Public Defender's Statement on Refusal of Maestro TV to Circulate GYLA’s Social Advertisement

The Public Defender is echoing the statement of non-governmental organizations, according to which, Maestro TV company refused to circulate a social advertisement of the Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA). The letter sent by Maestro TV to GYLA says that the motive of the decision was the recent events developed between GYLA and Maestro TV. According to the statement, the TV company’s refusal was conditioned by the criticism expressed by GYLA against Maestro TV. In particular, suspension of labour relations for 32 employees of the TV company was assessed by the NGO as illegal.

The Public Defender considers that Maestro’s refusal due to GYLA’s expressed opinion, as a result of which the NGO could not use its legal right, represents differentiated treatment on grounds of different opinion.

The Public Defender considers that the most important function and one of the basic principles for the functioning of a democratic society, including the NGO sector, is expression of views about topical issues as well as criticism, which sometimes may be unacceptable for certain persons.

Paragraph 1 of article 65 of the Law of Georgia on Broadcaster obliges broadcasters to circulate social advertisements free of charge and without discrimination.

Given the abovementioned, the Public Defender calls on Maestro TV to eliminate discriminatory attitude and to circulate GYLA’s social advertisement in compliance with the law.

*It is noteworthy that the social advertisement concerns the problem of early marriage, which is one of the important challenges in our country and it is necessary to raise public awareness in this field.

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