INFO 9 Journalists Report on Pressure
Regional journalists of the INFO 9 information agency are being exerted pressure by strangers, Manana Eliashvili, head of the agency and the journalists themselves allege.
Reporting to Media.ge Eliashvili said on June 7 Tsalenjikha-based journalist Gocha Nachkebia and his cameraman Gocha Saria were leveled threats of revenge unless they quit working for the agency and leave the town.
“Despite threats,” said Eliashvili, “the journalist are not going to quit their jobs.”
This is not the first case of pressure exerted upon the journalists of the agency, Akhmeta-based cameraman faced threats too.
Granting an interview to INFO 9 Akhmeta-based cameraman Kakhaber Mekokishvili recollects two strangers calling him.
“Telling me they were from the regional police they put a box in front of me. Another one took the box which turned out to be containing marihuana. They threatened me to quit the job unless otherwise I would be arrested.”
The strangers who, according to Mekokishvili did not provide any ID cards, summoned him to the police on the following day.
“I did not show up at the police office, I left for Tbilisi, and got a paper at the narcological department, proving I was absolutely clean,” says Mekokishvili.
INFO 9 appeals to law enforcement bodies as well as media organizations for response.
Information agency INFO 9 has been operating since May 1, 2012.