Screenshot from Adjara TV broadcasting: https://www.ajaratv.ge

14 April 2020, 11:36

"Adjara TV" journalists complain of violation of their labour rights

On April 13, employees of the "Adjara Public TV" have lodged a collective lawsuit against Giorgi Kokhreidze, the director of the channel, in which they demand from him to stop interfering in journalists' work and abolish the imposed disciplinary punishments, Teona Kharabadze, a journalist, told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on November 22, 2019, the Board of the Adjara's Public Broadcaster elected Giorgi Kokhreidze to head the TV channel. On February 24, 2020, protesters in Batumi accused the new leadership of the TV Company of unjustly dismissing employees, in particular, of Maya Merkviladze, the deputy director of the news service. On February 28, Shorena Glonti, the head of the news service, was fired. On March 1, the CHRTM called on the Parliament and Supreme Council of the Adjara Autonomy to pay attention to the situation in the "Adjara" TV Company.

On February 2, Natiya Zoidze, a deputy director of the "Adjara" TV, announced her resignation after complaints about new director's attempts to change the editorial policy. Mr Kokhreidze is linked to the "Georgian Dream" Party; and his actions are aimed at injection self-censorship into his subordinates, the analysts interviewed by the "Caucasian Knot" believe.

"The lawyers of the Centre (the NGO "Centre for Human Rights Training and Monitoring") have helped us to draw up a collective lawsuit of the journalist, Teona Kharabadze, the editor, Maya Mekrkviladze, and the producer, Tsira Tumanidze. They demand from the director to stop illegally interfering in the journalists' work in accordance with the powers of the public broadcaster," Ms Kharabadze has explained.

The website of the above NGO has posted a report stating that in March 2020, "the director of the 'Adjara TV' Broadcasting Company restricted the work of the news journalist, Teona Kharabadze, and sent her to work in Kutaisi for no reason."

With the support of lawyers of the above Centre, the journalist, Teona Bakuridze, has also filed a lawsuit against the unlawful disciplinary penalty imposed on her. She told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent that she had fallen victim to discrimination because of her views.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on April 14, 2020 at 05:45 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Galina Gotua; Source: CK correspondent

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