Public Defender of Georgia addresses the dismissal of journalists of the TV company Rustavi 2
On August 20, 2019 the Public Defender of Georgia was informed that several journalists were dismissed/or are planned to be dismissed from TV company Rustavi 2. Reportedly, their different opinion became the ground of such release.
Since dismissal of journalists might be linked to their different opinions, Public Defender expresses her readiness to examine individual cases, to study and assess any materials of the case, including employment contracts within her mandate of fight against discrimination, if so applied.
With the public statement of July 18, 2019 as well as during the meeting with the Director General of the TV company Rustavi 2, Public Defender emphasized that current processes shall not adversely affect the preservation of pluralistic media environment in the country. Meanwhile, labor rights of journalists employed in the company and their professional freedom shall be ensured. Nevertheless, despite the promises of the company management, disseminated information reports that employment contracts are terminated with the head of the news service and the journalists of the leading talk shows, which will naturally lead to a change in the channel's information policy. As for the dismissed journalists, Public Defender deems that the grounds for their release require further examination and assessment in order to exclude alleged discriminatory grounds.