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MEPs Call on Georgian President to Pardon Nika Gvaramia

Several Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have written to Salome Zurabishvili, the President of Georgia, asking her to pardon Nika Gvaramia, the Director of the main opposition TV channel Mtavari. Gvaramia was sentenced on May 16, 2022, and his appeal was rejected on November 2, 2022.

The MEPs wrote that they are reiterating their condemnation “of the politically motivated sentence of Mr. Nika Gvaramia”. They write that “critical media voices should never be silenced” noting that “they are an essential element of a vibrant democracy.” The MEPs are calling on President Zurabishvili to consider “activating the power of the Presidential pardon so that Mr. Gvaramia is released from prison.”

The letter goes on to state that “Georgia has clearly declared its European aspirations since its independence. This European path is enshrined in the Constitution, and it is currently at its historical maximum, with the support of almost 90% of the Georgian people, who have consistently demonstrated their commitment to a European future.” The MEPs also highlight that “two of the addressed recommendations [from the European Council] are to undertake more vigorous efforts to guarantee a free, pluralistic, and independent media environment, particularly by ensuring that criminal procedures brought against media owners fulfil the highest legal standards by launching impartial, effective, and timely investigations in cases involving media professionals, and ensure a judiciary that is fully and truly independent, accountable, and impartial along the entire judicial institutional chain.”

The MEPs conclude their expressing hope that the President will take this step “and help Georgia getting closer to its national goal – EU membership”.

Among the MEPs signing the letter are Marketa Gregorova, Patrick Breyer, Fabio Massimo Castaldo, Anna Fotyga, Raphaël Glucksmann, Vlad Gheorghe, Andrzei Halicki, Rasa Jukneviciene, Marina Kaljurand, Marcel Kolaja, Andrius Kubilius, Pierre Larrouturou, Miriam Lexmann, Dace Melbarde, Karen Melchior, Sven Miser, Mikulas Peksa, Peter Pollák, and Michaela Sojdrova.

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


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