"Frequent provocations are planned to make Georgian media biased against the Patriarchy" - Press Service of the Georgian Orthodox Church
Statement by the Georgian Patriarchate on violence
Head of the Press Service of the Patriarchate of Georgia, Andria Jagmaidze, made a statement in response to the recent increase in violence in the country. According to the clergyman, he has the impression that “in many cases, provocations are pre-planned in such a way that if someone responds with force, the media will once again be biased against the Patriarchate.”
Furthermore, as explained by Andria Jagmaidze, there have been attempts by some journalists lately to shift the blame for recent incidents (assaults) onto the Patriarchate, as they believe that the Patriarch was mentioned during these incidents.
“First and foremost, we clearly state that the Patriarchate has repeatedly raised the issue of social polarization. Against the backdrop of an aggressive campaign launched against the Patriarchate and the clergy, we fully understand how much patience is required for a person not to respond aggressively to offenders and truly think about how to overcome this negative charge.
We simply ask everyone to recall the news reports, furious (I will not avoid using this word) public speeches at rallies, interviews filled with mockery and insults, calls for violence against clergymen, including the Patriarch,” Jagmaidze writes.
The statement from the Patriarchate’s press service states that nothing similar can originate from the Patriarch, but “it is impossible to find a single step taken to reconcile society on certain media platforms. Through these actions and attitudes, we can easily understand who is the cause of the growing confrontation, disputes, and insults in society. Of course, it should be noted that violence is not a Christian act. And the Church’s primary calling is to preach love for one’s neighbor.”
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Misha Mshvildadze, one of the founders of the opposition television channel “Formula” and host of political programs, was attacked by an unknown assailant on the street. An investigation is underway under Article 126 of the Criminal Code, which implies the use of violence.
This is at least the fourth time that opponents of the government have been subjected to street attacks. In the past ten days, the targets of such attacks have included Zura Japaridze, the leader of the “Girchi – More Freedom” party, journalist and writer Levan Berdzenishvili, and David Osikmashvili, a member of the opposition party “National Movement.”
Violence in the country is being encouraged through the opposition and the media, stated Irakli Kobakhidze, the chairman of the ruling party “Georgian Dream.” According to him, the opposition, civil society organizations, and diplomats themselves have “convinced” the perpetrators targeting Zura Japaridze and Misha Mshvildadze that physical and verbal violence constitute civic activism.