Attacks on the critical media continue. This time the target of attacks became Nika Gvaramia, the founder of the main opposition TV station – Main Channel, who was sentenced by the court to three years and six months in prison. It is alarming that in recent times the persecution of representatives of the media, creation of a hostile environment for them and interference with their professional activities have become a kind of common practice.
The Democracy Research Institute (DRI) is defending the interests of journalist Ketevan Tutberidze, who was affected by far-right groups. The Ministry of Internal Affairs has launched an investigation into unlawful interference with Tutberidze’s professional activities on December 24, 2021 under Article 154 of the Criminal Code (Unlawful interference with a journalist's professional activities), although the journalist has not been identified as a victim so far.
On December 24, 2021, Ketevan Tutberidze was preparing a TV story for the Public Broadcaster near the Marjanishvili metro station when she was verbally abused by far-right activist and blogger Beka Vardosanidze, who was followed by others protesters as well, who surrounded the journalist and made her unable to perform her duties. It is noteworthy that the inaction of the state agencies encouraged "cyberbullying" against the journalist and her family members, which was also followed by strangers’ statements that damaged Tutberidze's professional reputation and the insulting Facebook posts by K. Morgoshia and Sh. Martinenko.
In recent times, attacks on representatives of the media has reached a critical level. Therefore, it is important to respond immediately to the incidents containing signs of crime. The inaction of the authorities encourages the perpetration of motivated crimes against representatives of the media and journalists. In order to conduct an investigation objectively, impartially and thoroughly, it is necessary for the victim to be involved in litigation in accordance with law.
The Democracy Research Institute has applied to the Ministry of Internal Affairs to ensure that Ketevan Tutberidze is granted victim status.