Media advocacy coalition demands a ban on propaganda media outlets affiliated with Russia
Media advocacy coalition calls on the Parliament of Georgia, the Communications Commission and operators of the electronic communications network to take effective measures to stop the operation of propaganda media outlets controlled by the Russian state and other media outlets of the Kremlin in Georgia.
Against the background of the invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, the attack on peaceful population, and gross violation of the norms of international law, Russia, through propaganda media outlets, is engaged in the legitimization of its invasion of Ukraine, spreading of disinformation, and attacking specific individuals, including journalists. This was what motivated the European Union when it banned media outlets affiliated with the Russian government. The Russian government media were also sanctioned by social media. Before that, Russian journalists affiliated with the government, who play an important role in the popularization of the Russian aggressive propaganda, also found themselves on the list of those sanctioned.
Russia is also using a similar strategy in Georgia. Using Russian government media or local media outlets and social media pages affiliated with it, it is spreading fake news on the ongoing war in Ukraine, trying to justify its imperialist policy. It should be taken into consideration that Georgia is one of the main targets of Russian disinformation. Russia attacked our country in 2008 and continues to occupy 20% of the Georgian territory to this day.
The Georgian authorities are failing to realize the threat posed by propaganda media outlets and aren’t taking adequate steps against them. In order to restrict the operation of propaganda media outlets affiliated with Russia, in parallel with using the legal grounds applicable in Georgia, we consider it important that:
- The Parliament of Georgia impose sanctions for the dissemination of the propaganda of the occupier state; apply the Law of Georgia on Occupied Territories as the legal basis and make relevant amendments to it;
- The State Security Service and the Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia immediately launch an investigation against the individuals managing Alt-Info and the Conservative Movement party, because their actions reveal signs of a crime directed against the foundations of the constitutional order and national security of Georgia;
- The Communications Commission and Internet service providers use the possibility provided for by Subparagraph G of Paragraph 4 of Article 25 of the Regulations in Respect to the Provision of Services and Protection of Consumer Rights in the Sphere of Electronic Communications and ban the propaganda websites controlled by the Russian state and Kremlin propaganda websites;
- We call on the operators of the electronic communications network to display a high state responsibility and take relevant measures for restricting the transmission of Russian state media outlets and propaganda media affiliated with it in Georgia.
We, member organizations of the Coalition for Media Advocacy, express our readiness to render legal aid to operators of the electronic communications network in possible disputes related to the stopping of the transmission of propaganda channels.