GEO

Statement of NGOs on the Developments Around Rustavi 2 TV

18 July, 2019

We, the undersigned organizations, are writing this statement in response to the recent developments related to the European Court of Human Rights’ judgement on the Rustavi 2 ownership dispute case, which represents a significant challenge for Georgia’s fragile democracy and poses a serious threat for the media landscape.

Freedom of expression and media are indispensable conditions for the country’s democratic development. In Georgia’s polarized media environment, Rustavi 2 TV plays a significant role in monitoring the government and keeping it accountable for its activities.

In light of the current reality in Georgia, it is essential for Rustavi 2’s new owner and management to ensure the editorial independence of the journalists and allow them to make decisions according to their own conscience. Moreover, effective mechanisms should be introduced to ensure that employees’ labor rights are duly protected.

It goes without saying that the change in Rustavi 2’s ownership goes in line with the interests of the government, which has been openly confirmed through numerous statements. It is important to discontinue the practice of a change in management/ownership directly reflecting on the broadcaster’s critical editorial policy towards the government.

We, the undersigned organizations, will continue to monitor the media landscape and in particular the ongoing developments around Rustavi 2. Moreover, we express our readiness to provide assistance to the staff of Rustavi 2.

 

 

Transparency International Georgia

International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy

Georgia’s Democratic Initiative

Media Development Foundation 

Society and Banks

Atlantic Council of Georgia

Green Alternative

The Economic Policy Research Center

Institute for Development of Freedom of Information

UN Association of Georgia

Open Society Georgia Foundation

Human Rights Education and Monitoring Center

Georgian Young Lawyers Association

The Georgian Charter of Journalistic Ethics 

Regional Centre for Strategic Studies

In Depth Reporting and Economic analysis Center

Human Rights Center

Georgian Reforms Association - GRASS

Union Sapari

Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies

Rehabilitation initiative for vulnerable groups