Police in Georgia on October 17, 2015 detained an opposition-leaning journalist for putting up a poster mocking former prime minister billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili. Protest action was organized near City Opera where anti Russian activists gathered to protest GazProm deal on import Russian gas to Georgia.
Tamar Chergoleishvili, founder of a television company strongly supportive of the National Movement, was detained with two others as they stuck a poster on a construction fence at Tbilisi Opera in the center of the capital. Later Georgian Ombudsman criticized authorities saying law does not restricts putting poster on construtcion fence.
The founder of Tabula TV was charged with an administrative offense, along with the other two detainees, chief producer Lekso Machavariani and Salome Khvadagiani, a student, Tabula reports.
The three were taken to the police station and accused of vandalizing the opera building’s facade, but later released after signing written statements.
Independent Association of Georgian Journalists strongly condemned detention of Chergoleishvili and two students pointing out constitutional right of gathering and free expression. "Using police against journalists is unacceptable. Any attempt to intimidate or to attack journalists is a clear violation of the right to freedom of the media and cannot be tolerated", Zviad Pochkhua, iAGJ President said.
Before the detention of Chergoleishvili and two others, student activists protested in front of the government office, claiming that the negotiations with Gazprom are a threat to the country. The student activists were planning to hang posters throughout Tbilisi and a rally on Saturday, as it was broadly advertised in local media.
Tabula is a weekly magazine supporting ex-government views. Company operates TV channel Tabula.
Chergoleishvili is the wife of Giga Bokeria, former secretary of Georgia’s National Security Council during Saakashvili’s presidency.
Based on report by by DFWATCH , Tabula, news agencies