New East Digital Archive

TV channel scandal sparks censorship fears in Georgia

TV channel scandal sparks censorship fears in Georgia
(Image: Wing1990hk under a CC licence)

3 March 2017

Government critics in Georgia are incensed after the Supreme Court ordered the country’s most prominent independent TV channel to be returned to its previous co-owner, a fervent supporter of the ruling Georgian Dream party.

The court ruled yesterday that Kibar Khalvashi had been illegally forced by the former government to give up his shares in television station Rustavi 2. Government critics have voiced concern that Mr Khalvashi will silence the only strong independent media voice ready to criticise the government, with many gathering for a protest rally outside the Supreme Court in the capital, Tbilisi, after the verdict.

Rustavi 2’s director general Nika Gvaramia remarked that “dictatorship has officially been established in Georgia,” also suggesting that Mr Khalvashi might consider selling his shares to the channel’s current management.

Source: BBC News