Supreme Court decision in Georgia casts blow against media independence and pluralism, OSCE media freedom representative says

Supreme Court decision in Georgia casts blow against media independence and pluralism, OSCE media freedom representative says

VIENNA, 3 March 2017 – OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović today called on Georgian authorities to ensure media independence and pluralism following a Supreme Court ruling ordering a change of ownership of the Rustavi 2 television channel.

“The channel must continue to enjoy full independence and fulfil its professional activity in the public interest,” Mijatović said. “Possible attempts to influence the editorial policy of Rustavi 2, a major independent media outlet, would seriously undermine the pluralistic media environment.”

Mijatović noted concerns about the decision expressed by a number of political parties, civil society organizations and media representatives.

The Representative has raised the case of Rustavi 2 with the authorities on several occasions since the start of the ownership dispute in 2015 (see http://www.osce.org/fom/198441, www.osce.org/fom/193946 and www.osce.org/fom/176521).

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