Two Tbilisi-based television stations, Maestro and Kavkasia, resumed regular programming on Tuesday afternoon less than 24 hours after suspending broadcasting in protest against police attacks on their TV crews and other journalists filming and covering a clash outside the Tbilisi police headquarters on June 15.
“This decision by our television stations to suspend broadcasting might sounded a bit strange, but it was our protest because all the recorded footage was seized by the police and what should we were supposed to show to the views? We are not radio stations,” Mamuka Glonti, owner of Maestro TV, said on June 16.
Kavkasia TV said that although the Interior Ministry returned seized video footage, the recording was “edited and sound deleted.”
Meanwhile, the Interior Ministry, which has acknowledged that journalists were attacked and apologized for the incident, said in a statement on June 16, that it had conducted an internal investigation into the case.
“Two employees have been severely reprimanded; four more employees reprimanded and three have been suspended from duties pending investigation,” the Interior Ministry said.
Davit Bakradze, the parliamentary chairman, condemned attacks on journalists and apologized “to journalists, who have been impeded from performing their professional duties.” He also called on the Maestro and Kavkasia TVs to resume broadcasting.
“The authorities will do everything in order to prevent reoccurrence of this kind of cases,” he added.
Mamuka Glonti, the owner of Maestro TV, met with French ambassador Eric Fournier, who said after the meeting that 10 journalists, including four from the Maestro TV, were injured in the June 15 incident.