The messenger logo

Amnesty International on Gvaramia’s Arrest

By Natalia Kochiashvili
Thursday, May 19, 2022
International human rights NGO Amnesty International’s Director Marie Struthers responded to the news of Mtavari Arkhi Director Gvaramia’s sentencing in prison for 3.5 years.

“The sentencing of Gvaramia is a blatant act of politically motivated prosecution in retaliation of his dissenting views and criticism of the authorities. He now faces years behind bars as the government ramps up efforts to silence dissenting voices. Gvaramia must be immediately released.”

According to her statement, Amnesty International is deeply concerned by the political motivation behind this case, which was designed to stifle freedom of expression. The organization is concerned that the criminal threshold was not met, as has been confirmed by Transparency International and the Georgian Ombudsperson who monitored the trial. As this case proceeds to appeal these issues must be addressed.

“Gvaramia’s conviction highlights mounting concerns over declining media freedom in Georgia and exposes the government’s growing influence over the courts in a number of cases aimed at muzzling their critics and opponents.”

On May 16, Tbilisi City Court Judge Lasha Chkhikvadze sentenced Gvaramia, General Director of the Main Channel, to 3.5 years in prison. He was found guilty under Article 220 of the Criminal Code of abuse of power.