The director of one of the biggest oppositional televisions in Georgia, Mtavari tv got arrested for 3 years and 6 months. In 2019, prosecutor’s office charged Nika Gvaramia with embezzlement of property rights committed under aggravating circumstances, commercial bribery, making and using a fake official document, legalization of illegal income and abuse of power.
Organization international transparency georgia studied the case and determined that the accusations were false.one of the main allegation was connected to a car ,,porche macan S’’, which according to Prosecutor’s office was bought by director’s family, with the financial loss of former largest Aaoppositional television where Nika Gvaramia was also a director (rustavi 2).
International transparency Georgia believes, that the imprisonment of Nika Gvaramia was a political move to quell oppositional televisions and most of them are having paucity of income in Georgia, while pro govermental televisions have all the capacities and financial support. “everything will be fine’’- said Nika Gvaramia before going to prison, the decision was brought by the Judge Lasha Chkhikvadze. On May 16th 2022, Gvaramia went to prison and on June 22 2023 President of Georgia Salome Zurabishvili announced that Gvaramia was free due to presidents exclusive right to release prisoners whenevher he/she wants.
After spending 401 days in prison large number of Nika Gvaramia friends family and colleagues gathered to meet him for his reliease which was unexpected for him as he thought that he was going to spent more time in prison. It is important to consider that georgia is trying to become a EU member and has to adjust to several requirements, imprisonment of oppositional figures as this case disclosed is affecting press freedom as well as democracy in Georgia.
EU has mentioned several times that freedom and protection of journalists is utterly essential. Gvaramia took part in meetings, discussions with the members of the European Parliament in Strasbourg. The meetings were held on July 11-12 in order to discuss political situation in Georgia considering latest events.
Not connected to Gvaramia
As georgia is trying to earn EU membership homophobic movements have violated tbilisi pride which was held on july 8th ,but got cancelled due to safety issues.This year pride organizers decided to make it in enclosed space, albeit it did not stop homophobic movements which consisted of some priests and pro russian movement alt-info, who enetered the event,stole yoga mats and drinks as well as the infrastructure of the event was destroyed.Homophobic movements were trying to convince people through public speeches that the West is trying to pervert Georgia and is supporting financially the LGBTQ+ community. The event was protected by the police, but the security forces were not enough according to the organizers.