Media Advocacy Coalition Responds to the Fact of Illegal Interference with Professional Activities of Odishi TV Journalists

15 May, 2019

On May 14, 2019, Sandra Roelofs, the United Opposition’s mayoral candidate in Zugdidi, was assaulted by several men during her interview with Odishi TV. Journalists from the same television station were also insulted both physically and verbally.

The Interior Ministry launched an investigation under article 126 of the Criminal Code of Georgia, involving beating or other violence that has caused the victim physical pains.

We suppose that article 154 of the Criminal Code of Georgia, involving unlawful interference with the journalist’s professional activities, coercing a journalist into disseminating or not disseminating information, has been violated. It is important to give the case proper classification.

We call on relevant investigative bodies to respond to the fact adequately, timely and effectively in order to avoid reoccurrence of the facts of interference with journalists’ professional activities in the future.

Media Advocacy Coalition deems it essential for all parties to realize the role of media, especially in the pre-election period. Media representatives play an important role in informing the public on a broad range of electoral issues that helps voters make an informed choice on election day.