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Media Institute echoes forcible expel of part of journalists from the session of the Parliament’s Legal issues Committee

16.12.2019

 
The Parliament’s Legal Issues Committee started session at 10:00 am on December 12, to discuss the issue of appointment of new justices in the Supreme Court of Georgia. There was noise and verbal dispute throughout the session.

After the committee chair Anri Okhanashvili addressed the media to leave the session hall, the resource officers forcibly expelled journalists from the committee session; the appeals of some MPs encouraged their rude behaviors either.

Media Institute condemns the violence against journalists in the parliament of Georgia. Similar treatment of media representatives is inadmissible particularly in the main legislative body of the country and we are afraid that this action encourages violence against journalists and undermines free media environment in Georgia. 

It is important to underline that the issue of appointment of new justices in the Supreme Court of Georgia was discussed in the committee, which was topic of particular public interest considering the controversies about the justice selection process in the society. Moreover, the MPs had verbal dispute in the hall and naturally media had legitimate interest to cover the ongoing process.

Media Institute welcomes that the Ministry of Internal Affairs started investigation into the fact of forcible expel of journalists from the committee session by the resource officers.

According to the MIA, the investigation was commenced under the Article 154 of the Criminal Code of Georgia, which refers to the illegal interference into the professional activities of journalists. 

We call on the MIA to comprehensively and impartially investigate the case and punish perpetrators.

We also call on the Parliament of Georgia to ensure the work of media representatives in the building of parliament without any obstacles so that journalists could timely and impartially inform the society. 

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