Human Rights House Tbilisi expresses its full solidarity with Tatia Samkharadze, who has become a victim of pro-government TV channels in recent days due to her activism.
On March 26, Tatia Samkharadze published a video on her Facebook page as proof that the TV company “PostTV” had lied about her, claiming that she had been kidnapped by Dimitri Chikovani, a member of the United National Movement, and could not leave his apartment, and had bruises.
According to Samkharadze’s announcement today, “PostTV” journalists and other groups are still guarding the entrance to her apartment.
The organized attack on Tatia Samkharadze is clearly a response to her activism. In recent days, the founder and presenter of “PostTV”, Shalva Ramishvili, was exposed to sexual harassment by three more women. Tatia Samkharadze won a court case against Ramishvili in 2019, when the court determined that sexual harassment is a form of discrimination and ordered Ramishvili to pay moral compensation in favor of the activist.
Currently, the attacks on Samkharadze are in response to her civic activism, as she stands by the women who spoke about sexual harassment. It is clear that pro-government media is actively trying to spread disinformation about Samkharadze to discredit her public profile.
We call on the Ministry of Internal Affairs to use the protection mechanisms at its disposal to stop the persecution of Tatia Samkharadze and ensure her right to privacy.
According to various international acts, Georgia has an obligation to protect human rights defenders from violence, threats, persecution, and intimidation by both state and non-state actors. Female human rights defenders and activists are often victims of special and double stigma – as women and as human rights defenders. Therefore, the government should pay special attention to the attacks on Tatia Samkharadze and stop her persecution.