Public Defender appeals to the Prosecutor’s Office with the request to investigate the facts of interference with journalistic activities.
In the statement publicized 21 May the Public Defender requests launch of investigation of the fact of interference with journalistic activity of GNS Studio employees by the Security Police officers of Dusheti region Gamgeoba (Council).
The statement reads that according to the clarification given to the Public Defender of Georgia, 11 May 2012 GNS journalists ZurabPataridze and BelaZakaidze went to the Dusheti region Gamgeoba building for interviewing Dusheti region Gamgebeli (governor). As asked by the journalist ZurabParaidze (cameraman) attempted to film the Gamgeoba building from 20-30 meters away; the given action caused aggressive response from the Security Police officers – ZurabPataridze was prohibited to shoot, was verbally abused and threatened to be beaten up.
“The given fact is evidenced by the footage that we have. The video clearly shows how DushetiGamgeoba Security Police officers interfere with journalistic activity of ZurabPataridze and BelaZakaidze,” the statement reads and clarifies that the cameraman attempted to film the Gamgeoba building façade and its premises, which is not restricted by Georgian legislation.
Public Defender of Georgia is also investigating the 20 May fact of journalist Gela Mtivlishvili’s detainment and abuse.
“It is concerning that facts of interference with journalistic activities and abuse of journalists have frequented lately. It is also unfortunate that law enforcing bodies have not adequately reacted to any such fact yet,” the Public Defender states and “once again appeals to all the coinciding bodies to implement fast and effective measures for creating conditions for physical security of media representatives and non-interference with their professional activity.”