Georgia: journalists’ resignations at Rustavi 2 TV reveal alarming decline in media freedom

Georgian main opposition TV channel Rustavi 2 faced mass resignations after the new management has fired several prominent journalists and producers in early September. The Independent Association of Georgian Journalists (IAGJ) warns against a clear attempt at political control over the media in Georgia and denounces the inaction of the international community to improve media pluralism in the country. Rustavi 2 is one of the most watched TV channels in Georgia and was once known as the main opposition television company, close to the United National Movement party. Since the new shareholder Kibar Khalvashi named his lawyer Paata Salia as…

Georgia: EFJ/IFJ condemn police’s heavy handed action against journalists amid riots at Parliament

According to the Independent Association of Georgian Journalists (IAGJ), journalists were forcefully removed from the Georgian Parliament building and at least ten more were injured while covering protests around Parliament in the capital Tbilisi on 20th June. The International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ/EFJ) have urged the authorities to stop targeting journalists and to respect press freedom and the right to information. Reports say that clashes between the riot police and the protesters started after Sergei Gavrilov, a Russian national who supports the independence of the Georgian breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and a supporter of Vladimir…

Azerbaijan: exiled journalist abducted, detained and faces charges

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) is supporting its affiliate, the Independent Association of Georgian Journalists (IAGJ), in calling to Georgian Government to take all possible measures to free Azeri journalist Afqan Mukhtarli. He was abducted by special services on May 29 in Tbilisi and secretly taken to Baku prison. The missing of Mukhtarli was reported by his wife Leyla Mustafayeva who, according to Eurasianet, said that her husband last called her on the evening of 29 May just a few blocks away from their home and then did not show up. The next day the Georgian police stated that a search…

Three journalists attacked in broad daylight in Tbilisi

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) strongly condemns an attack that occurred yesterday, 12 January, in the capital city of Georgia, Tbilisi. The three journalists, Levan Sutidze, Irakli Kiknavelidze, Nino Macharashvili, and Avto Koridz, working for the Georgian TV and website Tabula were attacked at a restaurant. The journalists suffered from minor injuries. Following the attack, Sutidze issued a statement on his Facebook page claiming that three unknown individuals attacked him and his colleagues. He believed that the reason for the assault was motivated by the critical view of Georgian TV towards the Georgian Church. Allegedly, one of the attackers was…

Georgian TV channel Rustavi 2 faces legal threats

Update (06.11.2015). The EFJ has joined today its Georgian affiliate, IAGJ, to express concerns related to the appointment of a new pro-government management to the Rustavi 2 TV company in Georgia, following a judiciary decision. We ask the Tbilisi City Court not to interfere on Rustavi 2’s editorial independence. ——————- The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) together with its Georgian affiliate, the Independent Association of Georgian Journalists (IAGJ), criticised today the lawsuit launched against the Georgian television channel Rustavi 2 as a threat to media freedom and pluralism in the country. On August 5, the Tbilisi City Court issued a court order freezing the…