The Media Advocacy Coalition categorically condemns the suspension of the accreditation of Formula TV journalists in the Parliament.
According to Formula TV, the Parliament suspended the accreditation of the TV crew, journalist Giorgi Kikabidze and cameraman Tedo Kvachakhia, for a month because of asking ruling party MP Irakli Zarkua questions about Putin's decision. Irakli Zarkua himself asked the Speaker of Parliament, Shalva Papuashvili, to suspend the TV crew's accreditation.
This is not the first time that the Parliament has suspended media accreditation in a discriminatory manner. Instead of ensuring openness and pluralism in the country, the Georgian Parliament is systematically taking punitive measures against media.
The work of journalists is vital to the functioning of democracy and it is unacceptable to restrict their ability to report on issues of public interest. The role of the media in a democracy is to reveal the truth, report on important events and monitor the activities of those in power.
The Coalition calls on the Parliament to immediately restore the accreditation of Formula TV journalists, to cancel the controversial articles of the Speaker's decree on the procedure for accrediting representatives of the mass media, and to ensure that journalists are not prevented from carrying out their professional duties.
The Coalition calls on the ruling Georgian Dream party to respect and protect media freedom, which is the cornerstone of a democratic society.