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Action in front of Parliament under Supervision of “Men in Black”

04.05.2011

Salome Achba

The member NGOs of Tbilisi Human Rights House and the “mobilized citizens” held a theatrical action dedicated to the media freedom on May 3 in front of the Parliament.

Flash mob was held in front of the Parliament on May 3. The citizens came to the Parliament from different directions and sat down on the stairs. They held the newspapers upside down. In this way, they wanted to express their protest against the censorship, self-censorship and other restrictions in Georgian media.

“Today the world press day is celebrated around the world. Tbilisi Human Rights House expresses its position towards the state of Georgian media this way. Georgian media is in such a state right now that it does not matter how you hold the newspaper,” – states the organizer of the action, the coordinator of Tbilisi Human Rights House Nino Ghvedashvili.

“We expressed our position in the form of silent action. We came to the legislative body, held the newspapers and showed that the media freedom and the freedom of opinion are restricted in Georgia,” – stated the representative of Article 42 of Constitution Ani Tvaradze.

People showed interest in the unusual action held in front of the Parliament. Some people decided to join the flash mob. The action had started only for several seconds when three men dressed in black with the black sunglasses approached the participants. According to their statements, they were guards of the external perimeter of the Parliament building. However, they did not present any documents and were not wearing relevant uniforms. With the displeased attitude, they asked for explanations; what was the action, who the organizers were and what was the goal of gathering. At the remark of the representative of Human Rights Center – why they were not wearing the uniform, they stated that the regulations do not necessitate them to wear uniforms. Then they stood besides and supervised the action.

Apart from the flash mob, the discussion was held regarding the world press day at 18:00 pm in Tbilisi Human Rights House.

The discussion concerned the risks and dangers the journalists work in to provide correct, timely and objective information. Salome Jashi, documentary movie director moderated the discussion. The main speakers were the operator of Reuters Davit Chkhikvishvili, photo journalist Leli Blagonrarova and the editor of IWPR Giorgi Kupatadze. The students, the representatives of NGOs and other interested individuals attended the discussion.


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