(Civil.Ge) — Amnesty International said in a statement on July 20 that the Georgian authorities “are failing to protect the opposition supporters and journalists from what appears to be politically targeted violence.”
Addressing the incidents in the villages of Mereti and Karaleti during a campaign of Bidzina Ivanishvili-led opposition coalition Georgian Dream, the rights group called on the Georgian authorities “to ensure freedom of expression and association of all persons regardless of their political views or association and to bring those responsible for the recent attacks to justice following a thorough, impartial and effective investigation.”
Among them injured during those incidents were at least ten journalists. OSCE representative on freedom of the media, Dunja Mijatović, has also expressed concern over “repeated occurrences of violence against journalists” and called on the Georgian authorities to investigate the cases thoroughly.
The Amnesty International’s statement also addresses cases when reporters from Info-9, a web-based news agency part of Ivanishvili’s Channel 9 TV station, were persistently followed by unknown individuals with video cameras posing as journalists and interfering in and hindering the work of Info-9 reporters.
“Amnesty International calls on the Georgian authorities to ensure a prompt and thorough investigation into all cases of violence and harassment against journalists,” the rights group said. “The organization further urges the authorities to ensure that the journalists are able to work unhindered and without the fear of violence regardless of the political affiliation of the media outlets they represent.”