EU High Representative Josep Borrell yesterday shared his concern about the independence and impartiality of the Georgian judiciary and called on Georgian authorities to ensure freedom of expression in Georgia.
In his speech, delivered at the European Parliament by the Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis, Borrell noted that the verdict against Nika Gvaramia, the owner and director of pro-opposition news channel Mtavari TV, sentenced recently to three-and-a-half years in prison, comes against the backdrop of repeated calls by the EU to further reform the judiciary, in order to instil trust and increase its independence – “a longstanding commitment by the Georgian authorities”.
“The Commission has been very clear on this point: if Georgia is serious about its European path, there can be no room for politicised justice and no room for violations of media freedoms,” said Borrell. “We note with concern an increasing number of episodes of violence against journalists in Georgia. Violence and intimidation are never acceptable.”
He also stressed that the EU remains a close friend and partner to Georgia and firmly engaged to further deepen EU-Georgia relations.
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