The South Caucasus Network of Human Rights Defenders

Georgia: Journalist Vakhtang Komakhidze's Case Arouses Many Questions - Per Erklund
Levan Zhorzholiani

Jurnalist  Vakhtang Komakhidze's case arouses many questions, said Ambassador Per Erklund, Head of the EC Delegation to Georgia speaking at the February 24 meeting on public reliance to Georgian media held at Sheraton Metechi Palace Hotel.

"As far as I am concerned," Ambassador said, he [Vakhtang Komakhidze] worked on a documentary about August war 2008 and in December 2009 he was visiting Tskhinvali to gather materials. His arrival was followed by criticism being covered through several means of media. A month later Komakhidze left Georgia seeking asylum in Switzerland. According to Komakhidze he was experiencing pressure which deterred his professional activity," said the Head of the EC Delegation to Georgia.

"One of the Georgian channels aired the story discussing various accusations in regard to his private life. Did he breach the law? In case he did he should be charged, unless otherwise why is Komakhidze thinking that he cannot work in Georgia?" Per Erklund questioned and added that it's hard to talk about public reliance when journalists themselves do not believe in the possibility of working independently.

Ambassador pointed out that media freedom-related issue requires constant work but the changes in mass media cannot come into effect in a day.

The Head of the EC Delegation to Georgia underlined that mass media should absolutely independently play a role of a monitor towards any authorities.


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