Public Defender's Statement on Violence against Journalists
According to the reports spread on May 4, 2021, during the preparation of a TV story on the territory of the Davit-Gareji monastery complex, journalists of the Mtavari TV company were abused by the clergy and other persons. According to the journalists, their equipment was also damaged.
It is unfortunate that this is not the first case of physical assault on representatives of a critical media outlet this year. The Public Defender assessed the recently intensified assaults, threats and offences against journalists in the 2020 Human Rights Report as well.
The Public Defender’s Office condemns all forms of violence against representative of the media and emphasizes the vital role of a free and critical media environment for a democratic society, as well as its special role in promoting the respect for the rule of law and human rights in the country.
We call on the investigative bodies to investigate the attacks on journalists in a timely and effective manner, as well as to identify and hold all relevant persons responsible for the past criminal incidents against journalists and representatives of TV companies, in order to prevent the creation of an environment of impunity.
In addition, we call on all relevant agencies and officials to ensure a safe and supportive environment for the smooth performance of activities by media representatives.