The US Ambassador to Georgia once again responded to the events of July 5. Kelly Degnan calls the incident disturbing and says that it is necessary to send a clear message, that violence against journalists is unacceptable.
“It is very good to see that individuals have been arrested, they have been investigated, but there needs to be thorough, impartial, professional investigations into these cases.
What is concerning is that organizers of the attacks have not been detained and since it is quite clear that these were organized targeted attacks it is important that the organizers be held to account.
All of the individuals and the organizers who were involved in this attack against journalists and other citizens, need to be investigated, they need to be prosecuted and where appropriate, they need to be convicted to the full extent of the law.
Media freedom plays a central role in a healthy democratic system. The attacks against journalists on July 5-6 were very concerning, especially because they were well-organized to target journalists and they were part of a pattern that we have been watching develop over the last year and a half.
It was important for the authorities to send a clear message that violence, hate speech, organized attacks against the media and other citizens, are not acceptable in Georgia, will not be tolerated and that there will be legal consequences to pursuing that”, - said Kelly Degnan.