Special Statement by Iberia TV and Zaza Okuashvili
Anchor: “I, as the head of the information service of TV Company Iberia, want to make a statement. TV Company Iberia has to make an urgent statement for the second time this year. the functioning of the TV Company is seriously endangered. The government has cut off the main funding source. The Company Omega Group, which includes TV Company Iberia, is paralyzed. The government intentionally suspended the work of the factory. We, journalists, have the information that it is happening deliberately, so that the critical voice is not heard on our broadcasting. As it seems the objective of the government is to shut down TV Company Iberia, so that we are not able to continue carrying out our professional activities.
We have the information that the pressure is exerted on Omega Group in order to take possession of the company. We, journalists, strongly demand to immediately stop attacking an independent media outlet and to let Omega Group carry on its functioning.
We address international organizations, Diplomatic Corps, Public Defender, NGOs, our colleagues to support us so that Iberia TV does not cease broadcasting.
The founder of Iberia TV and Omega Group, Mr. Zaza Okuashvili has made a statement.”
Zaza Okuashvili: “One cannot call it invisible forces as it was called before. Those levers imposed on Omega are operated not by invisible forces. Those are financial levers, judiciary, law enforcement bodies and so on. This mission to protect an independent media, independent TV Company is indispensable to everyone, each Georgian, each citizen. We shall not let anyone, any gang, even if it is called the government, to infringe on the independent media. There shall not and will not be invisible forces. I have held consultations abroad to take into account foreign reality, if there is a way out of this – when independent media, independent TV and the business are all infringed by a gang. Actually, there are no rules under which a person can work and create the future of Georgia. Omega is one of the bricks, one of the soldiers in all of which. If this brings the truth, the freedom and legality, let omega be sacrificed and Omega is ready for this sacrifice, but if it makes things worse to all Georgians, businessmen and law abiding citizens, then we should raise our voice before it is too late. Omega will do its best for the development of Georgia, the existence of the independent media within the available laws and if the situation continues and I hope they will come to their senses. Until there is a free media and the opportunity to express oneself, Omega will perform its duties. We all should think about this, the government, the state is not a criminal gang by which one can frighten Georgian, a person, a citizen of Georgia, which builds the future of this country,” – Zaza Okuashvili has said.