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Intíl Press Group Raises Journalist Blackmail Claims
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 4 Dec.'09 / 18:34

The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers and the World Editors Forum urged President Saakashvili to ensure that a thorough investigation is carried out into reported attempts by the law enforcement officers to blackmail a journalist from Batumi-based newspaper, Batumelebi.

“We are seriously concerned that Georgian security services would seek to blackmail a journalist and interfere in editorial freedom. Such tactics are reminiscent of the Soviet-era KGB and have no place in a modern democracy,” Gavin O’Reilly, president of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers and Xavier Vidal-Folch, president of the World Editors Forum, said in a letter sent to President Saakashvili on December 4.

The Interior Ministry said this week that its internal investigations unit was probing into the blackmail and intimidation claims by the Batumelebi journalist.

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