Georgian edition of the “Georgian Times” ceased publishing –Malkhaz Gulashvili, president of media-holding “Georgian Times”, announced today.
“I, Malkhaz Gulashvili, president of media-holding “Georgian Times”, would like to state that my motherland starts from my family. Protection of my family is my ultimate duty. After 17-year regular activities of “Georgian Times” I made unprecedented decision to cease publishing of the Georgian edition of the “Georgian Times”. Myth about independent printed media in Georgia is under question. Personally I cannot offer free and impartial newspaper to the society in the condition of oppression,” said Gulashvili.
President of the newspaper added that Georgian edition of “The Georgian Times”, unlike English edition of it occupies completely different place in media-market; it acts as a linking bridge between Georgia and foreign countries; trilingual on-line newspaper continues its activities with double working load.
“My journalistic team and me remain in defense of our country and will continue our activities as we have usually done,” said Gulashvili. He added that his decision is connected with the incident about his son.
“It is reported that on March 13-14 conference was held in Vienna which was organized by Georgian Diasporas from seven foreign states. Owners of the “Georgian Times” and representatives of the Georgian opposition also attended the conference. The topic of the conference was future perspective for Georgia. Reaction about the conference in Georgia was various and government started unlimited discredit of its participants and Georgian Diaspora. Unfortunately, some opposition members joined them in similar activities,” said Gulashvili.
According to Gulashvili the situation became uncontrolled after the government started dirty campaign beyond their offices and TV-screens.
“More precisely, on March 13, the government used its ordinary manner and took next fatal step. In the evening of March 13, policemen stopped 16-year-old son of president and publisher of the media-holding and his friends, pupils of 11th form of public school and students of the second year at a high-school. The law enforcers threatened them with shooting if they ran. After that policemen searched the car during which the police had their guns charged. One policeman made a pupil of 11th form of the public school to get out the car under threat of the gun; two more children were searched. Policemen found only lighters in their pockets; boys did not resist the law enforcers at all. We think, the sensible action of the children, their calmness and obedience saved us from danger which could have had very dramatic ending,” said Gulashvili.