TI Georgia responds to rustavi 2 general director Nika Gvaramia’s statement
On 21 October, a few hours before another court hearing on the Rustavi-2 case, Rustavi 2 General Director Nika Gvaramia made a statement during his meeting with the representatives of the diplomatic corps and the NGO sector concerning alleged blackmail and illegal surveillance against him.
This is the second instance of blackmail and illegal surveillance against journalists in the last two months. Despite calls from NGOs, the law enforcement agencies did not react to Georgian Public Broadcaster journalist Eka Mishveladze’s statement.
The statement by Nika Gvaramia, general director of Rustavi-2, referred to actions that clearly constitute a crime. Hence, the law enforcement agencies have direct responsibility to to react immediately such statements. Mere statements that investigation has begun or that high-ranking officials have established person control over the process cannot be considered convincing unless they are followed by real activities and appropriate outcomes.
The absence of credible and timely reaction raises suspicion that the government is indifferent toward the people who are disposed critically towards it and is ignoring its duty to protect the legitimate interests of these people, applying justice selectively.
In this situation, further, more serious suspicions arise that the government is not simply ignoring the problems, but is actually ignoring these threats and blackmail. Only timely, objective and adequate reaction from the government can dispel these suspcions.