NGOs File a Complaint with Kavkasia TV Self-Regulatory Body Due to Discrimination on Religious Grounds
Four non-governmental organizations filed a complaint with the Kavkasia TV self-regulatory body on January 6. The complaint of the Сivil Integration Foundation (CIF), Media Development Foundation (MDF), Tolerance and Diversity Institute (TDI) and Human Rights Education and Monitoring Center (EMC) has been caused by the statements made by David Akubardia , anchor of the Spektri talk show on December 26. The organizations believe that the statements were discriminative inciting hatred against Muslim citizens of Georgia.
"Anchor of the program made unjustified historical contextualization of the right of utilizing the places of worship in modern days which stirs hatred and intolerance on the religious grounds against Georgian Muslims and violates Article 31 of the Code of Conduct for Broadcasters", - the complaint reads.
Complainants believe that the following statements of the anchor are disputable "Shah Abbas was a madman for Georgia. He killed 6000 clergymen in David Gareji, and when? On the Christmas eve... A well-known story is that they cut the heads of 30 000 Lazs… They brought an army of 50 thousand to the gorge saying they would kill those who don’t embrace Islam. And they killed them. I am sorry, while we are giving them all those mosques, did any Turkish official apologize to Georgia about those 30 thousand Lazs?... Or did any of our Iranian brothers and historical neighbors apologize for cutting the throats of 6000 clergymen?... For some reason they demand tolerance from these cowards Christians. Is this message coming from there? (Davit Akubardia)".
The organizations point out that additional 4 Articles (3, 17, 32 and 33 ) of the Code of Conduct for Broadcasters were breached drawing unjustified parallels between religious origin and negative events, inciting hatred or intolerance on the grounds of religious convictions, requirements to authored programmes and accommodating interests of various social groups.
"Dichotomy "we” vs. "they” (Davit Akubardia: "We are helping everyone, defending everyone’s rights, they may arrive with buses and we will not able to defend ourselves.”) frequently used by anchor leaves no room for integration of people with different beliefs and opposes to the principles of Code of Conduct for Broadcasters (Article 3. b) that oblige broadcasters to accommodate interests of "various social groups regardless of their political affiliation, cultural, ethnic, religious and regional backgrounds, language, age or gender”, - the complaint reads.
This is the second case of filing a complaint of NGOs with the Kavkasia TV self-regulatory body caused by the statements made by the anchor of the talk-show Spektri.