TI Georgia concerned over robbery of investigative reporters’ equipment
Transparency International Georgia is concerned over a break-in at the office of Studio Monitor, the country’s leading group of investigative TV reporters. We ask the Georgian Ministry of Interior to put extensive efforts into solving this particular crime. Given the extraordinarily low crime rate in Georgia and the current highly politicized environment, this crime is likely to be widely perceived as a targeted action to undermine and temporarily stop the work of investigative journalists.
On the night from July 21 to July 22, unknown thieves stole most of the reporters’ equipment, including two cameras, tripods, several laptops and two editing terminals from Monitor’s office in central Tbilisi. Thieves also took a camera hidden in a worn handbag, while leaving behind two expensive unused Mac computer terminals. According to Nino Zuriashvili, Studio Monitor’s director, she and her reporters lost extensive research material, video footage and documentation they had been collecting in recent months. Zuriashvili says police searched the crime scene for clues and have launched an investigation.
In its reports, Studio Monitor has uncovered corruption cases and business scandals, has highlighted socio-economic problems and injustice, and has investigated the misconduct of companies and the business activities of current and former high-level officials and their networks. Studio Monitor’s reports are aired by Maestro TV and are available online at www.monitori.ge.