“The authors of the bill argue that the package of amendments is necessary to bring Georgian legislation in line with EU laws. However, the Georgian Media Advocacy Coalition is protesting the current form of the change, which empowers the Georgian National Communications Commission (GNCC) to rule on hate speech and apply immediate sanctions, and says that under EU law these changes are unnecessary and would “significantly increase » the risk of making politically biased decisions against critical media.
The organization says that given the generally recognized problems of Georgia, steps aimed at increasing the authority to impose sanctions are inappropriate.
“Given Georgia’s well-recognised concerns about polarization and distrust of stakeholders in the Communications Commission, moves to increase the commission’s powers to impose sanctions are highly inappropriate and should be reversed,” says Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator of the NGO Committee for Protection of Journalists” (CPJ) Gulnoza Said.
According to him, the Georgian authorities should work with media experts and broadcast stakeholders to develop a regulatory system that does not create the risk of biased use.