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# 10 (65) 2016, 1-30 April

The present report includes results of the Georgian media monitoring for the period of 1-30 April, and activities conducted on the basis of this monitoring.

Main Observations:

  • Homophobic narrative in the media was especially strong in April, which was connected to discussions in Parliament regarding initiative for constitutional amendment. Many media outlets targeted by the monitoring reported homophobic statements of 5 politicians. In April media again actively reported homophobic statements of Nona Todua, candidate for membership of the Supreme Court.
  • There were instances of religious discrimination of the Ombudsman because of his statements directed against visits of churches by high school students organized by teachers. 
  • Among instances of xenophobia dominated Turkophobia. Turkey and the Turks were presented as a threat to the Orthodox Christianity; historical occupier; threat of economic expansion and occupation;
  • The issue of covert video footage and sexist statements connected to it was still relevant. Interestingly, regarding this footage respondents were presenting the woman victims as responsible.
  • One of the main elements of anti-Western narrative in April were the claims that the West is controlling Georgia and forcing it to make decisions that go against its values and interests. NGOs were most frequently mentioned as agents of the Western interests in this regard; Among political parties the UNM, Republican Party and, in several cases, Free Democrats were attacked.
  • NATO was often described as a threat to peace and security of Georgia; there were attempts to spread nihilism regarding NATO. The source of this narrative among the politicians were mostly representatives of Industry Will Save Georgia party which is a member of the Georgian Dream coalition and a member of the Georgian Dream – Democratic Georgia Tamaz Mechiauri. Also members of Democratic Movement – United Georgia and Patriots Alliance.

Russian-language sources:

Examples from the media monitoring results for April

Hate Speech/non-governmental organizations

Asaval-Dasavali, 11-17 April

Elizbar Javelidze, People’s Assembly: „The ravages of Republican Party in Georgia are over! Those who vote for the Republicans should have their right arm cut off!“


Obiektivi, Night Studio, 6 April

Vazha Otarashvili, Patriots Alliance: „The Turkish state will never be a friend of Georgia, it is a conqueror, historical conqueror which entered Georgia in 1723 and abolished the kingdom...“, 20 April

Jemal Putrakadze, former member of Adjara’s Supreme Council from Georgian Dream„ ...When impoverished locals hear only Eastern music, only Turkish speech from suspicious Turkish places in the streets of their own cities, of course they get upset. Bitter reaction and conflict on religious or ethnic grounds become realistic...“


Armenophobia/society, 14  April

Giorgi Sichinava, writer„Did not this “friendly” Armenia take Lori from us? Is it not obviously fighting for acquiring Javakheti? Is it not Armenia that claims 365 churches in Georgia? Did not Armenians fight against Georgians in Abkhazia?..“

Religious discrimination/ politicians

Asaval-Dasavali, 4-10 April

Sandro Bregadze, former Deputy Minister of Diaspora: „This guy is not Public Defender but a provoker and enemy of Orthodox Christianity… By religion he is a sectant and serves the interests of his odious sect“.

Religious discrimination/society, 6 April

Elizbar Javelidze, People’s Assembly

„Our Public Defender is a sectant. None of his ideas are shared by the people, he has deviations and perhaps that is why they elected him as a Public Defender… Georgia is being eaten by sectants”. 

Homophobia /politicians

Rustavi 2, Kurieri at 21:00; Imedi, Chronika at 20:00; Public Broadcasting, Moambe at 20:00; Marshalpress, 7 AprilMarshalpress, 15 April;

Gogi Topadze, Georgian Dream-Industrials: “Can you imagine if two guys come out in Mtiueleti, Kazbegi, 20-year-old guys and start kissing each other. Will you like it?”

Public Broadcasting, Moambe, 14 April

Zviad Dzidziguri, Georgian Dream-Conservatives: “It is unacceptable to me, when our children do not have the right and possibility to have female mothers and male fathers. I am praying to God not to let me live to see this day in our country. We will deprive our children of the opportunity to develop normally.”


Asaval-Dasavali, 4-10 April

Koba Arabauli, Patriots Alliance: „If the Church does not declare total protest against these Masonic, neo-liberal, homosexual “dynasties”, if they don’t put down these anti-Christian, human-hating TVs, we shall find ourselves in a stateless bunker where they will drop all kind of rubbish on our heads!“

Pirveli Radio;  Rustavi 2, Kurieri at 21:00; Chronika at 20:00; Public Broadcasting, Moambe; Marshalpress 7 April; Sunday Alia, 11-17 April 2016

Tamaz Mechiauri, Georgian Dream,: “Would you like to hold such weddings in your family? Would you like to have men with veils and shaggy beards in your family??“ 

Maestro, Kontakti, 20 April

Omar Nishnianidze, Georgian Dream: “Is there a rally of pederasts in Kutaisi? I could not even have a dream about living to see this day.”


Homophobia /Judiciary

Rustavi 2, Kurieri at 21:00, 7 April
Nino Todua, judge, candidate for membership of the Supreme Court:
„I have acquaintances, including students, who obviously belong to that orientation, and I love these students very much, maybe even more than others. Why? I pity them for this deviation… This is bad for the society.“

Homophobia/ non-governmental organizations

Obiektivi, Night Studio, 28 April
Guram Palavandishvili, Parents Union: „This is unimaginable, 20 years passed and they took homosexuality from the list of diseases. If it were in the list of diseases now, would they teach disease to your kid at school? And one is not even suck, one is worse than that, one is immoral...“

Homophobia /clerics

Sunday Alia,  4-10 April

Antimoz Bichikashvili: "Sin cannot be legalized, whether it is sodomy, or pedophilia, or adultery between souses and so on."

Anti-Western sentiments/ politicians

Public Broadcasting, Moambe, 13 April

Zurab Tkemaladze, Industry Will Save Georgia:
,, I don’t know if its NATO or whatever, I am telling you, if something threatens national interests we surely must avoid it. ‘’

Asaval-Dasavali, 11-17 April
Jondi Bagaturia, Georgian Group, Democratic Movement – United Georgia: “People should not trust a party for which not God and nation, but EU and NATO flags are sacred“.

Interpressnews, 8 April

Tamaz Mechiauri, Georgian Dream:
”We play the role of a piece of red fabric to provoke Russia, and for me interests of my country are supreme… There is EU and let us stay there for now, we have almost no problems, so let’s enter and stay in EU.” 

Obiektivi, Night Studio, 12 April

David Tarkhan-Mouravi, Patriots Alliance: "I shall be the government that protects Georgian interests in Brussels and America, the one that will make it so that we are no slaves of Brussels and America, one that will make it so that whatever is bad over there and what they try to impose on us...”

Anti-Western sentiments /society

Sunday Alia, 25 April -1 May 

Vakhtang Maisaia, political observer: "NATO is almost at war with Russia and not it is absurd to even talk about anyone seriously considering Georgia’s membership in NATO… NATO is now in the process of developing cold war strategy against Russia and it has not time for us."

Gender discrimination/stereotypes/ politicians

Sunday Alia, 4-10 April 2016
Temur Shashiashvili, Tetrebi movement, Democratic Movement – United Georgia: "When a woman does this in her cabinet or elsewhere, how can she still have a official post?"

Gender discrimination/stereotypes /clerics, 13 April
Father Theodore Gignadze, archpriest: 
„...If the ladies on that footage are those who we suspect they are, they must be ousted forever not only from their posts, but from the political life of the country!.“

Gender discrimination/stereotypes /society, 14  April
Giorgi Sichinava, writer: 
„ ... Who can tell by which criteria were women selected for the positions of Minister of Defense and her Deputy? It is totally out of place to think about the principle of gender equality here... If there is war, I wonder with what education these beauties will wage military activities. And if they are taken prisoner, it will be shame for us Georgians!“

See full collection of examples of discriminatory statements at the website:

Complaints to media self-regulation agency

  • On 20 April self-regulation agency of Imedi TV reviewed and approved complaint of the No to Phobia! coalition member NGOs from 30 March 2016 regarding the story aired by Imedi TV news program at 14:00 on 20 March, with the headline “LGBT community representative accused of fraud”.. 
  • On 7 April 2016 No to Phobia coalition member NGOs filed an appeal complaint to the appeals agency of Palitra News regarding the program aired by Palitra News at 20:00 on 28 February With Palavandishvili – Me and Society Class (anchor Guram Palavandishvili). On 27 April the appeal complaint was discussed at the appeals agency. The TV company still has not informed the authors of the complaint about its decision.

Complaint to the Georgian National Communications Commission:

On 7 April 2016 NGOs filed complaint to the Georgian National Communications Commission. According to the applicants, since the complaint was reviewed by the self-regulation agency of Palitra News, Article 14 of the Georgian law on broadcasting has been violated. By its decision for 18 April, the Commission did not accept the complaint against Palitra TV since litigation at the appeals agency of the TV channel itself still was not over.

Newsletter was developed by Media Development Foundation (MDF) within the frameworks of the Promoting Integration, Tolerance and Awareness Program in Georgia, supported by USAID and implemented by UNAG.

Opinions and ideas provided in this newsletter are those of the Media Development Foundation (MDF) and do not represent the official position of the U.S. Agency for International Development and the UN Association of Georgia.

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