No Good News for Rustavi 2?

The dispute concerning Rustavi 2, Georgia’s largest TV Company, continues. 100% of the company’s shares, on behalf of Georgian businessman Kibar Khalvashi- who filed a lawsuit to attempt to regain his share of the company, was sequestered on August 7th.

Two founders of Rustavi 2, Jarji Akimidze and Davit Dvali, released a statement recently citing that the broadcaster has been strictly controlled by the United National Movement, the main opposition party in Georgia.

“Rustavi 2 [currently] works for fulfilling the UNM’s orders so it has nothing to do with free media,” the statement said. According to them, there are no alternatives for the legislative process, which serves to establish fairness in a democratic society.

In response, Nika Gvaramia, the company’s General Director, comments that both Akimidze and Dvali represent voices of the government calling them ‘new pseudonyms of the government.’ Gvaramia accuses the entire government and the Georgian Dream Coalition in general of attaching free media that represents the strongest institution in Georgia to empower democracy and secure freedom of speech.

The majority of the Georgian public, including those live abroad, have launched a social media campaign in support of the television, which has endured a number of attacks from different governments throughout its more than 2 decades of history. The thousands of supports appear on social networks with messages of support for the values they believe Rustavi 2 is based on.

This story is widely compared to the massacre of Imedi TV back in 2007 by the UNM, which played a big part in Georgia being refused MAP at the Bucharest Summit and the former ruling party paid a high price for it.

How will these events develop? Georgia Today’s Zviad Adzinbaia will provide further analysis in this Friday’s issue. 

10 August 2015 19:57