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Media Diary of the Repression againts Journalists



As tensions escalate and threats against journalists and media outlets persist amidst protests against the "Russian Law" in Georgia, "Media Voice" has launched a live-blogging initiative.


We document all violent attacks targeting journalists and media entities, providing real-time updates on the unfolding developments.


Updated daily, the diary serves as a crucial resource, shedding light on the challenges faced by the media. Stay informed about the ongoing protests and assaults on media freedom in Georgia.



May 9-10, 2024

 

Violent pro-government groups persist in intimidating and stigmatizing journalists, aiming to suppress critical voices within the media. These attacks are directly linked to journalists' involvement in anti-Russian protest campaigns.

 

On May 9, pro-government groups posted hate speech, stigmatizing messages, and offensive content near the residence and office of Gela Mtivlishvili, the editor of "Mtis Ambebi" (“Mountain News”). Similar posters were affixed to the door of Nino Zuriashvili's residence, the chair of the board of the investigative “studio Monitor.” Additionally, on May 10, Nino Zuriashvili's car was vandalized.

 

The trend of repression against critical media outlets is deeply concerning, echoing tactics reminiscent of the Kremlin's playbook under Putin's regime. Starting from May 6, telephone threats targeted civil activists, politicians, journalists, and their families, persisting for several days and escalating to incidents of physical violence.

 

The non-governmental organization "Media Ombudsmen" has petitioned relevant authorities to investigate the threats, systematic persecution, and breaches of personal data protection against three journalists (Nino Zuriashvili, Nana Biganishvili, and Natia Kuprashvili).

 

On May 9, prominent blogger Ucha Japaridze was arrested from his residence, prompting public outcry and protests. According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia, Japaridze was arrested under Article 286, Part 4, and Article 236, Part 3 of the Criminal Code, pertaining to the illegal access to computer data or systems and possession of firearms and ammunition. However, as corroborated by the blogger's family and lawyers, only two of the seized weapons were genuine and properly registered, with the rest being toy guns and plastic bullets used for “strike ball” games. Preceding his arrest, blogger Abashidze had received threats, leading him to prerecord a video anticipating his apprehension. The public defender issued a critical statement in response.

 

On the night of May 10, journalists near the premises of “TV Pirveli” witnessed suspected perpetrators, whom they promptly reported to patrol police. Regrettably, there was no immediate response. When queried by a "TV Pirveli" journalist, the Chairman of the Parliament, Papuashvili, declined to comment on the matter, citing limitations in his authority regarding the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

 

 

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