Statement of NGOs on the Charges Made Against former Director-General of Rustavi 2, Nika Gvaramia

9 Aug, 2019

We, the undersigned organizations, are writing in response to the statement released by the Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia in relation to the charges filed against Nika Gvaramia, the former Director-General of Rustavi 2 TV.

At this point, it is not possible to thoroughly assesses the information presented by the Prosecutor’s Office. Nevertheless, the developments over the last couple of months have shown that the investigative bodies have become noticeably active against the opponents of the government, as well as towards individuals that have a direct or indirect link with media outlets running a critical editorial policy. As a rule, the actions of the law enforcement go hand in hand with the aggressive rhetoric of the government.

It is obvious that the Prosecutor’s office is working the case against Nika Gvaramia in an accelerated manner; they have filed charges against him on the basis of a statement that was made a month ago. The accelerated manner of investigation for Gvaramia’s case is noteworthy as there are many other cases of high public interest that are not investigated as promptly and quickly. Moreover, the Prosecutor’s Office decision to become active against Gvaramia coincided with the latter’s announcement of the intention to create a new TV company.

Due to the aforementioned circumstances, we have reasonable grounds to believe that this case is politically motivated and is aimed at persecuting opponents and critical media.

We call on the Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia to present the specific hard evidence of the case and to act within the interests of the law rather than through the interests of the ruling party.