Kelly Degnan, the US Ambassador to Georgia made a statement condemning violence against media in Georgia.
“Today, I hosted signatories of the Georgian Charter of Journalistic Ethics and Media Advocacy Coalition to hear their concerns about the media environment in Georgia. We discussed an alarming degradation in the media environment and a troubling increase in harassment, persecution, and physical attacks on members of the press. Democracies must have free and independent media,” stated Degnan.
As she noted, media from across the political spectrum must be free to inform the public and document key events and developments in their communities, adding responsible, ethical media is vital in holding those in authority accountable for their actions.
“The U.S. Embassy stands with the Georgian Charter’s efforts to support journalists in their work to produce fair, balanced, and ethical reporting on developments and events important to the people of Georgia. The United States categorically condemns violence and intimidation against journalists.
Those who would threaten or attack journalists must be held accountable. The shocking violence on July 5th and 6th reminds us of the importance of holding the organizers of violence responsible. Impunity gives the impression that violence is ok and violence is never ok,” stated Degnan.
She outlined It is the responsibility of those in power to ensure a free and open media environment, noting the Georgian government must take proactive steps to protect the safety and security of journalists.
“There can be no impunity for those who would threaten Georgia’s democracy by attacking journalists – regardless of political viewpoints. A free and independent press is a hallmark of a truly democratic society,” stated Degnan.