Public Defender Echoes Suspension of Accreditation for Representatives of Critical Media by Parliament's Office
Public Defender of Georgia Levan Ioseliani is echoing the suspension of accreditation for the journalists and cameramen of critical media (On.ge, Netgazeti, Publica, Formula, TV Pirveli, Mtavari TV) by the office of the Parliament of Georgia.
As the media representatives point out, the suspension of accreditation has discriminatory grounds. In particular, according to them, the reason for the decision is that they had expressed opinions or asked questions unacceptable to the ruling party.
The Public Defender believes that the Rules for the Accreditation of Mass Media Representatives in the Parliament of Georgia, approved by the order of the Speaker of the Parliament on February 6, 2023, which was used as the basis of the above-mentioned practice, is problematic. In addition, the mentioned rules do not provide for an appeal mechanism, and the decision to suspend journalists’ accreditation does not specify the deadline or procedure for appealing it, which is a necessary requirement of legislation.
It is significant that similar attitudes and decisions towards media representatives prevent the reduction of polarization in the country.
Taking into account the above, the Public Defender calls on the Speaker of the Parliament of Georgia to make changes to the controversial rule in such a way that the regulation does not cause unjustified interference in the activities of media representatives. Any legal measures against journalists should be based on the principle of equality.
The Public Defender, both on the basis of the appeal by the media representatives and on his own initiative, is already studying the above-mentioned facts.