Facts of oppression of free media
14 June, 2012

The Regulatory Commission ordered Stereo+ to disconnect the Ninth Channel and to pay a penalty for all provided services. Other events that unfolded in parallel: The capital’s mayor prohibited operation of radios in mini buses; somebody shot at journalist Ia Tinikashvili on Gori highway, near Mejvriskhevi village; supporters of the Georgian Dream were subjected to various types of pressure; famous athlete received threats, etc. Witnesses and victims claim that after the visit of American Secretary of State the facts of human rights abuse instantly soared up in number.
Davit Zilpimiani, Stereo+ Director: “The Regulatory Commission fined Stereo+ for providing the transmission service to the Ninth Channel. Our license foresees only radio line service. They demanded from us to stop transmission of the Ninth Channel by limiting the frequency zone. But this is impossible. It’s against all laws of physics. For 4-5 years other TVs too have been receiving the frequency automatically (unintentionally) but there was no problem. Of course, it’s a political decision. The problem  is - what shall I do with all these?
Why didn’t the Regulatory Commission not solve the matter earlier, during the Hillary Clinton’s visit?! Most likely, they were bashful. Moreover, during these 4-5 years other televisions were also getting airing frequencies but the Commission did nothing about it. I think that logic is the best argument. They did not wait for the US Secretary of State to step into the plane, swiftly quitting the play of democracy.”

What was wrong with the radios in mini-buses?
From now on, passengers of mini-buses will hear only advertisement texts. There will be no more news programs. Drivers say it is an order of the Mayor’s office.
Nino Kvariani, Director of Radio Palitra: “I found out that the day before the order was released, drivers were told to leave their mini-buses in garages. I do not think anybody would prefer radio ads over the radio news. Nobody cares about the opinion of passengers.”
Ia Tinikashvili, Radio Palitra journalist and at the same time head of Maestro TV’s Shida Kartli Bureau, was shot at but fortunately, she was not hit. The incident happened on the Gori Highway, while she was riding to Mejvriskhevi village.
“Suddenly I heard a strong bang and I felt an air wave from behind, while pieces of broken rear windows hit me on the back of my head. My companion Tamar Khorbaladze was sitting at my right side. Luckily, there was nobody behind me, in the back seat. Other girl was planning to accompany us but fortunately, she did not. Another good thing was that I was moving fast. Had I travelled about ten kmph slower, worse thing could have happened. The incident is investigated by Shida Kartli regional police.”
Against the athlete: What did the athlete do to irritate the powers that be even before Clinton’s visit? The important newest incident happened to the Georgian judo champion Ambako Avaliani. He was grabbed by unidentified men at St Nikoloz Church and reportedly, he was delivered to Lado Vardzelashvili, Minister of Sports and Youth who advised the champion to leave the Georgian Dream.
Shota Khabareli, former Vice President of Georgian Judo Federation says that athletes have been subject to “mentoring” attempts: “the stronger the support of the population for Bidzina Ivanishvili, the stronger the pressure on activists of the Georgian Dream. By punishing the famous figures, they want to deter regular citizens from “repeating mistakes”, hinting that whatever they do to the sportsmen, commoners will get it even harder. They are engaged in a full-blown war against Olympic champion Zurab Zviadauri and Kakha Kaladze, famous football player. They penalize anybody who has alleged contacts or business ties with the Georgian Dream. The Revenue Service officers were summoning them for interrogation in the wee hours. Recently I happened to be in a region. I am aware that the local Administration requests the citizens to dismantle the satellite antennas. They think, if you do not see and hear anything, you won’t say anything. That’s why they are fighting against free press.”

P.S. Representatives of This Concerns You to discussed  Pre-election Environment in the Country in resent Days.
Participants of This Concerns you held a special press conference on this today, the topics were the election environment in the country in recent days and attitude of the political parties towards the main demand of the campaign participants – to add must carry and must offer principles to the legislation.
Must-carry principle states that locally-licensed television stations must be carried on a cable provider’s system. Must Offer bans the general broadcasting to be switched from cable channels.

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