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Journalist demarche2010-03-20 00:30
Georgia is again in distress - now over mass media. There have been no new fake stories on Georgian TV - apparently due to reproaches from the international community, but a Georgian journalist dared to spoil the reputation of "the beacon of democracy" seeking political asylum for his family to escape threats from authorities.
This time it is Bondo Kurdadze, Shansi (Chance) newspaper editor-in-chief, who dispelled the myth of Caucasus's most independent and democratic mass media. The journalist that has never been caught on criticizing the country's political line and authorities asked Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich for political asylum. As Trend News reports with reference to Resonansi newspaper, in a letter he sent to Viktor Yanukovich he told about threats the authorities were nagging his family with over the phone.
Bondo Kurdadze remarks he seeks political asylum only for his wife and their three children in the neighborly state - no more "orange" Ukraine - emphasizing he had never before made statements about threats apprehensive of his family's security. Now, obviously, he's flown off the handle. Kurdadze also says about his intention to return to Tbilisi and pursue the struggle. The event has not been commented in Tbilisi yet - a journalist of a not very popular newspaper is not on the agenda since the scandal over the "simulated chronicle" on the Georgian-Russian war shown last week that caused a stir worldwide is still roaring.
It seems pretty hard to defend the image of free and unbiased media and comply with Mikheil Saakashvili's recent statement that "Georgia was the first to have created a precedent of establishing a modern state in Caucasus". Recent events in Georgia prove the irony of journalists comment Saakashvili's statement above with unconcealed sarcasm: yeah, Georgia drives everyone mad...
Maybe Bondo Kurdadze misevaluated the processes going on in the country deciding to seek refuge for his family in Ukraine. At least this is what Ia Antadze, a media expert is driving at. According to Georgian media she finds it difficult to explain why the authorities should be pursuing Kurdadze since she hasn't seen a product made by the journalist that would be unacceptable to the country's leadership. For fairness' sake, Shansi editor-in-chief has never been opposition-oriented. But taking pains to find some information on Bondo Kurdadze one can learn that last year he threatened to have his arm amputated in a protest.
On February 23 2009 Vzglyad web newspaper reported: "On Monday Bondo Kurdadze, a well-known Georgian journalist published an open letter revealing his intention to have his right arm amputated as a gesture of defiance. This desperate statement was made after his newspaper "went dead". It was remarked that Kurdadze had been in charge of Chance independent newspaper published from 1989 to 1998. Its latest editor-in-chief was current president Mikheil Saakashvili, then a deputy. However in 1998 the newspaper was liquidated because of the state's debt, and now Bondo Kurdadze's property is put on sale: he fails to pay bank loans.