“President Saakashvili, do not kill the press!” – The given writing can be seen on the front pages of almost all newspapers of December 19. KvirisPalitra, Rezonansi, Asaval-Dasavali, Versia, AkhaliTaoba, Kronika newspapers addressed the President in Georgian and English languages. By the given joint action they protested against the removal of newspaper kiosks from Tbilisi streets. Journalists describe the removal of kiosks as oppression of printed media and request the end to it.
“This is a brazen action! The initial reason of the given situation is the political crisis the government is facing. Such an aggressive attack at independent media has never taken place and it is directly related to forthcoming elections,” LashaTugushi, Rezonansi editor says in an interview with KvirisPalitra newspaper. Author of the KvirisPalitra article KhatunaPaichadze alleges that “removal of kiosks is planned in other cities and regions of the country.”
Next auction for booth locations in framework of the 1000 Booth Project is scheduled for December 28 and January 4. The Supervision Service has since November 26 removed over 40 press distribution booths in Tbilisi. Planeta Forte, Matsne and Elva Service owned the removed booths. According to Rezonansi newspaper the given companies are at the edge of bankruptcy. On December 17 Matsne has not placed a single newspaper for sale.