Transparency International Georgia to defend rights of 24 journalists having suffered injuries on 5 July in court
On 18 April, Transparency International Georgia will file suit in Tbilisi City Court to defend the rights of 24 journalists from TV companies Mtavari, Formula and TV Pirveli as well as On.ge, who suffered injuries during the 5 July 2021 event, as the state failed to fulfill its constitutional duty to ensure safety of their activity.
The suit is brought against the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia which failed to protect health of journalists against aggression and attacks from violent groups on 5 July 2021 and to ensure proper conditions for them to carry out their professional activity.
Under the constitution and legislation of Georgia, the obligation to protect citizens, including media representatives, lies with the state and in the event the state breaches this obligation, it shall be brought to account. Therefore, the state must be held liable for the failure to fulfill the aforementioned function, including in the form of moral damages.
In the near future, TI Georgia will file another suit in court to seek compensation of material damage suffered by TV companies as a result of destruction of their equipment during 5 July attacks.
Lawyers of TI Georgia have studied individual cases of journalists and cameramen from TV companies Mtavari, Formula and TV Pirveli as well as On.ge, gathered video and documented evidence which amounted to a six-hour-long video material and more than 400 pages in total, also requested additional information from the Ministry of Internal Affairs about the measures undertaken by it on 5 July.
This case is important, inter alia, from the standpoint of ensuring that any citizen’s rights can be defended when the state breaches its positive obligation and the liability of the state is established under a court rule. Unfortunately, we have numerous examples of the state failing to fulfill its obligations to various groups and citizens.