Joint Statement by the Embassy of the United States of America and the Delegation of the European Union in agreement with the Heads of Mission of the EU Member States in Georgia
The Delegation of the European Union in agreement with the Heads of Mission of the EU Member States in Georgia and the Embassy of the United States of America express our concern related to the appointment of a new management to the Rustavi 2 TV company.
In light of the recent interim decision of the Constitutional Court and considering that the substantial judgment of the first instance court in the Rustavi 2 case does not envisage immediate enforcement, the preventive measures adopted on 5 November raise serious questions about the independence of the judiciary and the actual degree of freedom of the media in Georgia.
As our respective Missions have publicly stated many times, freedom of media and independence of the judiciary are essential foundations of a democracy, and diverse opinions should be encouraged in democratic societies. We call on all political actors to refrain from any step or statement that could prevent the Georgian judiciary from ruling dispassionately on this case.
The government and judicial institutions need to uphold the principles of media freedom and political pluralism that are an integral part of Georgia's declared aspirations.
We will continue to monitor developments closely and raise concerns with all relevant parties as appropriate.