The Media Advocacy Coalition categorically condemns the incidents of violence, threats, intimidation and illegal interference against members of the media on 8 July. Despite the government's promise to ensure the safety of all citizens, today's events have once again exposed the government's failure to meet its obligations. Despite being informed of the potential for violence, the government again failed to protect the freedom of expression of its citizens.
According to media reports, the camera crew of Mtavari Arkhi TV was attacked while covering the violent groups that came to the event planned by Tbilisi Pride today. The Special Investigative Service began to look into the case after “Media Ombudsman” NGO, one of the members of the Media Advocacy Coalition, informed it about the incident.
Given that journalists provide important information to the public, it is appalling that they are not protected by the state. This instrumentalisation of violence against journalists is a serious threat to press freedom and democracy.
The Media Advocacy Coalition calls on the Georgian authorities to better understand their responsibilities and obligations towards their citizens and the media and to ensure that the facts of violence, threats, intimidation and illegal interference in the professional activities of journalists are effectively investigated and that those guilty are brought to justice.
The Media Advocacy Coalition stands in solidarity with the media and reaffirms its unwavering commitment to the protection of press freedom. The Coalition continues to monitor the ongoing trials and expresses its readiness to assist the media representatives if needed.