Attack on Journalistic Investigation and Draft Law on Improving Media Space
24 November, 2010
Attack on Journalistic Investigation and Draft Law on Improving Media Space

The draft law prepared by media representatives and lawyers for improving media space is ready for hearing at the legislative body. The team of initiators consists of constitution expert Vakhtang Khmaladze, Journalist Eliso Chapidze and team Coordinator Lasha Tughushi.
Basically the draft law regulates access to public information, financial transparency, cheap and fast justice and licensing.
However, the main task of the new law is the issue of specifying the identity of media outlet owners. There are TV owners in Georgia

whose companies are registered in offshore zones creating a veil of secrecy over the ownership.
Experts say that there is no precedent in the world when a media outlet is registered in the offshore zone and its owner is not known to the public.
As the initiators of the draft law explain, it is necessary to know identity of the people who own media companies. They also hold that the issue of offshoring must be cleared completely, contrary to what the Georgian Parliamentary Legal Committee supposes (they think of allowing unidentified ownership in case of 10% or smaller ownership). Members of the team say that the Committee will not solve the problem with this method. Moreover, it will exacerbate transparency problem because owners of a media outlet who are registered in an offshore zone and who receive finances of unknown origin may be the real owners of the outlet.
The financial transparency is an acute problem too. It is directly related to the independence of media outlets. Experts think that origins of money – be they coming from commercials or other channels – that fill purses of media outlets must be always known. The draft law also tackles the issue of licensing and problems existing in this sphere. There is also a package on international regulations. In addition, the draft law envisages solutions for the accessibility of public information which is the weakest point of today’s media.
The law speaks about cheap and fast justice which is not accessible for the journalists today. It also foresees abolishing of GEL 100 court entry fee which both journalists and citizens were unable to pay.
We would like to remind the readers that this initiative was devised long ago but the legislative authorities gave a green light to it only after the survey of an international organization, which placed Georgia in a middling place in the media freedom rating.
As for the chances of the draft law that has been prepared by the initiative team, to compete with the similar draft of the parliamentary majority, its Coordinator Lasha Tughushi says that if the interest of the public is high, the Authorities would not be able to evade the process.
“It is necessary to continue discussion because media is a very important sphere not only for specific groups but also for the entire society. Therefore, we think that it would be correct if we continue discussions and would be allowed to express our argumentation. The dialogue, debates and discussions would undoubtedly happen; and then we would come up with a decision, which the public craves for. We cannot continue as before,” he says.
It should be noted that this initiative drew feedback from non-governmental organizations. Georgia’s Young Lawyer’s Association supports the package of legislative amendments prepared by the media experts and journalists. Its leadership pledges its contribution. As its head Tamar Khidasheli asserts, the GYLA will help the initiative team in lobbying the cause which aims at drastic changes in the media and information freedom spheres. Khidasheli calls on the Authorities to exercise political will so that the problem is solved in the shortest time possible.
Some time ago the information spread news about the attack of the officer of Special Forces on Enri Kobakhidze, director of Tanamgzavri TV Company operating in Telavi, Eastern Georgia. Kobakhidze sustained multiple body injuries. In his own words, before the attack certain Gela Chvritidze, who, as he says, is a MIA officer, was trying to exert pressure on him, provoke him and interfere in the work of the TV Company.
It turns out that the intimidation of TV director started after the TV station aired the beginning of the journalistic investigation. By the way, personnel of the TV Channel have similar opinions.
Kobakhidze states that on his way home he was attacked and he received multiple knife cuts. Nobody knows if a formal investigation was launched. The victim himself says that he was interrogated. Something completely opposite is asserted by the Governor of the region. He says that nobody has ever applied to the police regarding the alleged case, nor has anyone stood witness.
It should be noted that the main police department of Kakheti region is not commenting on the case. As a high ranking official of Telavi police told Kakheti information center, law enforcers work on the version of ‘self-inflicted wounds’. If true, it will contradict the information widely reported by many information sources.
The press release issued by the regional broadcasting association reads: “For several months Chvritadze is trying to hook Enri Kobakhidze, President of Telavi TV. There were instances when he provoked Kobakhidze, using various methods. He uses a number of outdated intelligence methods; Chvritidze tries to harass Kobakhidze and provoke aggression. After the policeman failed to get the desired outcome, one of the persons of Chvritidze’s group attacked Kobakhidze with knife.”
Human Rights Center appeals to Georgian Public Defender, media and international human rights organizations to react to the fact of physical harassment of the head of the media outlet.
We would like to tell our reader that Telavi TV Company ‘Tanamgzavri’ is the only local TV channel in Kakheti which is not funded by the budget. According to the Kakheti information center, Tanamgzavri frequently airs programs in which Authorities are sharply criticized.
On our part, we trust that law enforces will act swiftly on the case of the attack on the mass media representative and complete the investigation in the shortest time possible, in order to prevent further attacks and threats directed at the journalists.

Other Stories
International observers about the presidential election in Georgia
The presidential election took place on the 28th of October in Georgia.
First Ladies of Independent Georgia
The presidential election took place on the 28th of October in Georgia. It was the last election in which the president will be selected by popular vote.
Funny incidents on Election Day in Georgia
The presidential election took place on the 28th of October in Georgia.
Deadline for the second round of presidential elections in Georgia is December 2
Presidential elections were held on the 28th of October in Georgia. None of the candidates managed to get majority of votes, so the second round of elections is to be appointed.
The USA National Security Advisor John Bolton is in Georgia
National Security Advisor of the United States John Bolton visited Georgia today.
People are detained at the Cannabis Festival
Today, Georgian political movement Girchi holds an event in the Dedaena Park called the Cannabis Festival.
Top safest countries and Georgia is among them - new survey says
Georgia is among the safest countries in the world. This fact is substantiated by various surveys and researches.
Who is interested in the cultivation of cannabis in Georgia?
Several weeks ago the government announced about its initiative to legalize the cultivation of medical marijuana in Georgia.
Fight in Gori – head of administration uses a bin full of manure
There was an incident yesterday in Gori municipality, Georgia at the entrance of the municipality building.
2 Georgian detainees freed from the Tskhinvali prison
Georgian detainees Maia Otinashvili and Akaki Dotiashvili are freed from the Tskhinvali prison. They had been accused of illegally crossing a so-called the borderline into the occupied Tskhinvali region.
Georgia might provide Far East countries with armored vehicles
LEPL State Military Scientific-Technical Center "Delta" might provide several Far East countries with armored vehicles, - “Delta” has informed InterPressNews about it.
Who can be the next first lady of Georgia?
On the 28th of October, presidential elections will be held in Georgia. The last elections in October 2013 resulted in a victory for Giorgi Margvelashvili, a candidate of the Georgian Dream (the ruling party).
Another Georgian kidnapped at the occupational line, stays detained
Maia Otinashvili (a mother of three children) was detained in her own garden on the 19th of September. Eyewitnesses claim that she was kidnapped by armed people with masks.
Fight broke out in the Georgian TV show
Fight in the Georgian Show Archevani (a choice) broke out between the guests yesterday.
7 amendments that come in force today in Georgia
On the 1st of October, 7 new amendments come in force in Georgia.
Speaker of the parliament plays Knockin' on Heaven's Door
What do the politicians do when they have free time? It is an interesting issue in every country.
What are the new New Year decorations for Tbilisi
New Year decorations and its price in Tbilisi is always a matter of discussion in the capital.
Mamuka Bakhtadze gives a speech at the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly
Mamuka Bakhtadze, the prime minister of Georgia is attending the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly from the 24th of September.
Georgia will ban use, import and production of plastic bags
The Georgian government has decided to tighten rules regulating use of plastic bags in Georgia.
The parliament returns to Tbilisi
The Parliament of Georgia will continue working in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia from January 2019. Currently, the building is located in Kutaisi (west Georgia).
Mamuka Bakhtadze is visiting the USA within the working visit
The Georgian PM Mamuka Bakhtadze Brought a wreath to the tomb of the Georgian military serviceman John Malkhaz Shalikashvili.
Use of plastic bags to be reduced from the 1st of October
Within the framework of the Green Economics and Environmental Protection Policy the Georgian government has approved new regulations
Four Russian Journalists have not been allowed to enter Georgia
Three members of the Russian delegation were not allowed to enter Georgia as this would have violated the Law on the Occupied Territories of Georgia.
Tbilisi sign may appear on the Funicular hill
Hollywood has become a source of inspiration for many people worldwide. A similar idea from a Tbilisi citizen sounds very clever and attractive.
Russia was at an undeclared war with Georgia for years - Matthew Bryza
I think anybody who has observed how Russia has been conducting its war in Ukraine should realize that Russia was at war with Georgia, an undeclared war for years,
Exchange Rates
GEL Exchange Rate
Other Stories
On 26 May, Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, joined celebrations in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi
Violation of Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity by Assad regime has been strictly criticized
Exactly one year ago, Georgia was granted visa-free travel with the European Union.
Georgia’s ex-president president Mikheil Saakashvili's supporters managed to free detained Mikheil Saakashvili in the center of Kiev.
The US Ambassador to Georgia Ian Kelly congratulates Georgia on Independence Day.
The regulations on the introduction of visa-free travel for citizens of Georgia have been officially signed in Brussels.
The entire Georgia is involved in Secret Santa game, which means that people are sending gifts to each other secretly
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia is taking part in NATO Ministerial underway in Brussels, Belgium.
A special squad has been mobilized at the 48th polling station in Marneuli, Kvemo Kartli region.
Two politicians in Georgia have come to blows during a live TV debate ahead of the country’s parliamentary elections, Euronews reports.
GEL Exchange
November 2018
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30