“Do Not Restrict But Regulate It”
19 April, 2012
“Do Not Restrict But Regulate It”

 

“The regulating commission is a weapon in the hands of the Authorities in their fight against independent TV companies”

In front of the Communications Regulatory Commission members of the Media Union “Solidarity for Media Freedom” staged a rally named “Do not Restrict but Regulate it”. They accuse the Commission of running a campaign against independent TV companies “Trialeti”, “Ninth Channel” and LTD “Global Contact Consulting”.

 

Joni Nanetashvili, TV Company Trialeti: “The Regulatory Commission violated the law when it fined Trialeti with five

thousand Lari for the alleged illegal use of wavelengths failing to give grounds behind its decision. We know very well that the Commission only follows decisions of the Authorities. In other words, they are trying to reduce independence of TV companies. We are not going to pay the fine. We request new monitoring with the participation of NGOs and independent media to prove that we were fined illegally.”

According to the rally participants, pressure is applied to those operators of cable networks which are likely to agree on relaying the broadcasting of TV Company Ninth Channel. The rally activists also approached the diplomatic missions accredited in Georgia with a special statement: “Rather than regulating wavelengths, National Communications Regulatory Commission of Georgia has grown into an oppressive mechanism pressurizing and incapacitating local independent TV companies in the face of weighty Governmental competitors”.

Tamar Rukhadze, Head of Information Service of Ninth Channel: ”They intentionally go and spoil our equipment at the Customs Terminal. They obstruct even installation of satellite antennas and force regional population to dismantle the ones erected by Global TV.”

Mamuka Ghlonti, Head of Maestro TV Company: “This is not the Regulatory Commission. It’s a media punishment organization. I call on them to stop committing a crime.”

Lasha Tughushi, Editor-in-Chief of Resonance Newspaper: Lately, the Regulatory Commission made several extremely dubious decisions. Naturally, they triggered protests

Q: What do you mean in dubious decisions?

A: Global TV and Trialeti turned to the Regulatory Commission about ongoing violation of their rights but the Commission “found out” that the opposite was true, claiming some non-existent violations committed by the TV Companies. Problems encountered by Global TV are known to  everybody. It’s not about the Commission only. The case should be viewed in the political context. The regulating commission is a weapon in the hands of the Authorities in their fight against independent TV companies. They create all imaginable obstacles to Global TV; such as damaging their equipment, barring Governmental TV channels to relay the programs of these  cable networks.

Media Union “Solidarity for Media Freedom” and the rally participants demanded to put an end to the discrimination of free media, unlawfulness perpetrated by the National Communications Regulatory Commission and attempts to subdue independent TV Companies to the Authorities.

 

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