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08.08.2015 13:08

Internews-Georgia Statement on the Recent Developments in Relation to Rustavi 2 Broadcasting Company

Media Ge

Just as 20 years ago, now also Internews-Georgia stands beside Rustavi 2 Broadcasting Company.  Just as before, the Organization will use all the possible means, including international contacts, for mobilizing the world media and media-organizations, in order for the court dispute between the former and current shareholders of the Broadcasting Company to be conducted in framework of Georgian Constitution and legality, transparently and without any political pressure. 

For 20 years, Internews-Georgia Fund has been working for the development of independent Georgian media.  It is the first non-governmental organization, which has helped independent Georgian broadcasters in institutional formation, by organizing educational initiatives and providing technical support. 

In this respect, Internews-Georgia has had close partnership with Rustavi 2 Broadcasting Company, from the first day of its founding. 

Back in 1995, during the first attack at the Broadcasting Company, when Rustavi 2 was closed during nine months, Internews announced active support to the broadcasting company by providing legal assistance and informing international organizations.  Internews stood beside Rustavi 2 in 2000, when another attack at the independent TV-Company was organized by the government, for oppressing alternative opinion. 

Currently, as it is known, the full-scale functioning of the television and journalistic activity is again in threat. 

Despite the fact that the Court is acting within a short period of time and vigorously (based on the lawsuit from a former shareholder, the Enforcement Bureau has put a lien on the shares of the TV-Company partners, its movable and immovable property and commercial activity of the Company has been restricted) , we, at the given stage do not have the compelling reason to think that the government is supporting the processes underway against Rustavi 2, although, the political background, negative and quite frequently interfering attitude of the government towards the given television, which is openly expressed by high-ranking officials, raise serious doubts. 

Internews-Georgia, together with its international partners closely monitors the developments in relation to Rustavi 2 Broadcasting Company and hopes that the court dispute will be conducted transparently, freely from political interests and influences and what is the most important, the freedom of speech will not be put under risk again and Rustavi 2 journalists will be able to conduct their duties properly, as the freedom of speech is the guarantee of the existence of a democratic country.  

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