2, that they would be filing a lawsuit against the state-funded TV network on the grounds. “Unfortunately the General Director and the management of the channel with this shameful decision chose to deal with the problem by getting rid of us, instead of sacking the people revealed to be behind the attempt at censorship,” Darsalia said as he announced their decision to file a lawsuit.

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


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