A journalist from the Tbilisi bureau left Adjara TV
Adjara TV was left by a journalist from the Tbilisi bureau. Nino Khozrevanidze explained such decision by the policy of the new management.
“The processes are so irreversible that I can no longer stay on the channel. This id unacceptable to me”, - wrote Nino Khozrevanidze.
Some of the journalists of Adjara TV are preparing for a strike. An alternative trade union is working on a relevant document and will address the management tomorrow. The main requirement is the protection of labor rights and the guarantee of editorial independence.
As for the former deputy head of the news service, Maia Merkviladze, she agreed to the director’s offer and signed a new contract, but she still intends to continue the legal dispute.
The director of Adjara TV - If the law is violated, there is a court
Giorgi Kokhreidze, the Director of Adjara TV, disagrees with the allegations of the former employee of Tbilisi bureau about the deliberate destruction of the Public Broadcaster.
According to Kokhreidze, if anyone has any complaints, he / she can appeal to the Court.
The Director also respond on the statement about possible strike. He said that “more caution should be used by the staff when they are talking about the strike”.
Media watch dog reaction
A few days ago the Media Advocacy Coalition addressed international organizations over “alarming” processes developing at Adjara TV and Radio company, noting that the current situation “involves the risks of violation of both media freedom and human rights”.
The Coalition’s member organizations claim that they will defend the idea of public broadcaster within their competence. They ask international partner organizations for help in ensuring their freedom of expression.
Besides, Transparency International Georgia and Georgian Young Lawyers Association released separate statements regarding the developments at Adjara TV. They expressed solidarity to Adjara TV’s staff and expressed their commitment to defending their interests once they need it.
Background of the problem
The Board of Advisors of Adjara Public Broadcaster elected Giorgi Kokhreidze as the new director for a term of three years on November 22, 2019.
Kokhreidze was supported by 3 out of 4 members of the board. All the 3 members were nominated by the Georgian Dream.
The post of Adjara TV’s director became vacant in April 2019 after the Board of Advisers impeached Natia Kapanadze that triggered strong criticism from local NGOs. They claimed that the ruling party was against the broadcaster’s critical editorial policy and that it tried to change the broadcaster’s editorial line.