Democracy Rising

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable" ~ President John F. Kennedy

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Georgian Democracy in trouble?

Interesting news this morning on Civil Georgia that Shalva Ramishvili, a journalist with the private television station 202 has been arrested

http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=10631

All the more interesting when you consider this is the same station that broadcast an interview with relatives of deceased ex-Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania.

http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=9985

During the interview Mr Zhvania's widow alleged that the General Prosecutor’s Office was “deliberately” stating his passing could only have been as a result of an accident.

“Many contradictory statements appear in the testimonies of the bodyguards [of Zhvania], which makes it clear that they [bodyguards] are simply lying. And the entire investigation and an official version which says that it [Zhvania’s death] was just an accident, is built on these testimonies” - Nino Zhvania

Now im not one for conspiracy theories, but when you consider 'Archevanis Zgvarze' (On the Verge of Choice), a debate show on the privately owned Mze (Sun) TV station, was closed last month after authorities criticized its coverage of local protests, things don't look too good. 'Nochnoi Kurier' (Night Courier), on Rustavi 2, was the first political talk show to get the chop, just a month after Saakashvili came to power.

Many journalists claim that such shows/newspapers are closing for 'financial reasons'. However serious doubts exist in my mind about Saakashvili's 'democratic' intentions. Without a fully free press, and with journalists feeling intimidated by the government, all that can foster is yet more authoritarianism. The up-coming by-elections in Georgia should prove a test for whether Misha is a democrat or just an enlightened despot.

1 Comments:

  • At 2:29 pm, Anonymous Matt said…

    Who has now gone on hunger strike......

     

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