The Media Advocacy Coalition, a press freedoms watchdog, released a statement urging President Salome Zurabishvili to pardon imprisoned Mtavari Arkhi TV chief Nika Gvaramia, and to “play a positive role in the process of integration into the European Union.”
The Coalition relies on the assessments of the Public Defender’s Office and Transparency International – Georgia, according to which the charges against Gvaramia do not contain the “signs” for the case to fall under criminal law.
“Accordingly, Nika Gvaramia’s case is politically motivated and serves to punish him as the head of a media that is critical of the government,” the Coalition stated.
The Coalition also pointed out that Gvaramia’s case was included in the European Parliamnet’s resolution on media freedom and the safety of journalists in Georgia.
Thus, they believe that the Court of Appeal’s decision to keep Gvaramia in prison, “contradicts the requirements of a pluralistic media environment and an independent and impartial court set by the European Commission for Georgia to receive [EU candidate] status.”
“This decision of the court further distanced Georgia from the status of a candidate for the European Union and muddled the European future of our country,” they emphasized.
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- 02/11/2022 – U.S. Embassy: Gvaramia’s Continued Imprisonment ‘Puts at Risk’ Georgia’s European Future