Statement by the Media Advocacy Coalition

 As the partner organizations of the Media Advocacy Coalition, we are deeply concerned about the Prime Minister's discrediting rhetoric against Mtavari Arkhi, TV Pirveli and Formula, and to the open threats against Nika Gvaramia.

Today, on July 17, 2021, Gharibashvili held a public event, where some of the media representatives were invited. 

According to the Prime Minister's Press Service, "Prime Minister, Irakli Gharibashvili, believes that Mtavari Arkhi, TV Pirveli and Formula have crossed all red lines, they represent a political party, financed and directly controlled by Mikheil Saakashvili and his radical forces. They are also involved in a political campaign against the Prime Minister. "

Due to the abovementioned, these TV companies were not invited to the event today. Later, on the same day, it became known that the director of Mtavari Arkhi Nika Gvaramia is a victim of violent threats. It is because he had reported and blocked Alt-Info’s Facebook page, which motivated members of violent groups to threaten him. 

Recently, the cases of media rights violations in Georgia have reached a critical point. On July 5-6, 2021, there was a large-scale attack on media representatives. The attack injured 53 members of more than 10 media outlets. Alexander (Lexo) Lashkarava, a cameraman of TV Pirveli, allegedly died as a result of the injuries received on July 5 while he was on duty. 

The Prime Minister’s position to deny some media outlets access to a public event, hinders the media from carrying out its professional duties. In addition, it restricts public access to information about an event, which is a subject of public interest. When media representatives are the victims of numerous acts of violence and threats, the Prime Minister's discriminatory decision today reinforces the polarization in the country and encourages violence, intimidation, hostility and discrimination against journalists and cameramen.

🔴 We call on the Prime Minister of Georgia to stop discrediting media and take into consideration   general principles of public accountability

🔴We call on the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia to launch an investigation into the threats against Nika Gvaramia

Georgian Charter of Journalistic Ethics

Georgian Young Lawyers Association

Transparency International - Georgia

TV network

Media Development Foundation

Alliance of Regional Broadcasters

Media rights

Rights Georgia

Open Society Georgia Foundation

International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy