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Radio Hereti Blames Employee of Gurjaani District Administration in Interference in Professional Activities of a Journalist

26.01.2010
Radio Hereti blames employee of Gurjaani district administration Maia Bitarashvili in interference in professional activities of a journalist. According to the Radio-Station, the local official initially did not allow correspondent for the talk-show “Voice” Madona Batiashvili to speak on-live; then she called upon the population to thank to the district governor who was in the studio by that time.

Madona Batiashvili calls to Radio “Hereti” every Saturday from various parts of Kakheti region and makes on-live reportage from there. On January 23, she was in the Ossetian village of Kitaani in Gurjaani district and spoke about local problems. Madona Batiashvili said the employee of the local administration threatened her in the village.

The official demanded the journalist to leave the village and then warned against arriving there next time; otherwise she threatened with creating some problems.

“Before the on-live reportage started, locals told me that authority did not pay attention to them and did not keep their promises. Specialist of the district administration Maia Bitarashvili irritated by this fact and started to threaten the journalist. She called upon the people gathered around the journalist to express gratitude towards district governor Giorgi Chiviashvili and warned them not to say anything against him on-live. She brought supporters of the local government at the place and said everybody had mobile phones and could call the studio if local residents started criticizing the government. Consequently, the on-live reportage was delayed but when it started local residents avoided speaking about their problems openly,” said Madona Batiashvili.

According to the presenter of the talk-show Khatuna Gogashvili attempt of interference during on-live reportages has become common fact recently. She said similar incidents happened in the village of Vakiri in Sighnaghi district, in Dedoplistskaro district, in the village of Velistsikhe and Telavi district.

Gurjaani district governor Giorgi Chiviashvili denies the accusations. He said he had talked with Maia Bitarishvili about the incident but the latter denied the fact. “Everybody, who wanted to speak was allowed to give an interview; they spoke about problems openly,” said Chiviashvili.

Kakheti News Center

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