The Media Advocacy calls on the Ministry of Internal Affairs to annul the decision of David Frenkel’s denial to enter Georgia
On March 6, 2022, David Frenkel, a journalist of one of the independent Russian media outlets “Mediazone” was not allowed to enter Georgia. The decision of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia states that the journalist "does not meet other requirements defined by the legislation of Georgia."
The Media Advocacy Coalition strongly believes that the respective decision of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia lacks a legal basis. Given the high public interest, we would like to inform you that the member organization of the coalition "Rights Georgia" on behalf of David Frenkel has already submitted the administrative complaint before the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia and demanded the annulment of the decision on denial of entry.
It should be highlighted that the ground mentioned in the decision on refusal to enter Georgia is referential and without respective normative regulation should not create any legal consequences in itself. Besides, its application does not waive the respective authorized official/body from legal obligation to provide reasoning.
Frenkel was not given a specific reason for the refusal while like other citizens of the Russian Federation, he could enter Georgia without a visa.
After communicating with the journalist and examining the case materials, it became clear that the following could not be used as a ground for refusing to enter Georgia:
1. The regulations/restrictions in force in the country as a result of the management of the Covid 19 Pandemic, since David Frenkel is fully vaccinated and had vaccination documents at the border crossing point;
2. The violation of the obligations enshrined in the Law of Georgia on Occupied Territories - the journalist has never been within the occupied territories of Georgia.
It should also be highlighted that David Frenkel was in Georgia in 2021 and he did not face similar challenges to enter the territory of Georgia.
The practice of creating obstacles for other independent journalists from the Russian Federation while entering Georgia in parallel with the ongoing war in Ukraine raises doubts that David Frenkel, was not allowed to enter Georgia on a discriminatory basis due to his journalistic work.
Given all the above, the Media Advocacy Coalition calls on the Ministry of Internal Affairs to annul the decision on denial of entry to Georgia to David Frenkel and grant him the right to enter the Georgian territory.
 The Statement of Ombudsman is available in Georgian at https://bit.ly/35UpfA1, last visited: 16 March, 2022.
 The Law of Georgia on the Legal Status of Aliens and Stateless Persons, Article 11.
 The Statement of Media Advocacy Coalition is available at: https://bit.ly/3KOqxLo, last visited: March 16, 2022.