Friday, September 23, 2011

No Media Freedom in Georgia in post Rose Revolution period

Newspaper “Batumelebi”
N17 (389)23-30 May/2011, published every Monday
Violence toward Journalists in Batumi

On May 21 in Tbilisi and Batumi some journalists were arrested because they participated in an anti-government protest. They were not allowed to use their cameras and were insulted. All their video material was taken from them.
On May 22 the son of Nino Burjanadze, leader of the People’s Assembly, is alleged to have poked a flag stick into the stomach of Tamaz Kupreishvili, a journalist from “Netgazeti”, while he was trying to record an interview about the incident, which occurred near the public TV station building. “Nino Burjanadze told him to go and take comments from the police, and at that very moment her son, who was nearby, pushed a flag stick into my stomach, but it was not painful”, alleges Kupreishvili.
Kupreishvili says that Burjanadze’s press office has contacted him and said that Anzor Bicadze wanted to meet him to apologize for the misunderstanding.
Information agency ”Interpressnews”  also stated on May 22, 2011 that someone stole video materials from their correspondent, who had been filming the confrontation in front of the Public TV Station on Kostava Avenue the previous day. The correspondent stated that the material was taken from him by a person dressed as a civilian. At the May 21 demonstration at the same venue members of the People’s Assembly forced cameraman and journalist Imeda Darsalia to switch off their camera, causing a heated dispute which was resolved when he said he was from the studio GNS. Demonstrators also insulted the correspondents of “Interpressnews” and asked them to turn off their cameras while they were shooting a report about the GNS cameraman’s group.
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