Second attack on journalists of independent TV channel in Tbilisi since beginning of year
Attack on journalists in Tbilisi
An employee of independent Georgian TV channel Formula was beaten last night, and another’s car was attacked in Tbilisi on the night of April 9, during curfew hours.
The US Embassy reacted to the incident and demanded a thorough investigation of the incident. Both the embassy statement and the flurry of angry social media posts recall the February 2021 attack on the channel’s journalist Vakho Sanaia. Three people were detained in that case.
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“Attacks on journalists are unacceptable, in democratic countries they must be free and able to work safely,” the embassy said in a statement.
Director of the TV company Zuka Gumbaridze believes that the attacks on his employees are the result of the acute political crisis in the country:
“The car has logos of the TV channel, microphones – and it was vandalized. The windows were broken, the driver was severely beaten. All this speaks not just of a criminal offense.”
The Charter of Journalistic Ethics of Georgia links the attack on Formula TV employees to the aggressive rhetoric of the government:
“Recently, in general, cases of aggression and attacks on independent journalists, including those who actively cooperate with the Charter, have become more frequent. Cases of attacks on journalists by law enforcement agencies are an unworthy response to criticism from the media,” the organization said.
The Interior Ministry announced the start of an investigation into the damage to the car, but did not mention the attack on the victims.