17 October 2018,   16:56
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Attempt to introduce censorship - third sector condemns announcement of boycott by Patriarchate to Rustavi 2

The NGO sector responds to the announcement of boycott by the Georgian Patriarchate to Rustavi 2. According to third sector representatives, the Patriarchate"s statement restricts freedom of expression.

The Executive Director of Georgian Charter of Journalistic Ethics, Nata Dzvelishvili said that the Patriarch"s statement is a step against freedom of expression.

"No matter how critical and unacceptable and painful for variety of groups the text of the journalist may be, it is unacceptable that the freedom of expression is limited. The Patriarchate says that it is directed towards this and it is very important that the statement of the Patriarchate is actually makes journalist a target of aggression and not only for this particular anchor but also the entire TV company and people working there"- said Dzvelishvili.

Giorgi Mshvenieradze, chairman of the non-governmental organization "Democratic Initiative", said that the Patriarchate called on the government to reject the constitution.

"The Patriarchate called on the government to refute the Constitution and the standards of human rights that are recognized in the West, which are strengthened by our Constitution. If the Government takes into account this statement, it means that we will remain in Georgia which will become Iran , "- said Giorgi Mshvenieradze

Tamar Kintsurashvili, executive director of media development fund has no hope that the government will maintain religious neutrality.

Executive director of the International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy Mikheil Benidze said that the statement of the Patriarchate contains risks of intimidation, which is unacceptable.

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