Violence against Journalist Vakho Sanaia sets a dangerous precedent
We strongly condemn the violent attack against Formula TV journalist Vakho Sanaia. We call on the authorities to effectively investigate this incident and punish those responsible to the full extent of the law.
According to Vakho Sanaia, unknown individuals attacked and physically assaulted him and his relative. "They were directly aggressive towards me as a media representative," Sanaia said. The journalist was accompanied by his wife and a child at the time of the incident. According to police, all three people involved in the attack have been arrested.
This incident is the result of the government's aggressive and hateful rhetoric against the critical media, journalists and people who hold different opinions. Accordingly, these actions encourage this kind of violence which endangers freedom of speech and expression.
The government has an obligation to ensure a safe working environment for journalists, which primarily implies expressing a critical opinion and disseminating it freely. We call on the representatives of the ruling party to realize their role in this process, to stop their aggressive rhetoric towards critical media, to publicly condemn any form of violence against journalists, and to ensure a safe environment for media activities.