To the Prime Minister of Georgia  
and heads of press agencies of governmental institutions
Statement of Journalists Working in Georgia
Georgian Charter of Journalistic Ethics, which unites 363 journalists, addresses you. Journalists within and outside of the organization talk about bad practices of several governmental (especially law enforcement structures) institutions. They are often invited to the briefings with no prior knowledge of what the discussed topic will be. It is vital that media knows the topic of briefing or press conference, to decide, according to human and technical resources, whether they want to attend or not.

Appeal by the journalists to the
Georgian Government
the Georgian Interior Minister and
the diplomatic corps accredited in Georgia

The breakup of a rally in the Rustaveli Avenue on June 21, 2019, in Tbilisi has resulted in injured representatives of the media. According to their reports, the law enforcement officers were target-shooting the journalists even when their status as media workers performing their professional duties was evident.

On June 13, 2019, the chairman of the Parliament of Georgia and the Georgian National Communications Commission spread information on amendments to the Law on Broadcasting of Georgia with the purpose of regulating hate speech. The amendments are planned to be passed by July 1, 2019. Georgia’s obligation to implement audiovisual media Directive has been indicated as the basis for that.

According to media reports, homophobic rally activists are preventing and threatening the journalists who are covering the events taking place at the Chancellery. The incidents occurred against journalists of Netgazeti, Liberali, Radio Tavisufleba, Adjara TV, TV Pirveli and Rustavi 2.

According to “Netgazeti”, a participant of the homophobic rally snatched the mobile phone of the "Netgazeti" reporter, Giorgi Diasamidze, and threw it to the ground. As Giorgi Diasamidze said, the process was observed by the police but they did not react in any way. “Do you want me to smash this phone onto your head?" ... "I have memorized your face" –these words were used by members of the counter rally arranged near the Chancellery to threaten Lika Zakashvili, the Editor of Liberali, and another journalist of the same publication.  According to the edition, the police arrested that participant of the rally after the incident. "How stupid you are!" – in this way the businessman Levan Vasadze addressed the Nino Khozrevanidze, the journalist of Adjara TV, when the reporter asked him why they had showed up at the rally as their appearance caused the confrontation.

According to TV Company Odishi, on May 14, representatives of "Georgian Dream" opposed their respondent, Sandra Roelofs, Zugdidi mayoral candidate of the United Opposition, when filming the TV program "Lustration” in the garden of the Zugdidi Historical Museum. The camera crew was verbally and physically assaulted. The TV Company has released video footage of the incident.
With this statement signatory non-governmental organizations would like to express our strong negative attitude towards the initiative of two members of the Advisory Board of the Adjara Public Broadcaster on the impeachment of Natia Kapanadze, Director of Adjara TV and Radio.


At the beginning of 2019, high-ranking officials made numerous statements regarding the legislative amendments related to defamation.

According to the President of Georgia, there is a need for legislation that provides more protection for both human dignity and freedom of speech. The Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia stated that the discussion must start not only on the issue of defamation but also with regard to the problem of severe insult and increased use of offensive language.

Recently media has begun to actively cover the murder of the US citizens, the Smiths family, who were killed in the Khada Gorge in July of 2018. The public was shown a testimony given to the investigation by the defendant as well as the photographs that had been supposedly provided by law enforcement agencies. In the nearest future, the jurors will start hearing the case on merits in the court. Thus, the interest of the Prosecutor’s Office is obvious- to use media to disseminate the desired information.

Therefore, the media has a great responsibility to ensure that it does not become the instrument for influencing the jurors and the sentiments in society in favour of the Prosecutor’s Office. To this end, it is necessary to do the following:
Statement of Georgian Charter of Journalistic Ethics about the fact of attack on Zura Vardiashvili, editor of Liberali. He said that on the evening of 15th of September he was physically attacked by a group of 5-6 people. The investigation is ongoing by the 126th article (violence). Even though several days have passed since the attack, the investigation has not yet announced results to the audience. According to the first information, attackers mistook Zura Vardiashvili with a different person and the attack was not connected to his professional work.
The Georgian Charter of Journalistic Ethics is observing the events around TV Iberia. Journalists of the TV company say that they are under pressure from the government to create problems for the funding company. Audio recordings were published which may contain criminal statements.
Georgian media outlets report that tens of employees of the Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB) have received proposals, according to which the terms of their employment contracts should be either changed or terminated. We suppose that this proposal is unjustified and may aim at dismissing tens of employees. Recent developments around GPB raise a number of questions and even the latest statement [released by GPB] does not provide answers to them.

Georgian Charter of Journalistic Ethics Council is evaluating the statement of Georgian Orthodox Church Patriarchate to ask church members and every citizen “for whom the church is valuable” to boycott Rustavi 2, as going against media and freedom of speech.

Georgian Charter of Journalistic Ethics requests the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Prosecutor’s Office to promptly investigate the attack on Rustavi 2 journalists that took place on 19th of March.

The reason of the attack was the text of the host of P.S., Giorgi Gabunia, in the show of 18th of March. The video recording of the incident shows not only the interference with journalists’ job, but the use of force, violence, and other criminal signs. It is important for justice system to correctly classify this crime and investigate it quickly and effectively, to have the people using violence against media punished. A journalistic product cannot cause revenge no matter whether it is up to the professional standards or not.

Almost 9 months have passed since the investigation started in the abduction case of the Azerbaijani journalist and activist Afgan Mukhtarli from the territory of Georgia but regardless high public interest to this case information about the progress of investigation
Media Advocacy Coalition addresses the Parliament and Broadcasting Supervisory Board Council to react and openly state their position about the public statement of the member of the Supervisory Board, Giorgi Iakobashvili. Giorgi Iakobashvili, as a Supervisory Board member, defines the priorities and development strategy and controls the management of the Public Broadcasting. He was chosen for this position with 84 votes by Georgian Parliament in 2017.

February 1, 2018

Thomas Kent, President, RFE/RL
Nenad Pejic, Vice President, RFE/RL

Mr. President,
Mr. Vice President,

It has come to our knowledge that the Parliament of Georgia may follow the initiative proposed by the Ministry of Justice to amend the text of the new Constitution and lower the constitutional standard of access to public information.

Georgian National Communications Committee made a statement on 12th of December in response to an influential nongovernmental organization – Transparency International Georgia – report, according to which Kakha Bekauri does not qualify for the requirements of a member/head of Georgian National Communications Committee. In the statement of the committee, Transparency International Georgia is said to be the disseminator of “nonqualified and false information”.
The Georgian Charter of Journalistic Ethics has filed a complaint regarding two materials prepared by Russian and Azerbaijani media to the Consultation Committee, which was created in order to fight against propaganda. The Commission was staffed with self-regulation council representatives from following countries – Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, Armenia and Russia. The goal of the committee was to battle propaganda.

A video containing a call for terrorism and violence was spread November 23. Several media outlets have spread the appeals unaltered. Society is entitled to receive information on possible violence or other danger. Ho
The Georgian Charter of Journalistic Ethics expresses its sorrow over the terrorist act taken place in France and presents condolences and tolerance to relatives and colleagues of those killed, the French Embassy in Geor