Two basic facts:
- Three violent attackers on Vakho Sanaia and his family members were sentenced to 6 months in prison;
- The 6-month sentence suspiciously "coincided" with the last trial and they will be released today.
Turning on the green light for the recognized abusers and sentencing them to a minimum sentence is a validation for potential violators and a threat to free and dissenting citizens living in Georgia.
For the past few years, the government has not only encouraged hatred against journalists, but also used violence against them. Offensive vocabulary, harassment of journalists, obstruction of professional activities has become an established norm. On July 5, it became apparent that one of the main targets of abusers in this country is the critical media.
The court ruling issued by the judicial clan members is a logical continuation of the policy pursued by the government. Please note that none of the organizers of July 5 have been arrested so far. Additionally, Lekso Lashkarava's death has not been investigated.
However, it is important that the verdict confirmed the prosecution of Vakho Sanaia for his professional activities and this legal name was given to the actions of the convicts.
Considering the reluctance of Georgian government, police inaction, and absence of the independent judiciary, the syndrome of impunity in the country is raging and no one is safe.
On August 25, following Georgian NGOs issued the joint statement, condemning the policy of violence against critical media and its representatives:
- Media Club
- Media Development Foundation
- Media rights
- Alliance of Regional Broadcasters
- TV network
- International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy - ISFED
- Georgian Young Lawyers Association - GYLA
- Georgian Democratic Initiative - GDI
- Georgian Regional Media Association - GRMA
- Georgian Charter of Journalistic Ethics
- Rights Georgia
- Open Society Foundation OSGF
The accused in the attack on Formula TV presenter Vakho Sanaia left the prison. All three of them were sentenced to 6 months in jail, which expired exactly today, on August 25.
Two persons were acquitted under article against the physical violence and sentenced to 6 months community service, on discriminatory motives against Vakho Sanaia;
Judge Giorgi Keratishvili announced the verdict today.
Vakho Sanaia and his family were attacked at dawn on February 25. According to the TV presenter, the attack is related to his journalistic activities. Sanaia received various injuries as a result of the attack, as well as his fiancée. The victim was identified on February 26.