Opposition, Rustaveli avenue, "Freedom square" metro station. Photo of "Caucasian Knot"

09 June 2009, 23:40

In Georgia, journalists demand ensuring freedom of mass media

On June 8, several dozens of Georgian journalists and members of NGOs held a protest action at the building of the National Commission for Communications with a demand to ensure the freedom of mass media.

By means of this protest action, the media representatives expressed their disagreement with the Commission's refusal to grant a satellite broadcasting license to the "Maestro" Independent TV Company. The Company is considered to be oppositional.

Mamuka Glonti, one of the organizers of the action and head of the "Maestro", told journalists that "in Georgia, dissemination of independent and objective information is highly complicated," as reported by the "Interfax" Agency.

The participants of the action fastened their mouths, exposed posters "Freedom to the word!" and blocked traffic in one of the streets for a couple of minutes.

The National Commission for Communications should have considered licensing of the "Maestro" last week; however, it postponed the sitting referring to the absence of quorum. Journalists have promised to continue their protest actions, as reported by Channel One.

"June 5 was the deadline for the Commission to decide on issuing a license on satellite broadcasting to the 'Maestro'. But the sitting was postponed. I think the reason was that they have not enough imagination to invent the reason for refusal," said Mr Glonti at a briefing on June 5.

We remind you that broadcasting of "Maestro" in Rustavi was stopped on May 30. Shortly before the stop, as reported by Mamuka Glonti, managers of the cable television of Rustavi contacted him and said that they had been pressed by the authorities to stop broadcasting of his Company.

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