NGO calls on Georgian gov’t not to encourage attacks on media following Tbilisi mayor’s accusations against journalists

Various media outlets protesting the death of TV Pirveli cameraman Lekso Lashkarva on July 11 in front of the Georgian government's building. Photo: Nino Alavidze/, 21 Jul 2021 - 18:32, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Georgian Charter of Journalistic Ethics has called on the Georgian government not to encourage attacks on media following Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze’s accusations against journalists of ‘psychological violence.’ 

Kakha Kaladze compared the activities of the media, which is actively protesting the death of TV Pirveli cameraman Lekso Lashkarava, to the actions of right-wing groups which attacked and injured journalists at the Tbilisi Pride march counter rally on July 5.

No less evil is psychological violence, which unfortunately has been happening in our society for years. We often hear people being humiliated, slandered, bullied on different TV channels, just due to political or other reasons,” said Kaladze yesterday during the nomination for Tbilisi mayor. 

The charter called on the Georgian government to stop discussing laws to restrict freedoms of expression and switch to a ‘working relationship regime.’

We have repeatedly expressed concern over the aggressive rhetoric of politicians, which creates an unsuitable environment in Georgia for media organisations and journalists,” the statement said. 

The ruling Georgian Dream party cut off communication with several critical TV channels, which ‘crossed red lines’ and got involved in a ‘political campaign,’ as the government administration stated.

The statement also noted that the ruling party encouraged the violence against 53 journalists on July 5 with their statements.  

Journalists have been protesting the events of July 5 via organized rallies and performances in the streets, on press conferences or governmental sessions and demanded the resignation of PM Garibashvili and the punishment of the offenders. 

A total of 27 individuals have been arrested for unlawful interference with the journalist’s professional activities.