Pressure on Media in Kakheti Region
On November 17, Kakheti’s local media representatives organized a protest action in front of the building of the Gurjaani local government. They protested against a TV declaration of the local governor Akaki Sikharulidze.
On November 16, Akaki Sikharulidze, during his TV appearance, blamed the media of corruption and in spreading information for money. In addition he threatened them with actions by the special services.
As a result of the protest actions, Sikharulidze apologized and has currently changed his accusation. He accused one concrete journalist - Gela Mtivlishvili, the editor-in-chief of the local newspaper Imedi of corruption.
In addition to that, Sikharulidze delared in his TV appearance that he does not recognize the right to free access to public information and that he would not allow media representatives at board meetings: “When to provide information to the public depends on me. Allowing journalists to be present at sessions and meetings shall also occur only in accordance to my good will” – Sikharulidze declared.