Public Defender Addresses Adjara Public Broadcaster with Recommendation to Eliminate Discrimination

On November 29, 2022, the Public Defender addressed the former director of Public Broadcaster Adjara Television and Radio with a recommendation to eliminate discriminatory treatment of a journalist due to his dissenting opinion. The interests of the applicant were represented in the Public Defender’s Office by the Georgian Young Lawyers Association.

According to the factual circumstances of the case, from March 2020 to December 2021, the applicant worked as a reporter of the Tbilisi Bureau of Adjara TV, and at the beginning of January 2022, he was dismissed from his position due to the expiration of his contract. The applicant relates his dismissal to the critical TV stories prepared by him about the Government. According to the respondent, the employment relationship was terminated on a legal basis - due to the expiration of the employment contract, however, the information requested by the Public Defender makes it clear that only 3 out of 133 employees did not have their employment contracts extended in January 2022.

While assessing the case, the Public Defender also relied on the information provided by a member of the Advisory Board of Public Broadcaster Adjara Television and Radio, who indicated that the applicant had repeatedly informed him that he had not been allowed to perform his functions. According to the member of the Board, in connection with this dismissal, the then director of the Broadcaster reprimanded him that the applicant had referred to non-governmental organizations as authoritative organizations.

In addition to the specific issue, in the recommendation, the Public Defender also drew attention to the problematic environment created in the Public Broadcaster Adjara Television and Radio in recent years.

Based on the above, the Public Defender called on the Public Broadcaster Adjara Television and Radio not to allow discriminatory treatment due to dissenting opinions and/or other grounds in labour relations and to conduct its activities in accordance with the principle of equality.

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