GYLA Protesting Threats against Journalist

Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association condemns illegal actions leveled against journalist of the Batumelebi newspaper, Tedo Jorbenadze by officers of Georgian MIA Special Operation Department (SOD) of Adjara A.R. on November 25, 2009.

GYLA assesses threats against the journalist to release video/photo material exposing his sexual orientation as violation of fundamental human rights.

Under Article 20, Para 1 of the Constitution of Georgia, “everyone’s private life, place of personal activity, personal records, correspondence, communication  by telephone or other technical means, as well as messages received through technical means shall be inviolable". Additional guarantees are provided by Para “b” of Article 43 of General Administrative Code of Georgia stipulating that “a public agency shall not allow collection, processing, storage, or disclosure of personal data relating to a person’s affiliation with any religious, sexual, or ethnic group, or his political beliefs or worldviews”. Furthermore, as the Police Code of Ethics of Georgia specifies, “a police officer may violate the right of privacy only in cases of absolute necessity, in accordance with the law and serving the purpose of the law”.

GYLA considers that law enforcement officers rudely violated the law by forcing; malfeasance is also evident – law enforcement officers exceeded their official duties by insulting Tedo Jorbenadze’s personal dignity. Having considered noted circumstances, GYLA calls the Office of General Prosecutor and the Office of General Inspection of MIA to launch investigation of the November 25 incident immediately and to impose criminal liability on all individuals involved.

GYLA realizes protection of journalists by means of media legal protection centre.

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