The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) will present the founder of Mtavari Arkhi (Main Channel) Nika Gvaramia with the International Press Freedom Award.
Nika Gvaramia is the first Georgian to receive this award.
Along with the founder of the “Main Channel”, three other journalists from India, Togo and Mexico will receive the award.
As the committee said in a statement, “in the face of a sharp deterioration in press freedom around the world, pressure from governments, threats of imprisonment, kidnapping and exile, these people continued to carry out their professional duties.”
Nika Gvaramia responded to this decision of CPJ and wrote in the social media:
“I have never received such a present on my birthday: CPJ (International Committee to Protect Journalists) awarded me the International Press Freedom Award, which is awarded annually to only 4 journalists in the world, and this year it was awarded to a Georgian for the first time. I am very happy.”
For the record, the President of Georgia, Salome Zurabishvili, pardoned Nika Gavramia on June 22, 2023. He left the prison the same day.
Gvaramia, who was found guilty by the court, was arrested on May 16, 2022, in the court session hall.
The judge of the Tbilisi City Court, Lasha Chkhikvadze, found Gvaramia partially guilty, reclassified part of the charges brought against him under Article 220, and sentenced him to 3 years and 6 months in prison.
On September 6, 2020, the General Prosecutor’s Office indicted Nika Gvaramia in the Rustavi 2 case. He was accused of embezzlement of a large amount of property rights belonging to Rustavi 2 by the group with a prior agreement, commercial bribery, forging of fake official documents, and legalization of illegal income. Gvaramia was also accused of abuse of official authority. He was given a bail of 40,000 GEL as a preventive measure. In addition, he had a limited right to leave the country.