PARTIALLY DEMOCRATIC GEORGIA - IMPORTANT FOR FREEDOM HOUSE
12 May, 2011
PARTIALLY DEMOCRATIC GEORGIA - IMPORTANT FOR FREEDOM HOUSE

Special report from Washington


At the Conference dedicated to World Press Freedom Day 2011, which took place in the United States on May 1-6, Freedom House made a presentation of its findings of annual Freedom of the Press index, where Georgia got a status of a partially free country.

We were lucky to meet Karin Karlekar, Senior Editor of Freedom House to find out her opinion – whether having a partially free media means to be a partially democratic country.

 


Q.

During the last two days here in Washington D.C. we have been hearing tremendous figures about the journalists who have been killed, imprisoned, tortured or assaulted. In some cases governmental involvements in such actions are obvious and it hampers to reveal the real initiators. How often Freedom House is involved in investigations of such cases?
A. You are absolutely right. Rather often governments are responsible for such cases of attacks or in worst cases - of murders. When it happens we encourage governments and really urge them to prosecute and investigate the cases properly because the issue of impunity is a very big problem for a number of countries around the world. So the governments must be sure that their legal system and judicial system function appropriately and properly in order to investigate these cases.
Q. Do you agree that, on the one hand, we cannot achieve democracy without the freedom of press and, on other hand, we cannot get freedom of press without democracy?
A. Definitely! I mean if we look at democracy in terms of your elections, Georgia does have it already but if you look at democracy in terms of whole echo systems that help democracy, than press freedom is really a central element of a strong democracy. I mean that the press, at its first function, is a watchdog; it helps uncover corruption, hold the government accountable and get closer to people. You know, all these are important to create a strong, stable and healthy democracy. On the other hand, it’s also very difficult to have freedom of press without having a democratic government that is willing to uphold press freedom. We see many cases around the world that the governments, which have no freedom of press, usually are very poorly trained.  However, many countries in the world do their elections in terms of press freedom;   hence, to create democracy it’s very important to have media freedom too and governments should respect press freedom.
Q. Yesterday Freedom House made a presentation of the findings of Freedom House’s annual Freedom of the Press index, where Georgia received a partially free status. Does it mean that in terms of democracy Georgia is a partially democratic country?
A. Yes, it is.
Q. And what are the steps Georgia should take to get the status of free media?
A. Actually, in terms of media freedom Georgia already has, I would say, a pretty good legal framework and media transparency is an ongoing issue in the country; though it’s a fact that it’s very difficult to find correct and accurate information about media owners and particularly in electronic media and as examples, Imedi and Public Television come to mind. I believe they will look into these issues. The Parliament was debating the issues of legislation on media transparency and this is also a very positive step. As to the cases of harassments and attacks on journalists, we don’t see as many cases as before. And I would really focus on regulatory issues at the moment and I believe that this is an area where the government could do something positive and has the power to do it; I would encourage Georgia to move along the path. Georgia is very important for us. Today your country is far from free category in terms of its numerical ranking but taking into account that Georgia is doing much better than many of its neighbors and together with Ukraine this is one of the best performing countries among the former Soviet Union Republics (Actually, Ukraine lags a bit behind), we believe Georgia is going in the right direction and we encourage the government to respect media freedom that will keep Georgia on the right path.  
May 3, 2011.
Washington D.C.
USA

 

Print
Other Stories
"Georgia has a long way to go in Tourism"
Because of the booming tourism industries, the Georgian government starts to implement regulations. “But this happens not fast enough, not efficient enough and not rigorous enough”, says Stefan Meister from the Heinrich Böll Stiftung.
Former US diplomat Matthew Bryza discusses Georgia, NATO membership and Trump’s presidency with GJ
How can we explain the statement made by the former Secretary-General of NATO, Anders Fogh Rassmussen about the possibility for Georgia to join NATO?
NATO Parliamentary Assembly President Madeleine Moon visits Khurvaleti village
President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly Madeleine Moon has arrived in the village of Didi Khurvaleti, in the Gori municipality, located near the Administrative Boundary Line.
“Georgia could soon be ready for regulations”
“With big money you can either build or destroy something”, says Vano Vashakmadze. The consultant for development in tourism helped to work out the new zone planning implemented by the government.
Mamuka Khazaradze establishes Lelo movement
The public movement of TBC Bank's founder Mamuka Khazaradze will be called Lelo.
TBC Bank founder Mamuka Khazaradze to establish social movement in Anaklia
The presentation of the social movement of the founder of TBC Bank Mamuka Khazaradze will be held tomorrow, September 12, in Anaklia. The event begins at 12:00.
Anders Fogh Rasmussen offers Georgia a way to join NATO
Georgia should start an internal discussion of whether it would be acceptable to join NATO without Abkhazia and South Ossetia, - Anders Fogh Rasmussen, former Secreatry General of North-Atlantic Teaty Organisation, said.
“These protests are different”
«In Georgia protesting is almost a tradition», says the historian Simon Janashia who works at the American School in Tbilisi. But the current demonstrations are profoundly different.
Kelly Degnan nominated as the next U.S. ambassador to Georgia
President Donald Trump has submitted the nomination of Kelly Degnan to serve as the next U.S. ambassador to Georgia.
Development of the Anaklia deep sea port should be in the interest of every Georgian, says Kurt Volker
Importance of the Anaklia deep sea port is huge for Georgia and the Georgians have heard about it from many politicians inside or outside of the country.
Clashes and whistling in the Georgian Parliament after nomination of new PM
Clashes took place at the entrances to the Parliament building today, as protesters held the "Shame on You" event.
“Georgian Dream” Party introduced Georgy Gakharia as Prime Minister
“Georgian Dream” party has introduced Interior Minister Georgy Gakharia to the post of Prime Minister.
Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze has resigned
Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze has resigned. Bakhtadze released the relevant statement on the social network.
There will be no war with Georgia, says De-facto official
Georgia's provocative actions at the "borders of South Ossetia" are just an attempt by the Georgian authorities to divert their population's attention from acute domestic problems
After the summer Tbilisi is expecting another hot season
Every evening in June and July hundreds of protesters came to the parliament to demonstrate.
Why so called South Ossetian delegation gave ultimatum to the Georgian side?
Representatives of de-facto regime of the Tskhinvali region gave ultimatum to the Georgian side to abolish the Georgian police block post near Tsnelisi until 6:00am, August 30th.
Former Russian Duma member sees theoretical chance of solution the Abkhazia problem
Former member of the Russian Duma, Ilya Ponomarev, believes that there is a theoretical chance of resolving the problem of occupied Abkhazia
Georgian president calls Brexit new opportunity (Watch video)
Georgians feel that they are Europeans. It is not something they are striving for. They are European, President of Georgia Salome Zurabishvili said in her interview with Euronews.
So called elections in Abkhazia go into second round
The “Presidential elections” in Abkhazia do not bring a clear leader. Nor are they recognized by a variety of states, among them the US, the UK, Ukraine and Latvia.
Representatives of diplomatic corps arrive in Gugutiantkari
Representatives of the diplomatic corps and the Government of Georgia are in the outskirts of the Gugutiantkari village of Gori municipality,
US State Department condemns Russian occupation of Georgia’s territories
The US state department has issued a statement condemning Russian occupation of Georgian territories – Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region.
What went wrong in the 2008 August War? – Mikheil Saakashvili recalls
Today Georgia marks 11 years since the 2008 August War. After 11 years, there still are many unanswered questions.
After 11 years, Georgia commemorates the August War
It has been 11 years since the 2008 August War in Georgia. Officials and different politicians once again commemorated the date and made statements about the ongoing occupation of Georgia’s territories by Russia.
International Republican Institute’s (IRI) Center publishes fresh survey
A new nationwide public opinion survey of Georgian citizens by the International Republican Institute’s (IRI) Center for Insights in Survey Research
First comments made after Strasbourg Court’s decision over Rustavi 2
Rustavi 2 TV shareholder Kibar Khalvashi made first comment about the Strasbourg Court’s decision over Rustavi 2.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
18.09.2019
19.09.2019
USD
1
USD
2.9626
2.9691
EUR
1
EUR
3.2657
3.2797
GBP
1
GBP
3.6745
3.6989
RUB
100
RUB
4.6163
4.6131
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
USD
1
USD
2.9626
EUR
1
EUR
3.2657
GBP
1
GBP
3.6745
RUB
100
RUB
4.6163
September 2019
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