25 July 2019, 15:19
Georgian NGOs claim threat to freedom of speech after change of owner at "Rustavi-2"
The change of owner at the "Rustavi-2" TV Company may lead to a change in the editorial policy of the opposition-oriented TV Channel, declare Georgian human rights defenders in a letter addressed to 14 international organizations. The owner of the TV Channel assures that he guarantees journalists the preservation of independence.
The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on July 18, opponents of the change of the owner at the "Rustavi-2" TV Company held a rally in front of the TV Company building. The activists believe that residents of Georgia face risk of losing access to objective information about the situation in the country. The authorities sought the decision on the transfer of the TV Channel to Kibar Khalvashi in order to influence the TV Company's editorial policy, believe interviewed experts.
On July 18, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) recognized as legitimate the decision pronounced in 2015 by the Supreme Court (SC) of Georgia to transfer the assets of the "Rustavi-2" TV Channel to its former owner Kibar Khalvashi.
The events around the "Rustavi-2" TV Channel threaten freedom of speech in Georgia, states the letter prepared by 20 NGOs. The authors of the letter note that the TV Channel criticizes the ruling "Georgian Dream" Party and that fact provokes its discontent.
Author: Galina Gotua; Source: CK correspondent