MINELRES: Public Movement "Multinational Georgia": press release on hate speech on Rustavi2

minelres@lists.microlink.lv minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Tue Jan 5 17:15:21 2010

Original sender: Multinational Georgia <pmmg@pmmg.org.ge>

Public Movement "Multinational Georgia" with indignance calls attention
to the case of the hate speech in the TV-show "Postscript" in the
evening air of the TV-broadcaster "Rustavi-2" on 19th of December 2009.
In the piece of the TV show "Confession of serial murderer" covering
actions of the Ms. Venera Obolashvili, real estate broker, suspected in
killing of several persons with the aim of selling of their property,
sounded direct speech of the suspect: " first of all investigation
authorities should take into account that I did not touch (ethnic)
Georgians. They were Russian blood-suckers." Such statement of the Ms.
Obolashvili was accompanied by the comments of the journalist of the
program: "It depends on court decision whether mentioned fact should be
considered as mitigation factor." 

We consider such statements as promoting interethnic tensions, rousing
interethnic hatred and cultivating discriminative and aggressive
attitude to the people of non-Georgian ethnic origin, which are
manifestations of intolerance peculiar to the crude societies.
Qualification and ethical principles of the journalist who is able to
prepare such information and make such statements in the air of the
whole national TV channel in prime-time cause sincere astonishment. What
is more astonishing for us is the fact that TV channel which always
supported and supports government which came into power through Rose
Revolution on the wave of demand for democratic reforms, allows in the
own air comments which are not acceptable not only in democratic but at
least in the civilized society.  

We very much hope that management of the Channel will inform the public
whether position of the journalist coincides with position of the
Channel and will undertake adequate measures on correction of the
situation, in the other case we will consider given fact not only as
manifestation of unprofessional conduct, but as deliberate action
rousing interethnic hatred. We also apply to members of the Parliament
of Georgia asking to reform criminal, administrative and civil
legislation in the field of combating hate speech and hate driven
actions as it was several times recommended by the European Commission
Against Racism and Intolerance, UN Human Rights Committee and other
international institutions. We consider absence of the adequate legal
evaluation of such cases as direct violation of the Constitution of
Georgia and international obligations of the country. 

We also call upon non-governmental organizations, political parties,
Apparatus of Public Defender to consolidate efforts in the field of
improvement of legislation suppressing hate speech and hate driven

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