Public Defender Establishes Discrimination Against Imedi TV on Grounds of Different Opinion
On March 19, 2021, the Public Defender of Georgia established discrimination against Imedi TV on the ground of different opinion in labour relations. In particular, the Public Defender held that A. Ts. had been stripped of presenter’s functions due to the different opinion expressed by the latter and that there had been the interference with the right to work on the ground of different opinion.
The Public Defender addressed Imedi TV with a recommendation not to allow discriminatory treatment in labour relations and/or on other grounds and to conduct its activities in accordance with the principle of equality in the future, as well as to ensure the implementation of equality policy in accordance with the Law of Georgia on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination, domestic legal acts and other documents.
After analyzing the parties' positions, audio recordings and legal standards, the Public Defender considered that the communication between the applicant and the Imedi TV management relating to the editorial policy clearly indicated the different views of the parties. A. Ts. expressed a number of views that did not match the company's visions. In addition, A. Ts. did not follow the instruction of the management not to air one of the TV stories and openly stated about interference with the editorial independence by the management in the last programme.
The recommendation also states that shortly after the first conversation between the applicant and the director of the TV station (December 24, 2019), the Business programme was closed (February 19, 2020) and the removal of the applicant as a presenter through functional changes coincided with the expression of a different opinion by the latter.