Georgian PM proposes to establish Office of Media Ombudsman

Tue 07 March 2017 05:39 GMT | 09:39 Local Time

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Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili announces plans to establish a Media Ombudsman in the country.

He invited "the most reputable” international media experts to join in the initiative, reports. 

Kvirikashvili said in a statement that the government is determined to defend European values in the country.

"I propose to establish the office of a Media Ombudsman, consisting of the most reputable international media rights observers. Today, I am publicly inviting the involvement of European media experts and specialists who have proved in deed their professionalism", he said.

In Kvirikashvili’s words, the Office of Media Ombudsman will "continuously monitor the country’s media environment and development, including the processes involving Rustavi 2, the Public Broadcaster and the media environment as a whole”.

"We are open to cooperation. We are invested in protecting and empowering our institutions, and we will spare no effort to ensure the development of our country in accordance with European and democratic values”, he said.

Kvirikashvili’s statement came after the European Court of Human Rights temporarily suspended the enforcement of the March 2 verdict of the Georgian Supreme Court regarding the ownership of broadcasting company Rustavi 2.

The statement began with Kvirikashvili emphasising that the government honors decisions, recommendations and ideas from European institutions "that make a special contribution to our country’s democratic development”. He added that "this is exactly how we treat the decision of the European Court of Human Rights regarding the application of an interim measure in the Rustavi 2 case”.

Kvirikashvili claimed that the Georgian government is determined to defend European values in the country.

"Our Government is and will continue to serve as a guarantor of the strength and independence of our democratic institutions. I want every single citizen of Georgia to know that we will do everything to ensure that Georgia’s state institutions protect their rights and establish and develop the principle of justice", he said.

"This is exactly why, while protecting property rights and the independence of the judiciary as one of the key state institutions, we must protect against the violation of fundamental rights", he added.

"It first serves our interests, the interests of the government, to protect our own greatest achievement, freedom of speech and expression and media pluralism".




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