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Sunday, 19 August 2018


Georgian press under pressure

2012-02-03 18:57

Georgian press under pressure. 26313.jpeg

As it turns out, Georgian authorities are best readers of Georgia's independent newspapers. In some regions, as the opposition claims, whole circulations of certain newspapers are bought out in order to present the real situation in news items of state-controlled TV channels.


Tbilisian newspapers such as Resonansi, Palitra Nedeli, All News and others are being hunted for in Honi and Vani regions, - Georgi Tsagareishvili, a deputy with Free Democrats party remarks. - Newspapers are withdrawn from sale particularly when vital events are being covered". The oppositionist believes that as the parliamentary election gets closer the National Movement's struggle against freedom of speech will become still more sophisticated and cruel.

A similar situation is evidenced all around the country with Tbilisi being an exception though things are not so simple there either. This is what Kakha Kukava, leader of Free Georgia, who made a series of visits to Moscow, told GTimes: watching pro-governmental channels people in Tbilisi think that Russia wants to destroy Georgia's statehood.

All news channels of the country are censored, and persecution of journalists for political motives has become normal: and such stories are numerous. Inga Grigolia, ex host of a once popular program Political Week, endorsed an address to US vice president Joseph Biden calling him to pay attention to dictate of the authorities and the party's pressure on national TV channels of Georgia. A short time after Political Week was closed and Grigolia decided to move to Great Britain. Malkhaz Gulashvili, head of Georgian Times holding, was not so lucky. Half a year ago he was a guest of our editorial office and told a lot of interesting things. "TV audience sees that Georgia gets new roads, new good things, that the country joins NATO, wins wars", - Gulashvili told - And newspapers cover the situation in a different light. That is why they are ostracized". By the way, Malkhaz himself fell victim to ostracism: he is in prison now.

As Tsahareishvili predicts, the situation will only get worse as the parliamentary election approaches. Many should remember the authorities using levers of influence at the local elections. Even OSCE experts, usually loyal to Mikheil Saakashvili, remarked: high price of paid advertisements limited opportunities of candidates in media campaigns. Parliamentary election is coming: no doubt certain "activities" will be carried out in the run-up to this meaningful event.

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