Imedi TV resumed broadcasts on Wednesday evening, December 12, thirty four days after the television station was shut down in a police raid and twenty four days ahead of early presidential polls.
“Imedi is back,” Giorgi Targamadze, an anchor and head of Imedi TV political programs said. “Unwelcome guests have left the studio and Imedi journalists are back… We hope to be the last journalists to be forced out of their studio at gun point.” Targamadze was on air on November 7 when police broke in and pulled the plug.
Imedi’s first hour back on air was devoted to recounting the November 7 events when riot police broke up demonstrations and raided the Imedi studios.
The station claimed that about 30 Imedi journalists and cameramen were injured during the November 7 events. Amiran Murvanidze, a veteran cameraman, said that riot police, when breaking up the demonstration, “were especially aggressive towards Imedi TV crews.”
The narrative of the November 7 events also included footage of senior ruling party lawmakers slamming Imedi journalists for “inciting panic.”
There was also a separate report on the damage inflicted on the studios by the police. The program did not, however, put a figure on what the financial implications were. “It is still too early to estimate an exact or even approximate sum,” it said.
A promo advertising the daily late-night political talk show On the Air was also shown. The promo introduced Magda Anikashvili, a former Imedi newscaster, as the host of the talk show, replacing Inga Grigolia and Eka Khoperia, who quit the station following its closure.