IDFI provides legal assistance to “Business Media Georgia” (BMG) journalist, Telara Gelantia in the case of establishing possible discriminatory act of the Government of Georgia against her.
On 12th of September 2022 Telara Gelantia was restricted from attending government’s session, asking questions of a public interest and carrying out her professional duty.
According to Telara Gelantia, the reason of such restriction named by the administration of the government was that the journalist asked a lot of questions and violated the rules, preventing her colleagues from working. Telara Gelantia has been covering government’s session for 10 years and during all this time she has never received any warnings, notifications or any other kind of communication from the government about “violating the rules”.
It must be mentioned that the Administration of the Government did not ban the cameraman to attend the session, also BMG was explained that Government’s ban only applied to Tamara Gelantia personally and not the media outlet in general.
There are reasonable doubts that such a decision of the Administration of the Government is caused by the report prepared by the journalist about the fact that the Government of Georgia does not fulfil the obligation stipulated by Rules of Procedure of the Government of Georgia and does not publish its decrees. It must be mentioned that IDFI has been litigated against the government for 2 years about accessibility of decrees, but the main hearing of the case has not been scheduled so far.
The journalist considers that such an unequal act violates Law of Georgia “on The Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination”. Therefore, on 15th of September 2022 Telara Gelantia, represented by IDFI, applied to The Public Defender of Georgia to establish a discriminatory act against her and restore her violated rights.
Such an unequal treatment of the journalist by the Government of Georgia is another manifestation of the negative attitude towards the media, which has been particularly noticeable on the part of the government officials in the last few years. This kind of action contributes to the creation of a hostile environment towards the media and worsens the quality of media freedom in Georgia.
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