The Media Advocacy Coalition condemns the theft of a work-related hard drive from the car of Nodar Meladze, head of the information service and leading investigative journalist of TV Pirveli. Such an action undermines not only the safety of journalists, but also the freedom of the press as a whole.
According to Nodar Meladze, the work-related external hard drive was stolen from his car today. Other items in the car, such as watches and a glass, are intact. The journalist sees the incident as an attempt at intimidation: "Intimidation by mimicking a robbery."
The media environment in Georgia is facing many challenges and this incident is yet another worrying case. Journalists play an important role in any democratic society in ensuring transparency in decision-making, accountability of government and informing the public.
The Media Advocacy Coalition calls on the authorities to swiftly investigate this incident and bring perpetrators to justice. Measures must also be taken to ensure the safety of journalists and to stop the growing threats against the media.