My statement about Rustavi 2 reflect the U.S. government and embassy’s position – Acting U.S. Ambassador

24 August / By Georgia Online

Acting Ambassador of the United States to Georgia Nicholas Berliner has responded to the critical statements made against him.

As Nicholas Berliner told Rustavi 2 TV, the statement made by him a few days ago reflected the position of the U.S. government and the embassy.

“I think the statement that I made about Rustavi 2 last week, should not have been surprising to anybody. The United States’ position about freedom of media is well-known to everyone. In this case we just urged for caution and expressed hope that any legal process would be conducted in compliance with the highest standards. You may accept my statement as the official position of the United States government and the embassy,”- said the acting Ambassador.

Nicholas Berliner, acting Ambassador of the United States to Georgia, recently told Media.ge the following: “The United States Government believes that freedom of speech and press are the cornerstones of a robust democracy. We and the international community have praised Georgia’s open media environment, which is a model for the region. Therefore, developments that give the appearance of threatening media freedoms or compromising media pluralism are troubling. We are closely following the legal proceedings against Rustavi 2. Any legal proceedings involving a media outlet must be conducted to the highest standards of judicial due process, and any actions that restrict a media outlet’s ability to work freely must be carefully considered.”

The mentioned statement was responded to by an open letter from poet Davit Maghradze, which said that the current government does not control the media anymore unlike the National Movement.

“Your Excellency, I would like to disarm your baseless concern and call on you to be calm – freedom of speech is no longer threatened in Georgia, as the National Movement, which has no ratings and in which nobody trusts, will never regain power. The Georgian population will never let them return. I hope you will try and listen to a poet. Where poets are not heard, dictators emerge,”- read the open letter.

Source: http://georgiaonline.ge/news/a1/politics/1440456442.php

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