19 July 2019, 08:40
Change of "Rustavi-2" owner gives authorities chance to control TV Company
Authorities have achieved the transfer of the "Rustavi-2" TV Company to Kibar Khalvashi in order to influence the company's editorial policy, the Georgian experts interviewed by the "Caucasian Knot" believe.
The "Caucasian Knot" has reported he European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) recognized as legitimate the decision of the Supreme Court of Georgia to transfer the assets of the "Rustavi-2" TV Channel to Kibar Khalvashi, the former owner of the TV Company. The businessman himself promised not to interfere in the editorial policy of the TV Channel. However, he dismissed Nika Gvaramiya and appointed his lawyer Paata Saliya to the position of general director.
Georgian authorities spent over a million euros on the trial at the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR); and experts from France and the UK were attracted, said Mamuka Zhgenti, an expert at the Georgian Institute of European Values. "The authorities have undertaken everything to change the editorial policy of the TV Company," Mr Zhgenti has pointed out to the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.
In Georgia, "Rustavi-2" is associated with the freedom of speech, expression of freedom of thought and the country's European integration, Nika Chitadze, the head of the Centre for Security and International Relations Studies, told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent. "Bidzina Ivanishvili once said that if you don't watch "Rustavi-2", then everything is ideal in Georgia. The authorities want to change the company's editorial policy, so that people imagine that they live in an ideal state," Mr Chitadze believes.
In his opinion, the change in the TV Company's format will affect the development of democracy in Georgia and the situation with human rights. The country's authorities will feel that "they can buy everything in Georgia; and in this case we'll have to say goodbye to democracy for a long time," Nika Chitadze has added.
This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on July 18, 2019 at 08:11 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.
Author: Inna Kukudzhanova; Source: CK correspondent