12 August 2015 / By Gerorgia Today
The sequestration of 100 percent of Rustavi 2’s shares has attracted international attention.
The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović assesses that excessive court measures against the Georgian television channel Rustavi 2 based on an ownership dispute may pose a threat to free media and media pluralism.
According to her, the court injunction may negatively affect Rustavi’s ability to operate freely. “The decision is disproportionate, excessive and may constitute a threat to media pluralism in Georgia – declared Mijatović.
The official OSCE website reports about Tbilisi City Court’s order of 5th August on freezing the assets of Rustavi 2 as an interim measure pending a verdict. “The court order followed the filing of a civil lawsuit by Kibar Khalvashi, a local businessman, to reclaim shares he claims he was forced to give up in 2006. Khalvashi also reportedly asked the court to freeze Rustavi 2 TV’s bank accounts but this claim was dismissed”.
The OSCE Representative who has raised the case of Rustavi TV 2 with the authorities in Georgia on several occasions in the past, called on the authorities to do their utmost to ensure media pluralism in the country.