On 8 October, during the parliamentary elections, several representatives of media outlets were prevented from performing their job. In particular:
· A security police officer required from a Netgazeti journalist to show a filmed material and prohibited the journalist from filming him (08:33): At the polling station #6 in Mtatsminda district, Tbilisi, where President of Georgia was to cast ballot, a security police officer required from a Netgazeti journalist to show a filmed material and prohibited the journalist to film him.
· A journalist of Rustavi 2 was offended at a polling station (15:44): According to Rustavi 2, at a polling station #26 in Batumi, a filming crew of Rustavi 2 TV company was verbally offended. The crew arrived there to double check reports about violations at the station.
· A Netgazeti journalist was not allowed to enter the polling station (08:37): At the polling station #15 of 14th Chugureti district in Tbilisi, a Netgazeti journalist as well as election observers were not allowed to enter the polling station in the period between 7 and 8 o’clock in the morning. The chairman of polling station explained to the journalist that observers having arrived before 7 o’clock were allowed to enter the station, following which the station was closed for one hour.
· Journalists of Mega TV, online editions Kutaisipost and Netgazeti were not allowed to enter a special polling station #127 of the Kutaisi penitentiary facility during several hours (13:56): at 11:30, the prison administration explained to the journalists that they were not on a special list which the administration received and that the identity cards issued by the Central Electoral Commission (CEC) were not originals. Following the communication with the CEC, journalists were allowed to enter, but the Netgazeti journalist was prevented from taking an audio recorder and a photo camera in. Because of restriction on the use of photo camera, the Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association contacted the Penitentiary Minister, which resulted in allowing the Netgazeti journalist to take the photo camera in.
The Media Development Foundation calls on the security police, the CEC as well as other subjects to refrain from preventing journalists from performing their professional duties to inform society about the course of elections.