The South Caucasus Network of Human Rights Defenders

Georgia: Rally Held at Embassy of Switzerland to Support Vakhtang Komakhidze
Lana Beridze

On February 13, under the initiative of Journalists for Freedom of Speech the rally was held at the Embassy of Switzerland in Tbilisi to support investigative journalist Vakhtang Komakhidze.

Up to 100 people including journalists, NGO representatives, experts, members of opposition parties took part in the event.

In the course of a one-hour rally the journalists were holding postures under the slogan: "Solidarity to Vakho Komakhidze," "Free Speech is Persecuted."

In the course of the rally an appeal to the Embassy was signed. Signatories call upon the Embassy to render assistance to the Georgian journalist currently residing at the refugee camp in Geneva and asking for political asylum from the Swiss authorities.

"With deep respect to your country Georgian journalists and the society signatory to the appeal would kindly request you to render assistance to Vakhtang Komakhidze and his family," reads the appeal, "We would like to show our solidarity to the journalist and taking into account Vakhtang Komakhidze's reputation and the possible danger we would kindly request you to render relevant assistance to our colleague."

The appeal will be handed over to the Swiss Embassy on Monday since the Embassy was out of office on Saturday.

The rallies to support Vakhtang Komakhidze were held in Batumi and Akhaltsikhe too. In addition the representatives of regional media collected signatures to be sent to the Embassy of Switzerland.

On February 9 journalist Vakhtang Komakhidze released a statement informing that due to his professional activity his family and him in person are under life threats by the authorities. Komakhidze is the author of several scandalous investigative documentaries.


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