Illegal Disclosure of Nika Gvaramia’s Mobile Number by MP Thea Tsulukiani Encourages Negative Campaign
Transparency International Georgia responds to the disclosure of the personal mobile number of Nika Gvaramia, Director of Mtavari Arkhi, at the parliamentary session by Thea Tsulukiani, Member of the “Georgian Dream” and Chairwoman of the Parliamentary Committee on Education, Science and Culture. Tsulukiani has not only violated the principles of processing personal data, but also once again encouraged a negative campaign against the head of critical media.
The disclosure of personal information by a high-ranking political figure from a public tribune is contrary to Georgian law. Nika Gvaramia is not a public official and therefore his personal information is not public (Article 44). NIka Gvaramia is the director of a private TV station and therefore, the publication of his personal phone number against his will is alarming.
Amid repeated attacks by the authorities on critical media, insulting statements or suspicious investigations launched against Nika Gvaramia as well as publication of mobile records of personal communication, surveillance of family members and attempts to blackmail him, the Tsulukiani’s latest action appears to be another political retribution of the ruling party against Nika Gvaramia.
A public figure and especially a member of the parliament, must protect and respect the law, and not to abuse the public tribune and encourage confrontation in the society. Unfortunately, it’s not the first time that the former Minister of Justice has encouraged the release of confidential information. Last year, the ombudsman stated that Tsulukiani illegally disclosed the confidentiality of her visit to the prisoners.
We call on the Personal Data Protection Inspector to investigate this case and respond to it accordingly. We call on the “Georgian Dream” to stop persecuting the director of the critical television and to ensure that his civil rights are protected.