TBILISI, DFWatch – Coalition for Freedom of Choice expresses solidarity with the print media regarding a new system for kiosks in Georgia’s capital which is threatening the newspaper sector and calls other booths owners to join in.
“We call for all persons interested in City Hall’s so-called ‘1000 Booths’ tender: to express a civic and social position and do not participate in the tender for locations where there are already standing or until November 25 had been standing newspaper stands. There are only 150 such stands in Tbilisi. If you keep this firm position it will give the opportunity to persons who have sold newspapers for years to participate in the tender and keep the same locations where they’re working now. This way you will support the free media.”
“Here we want to request representatives of the press to publish in their editions which locations are the same as the locations of existing newspaper kiosks. We acknowledge that some of the governmental businessmen may still participate in the bidding for the above-mentioned locations, either as businesses or as individuals. In this case, we keep the right to request society to express their protest, in a number of ways, against those companies and their product which take part in the suppression of free speech together with the government. Supporting free media is protecting our rights: to receive information without any restrictions. We are the society! We protect our rights!” the coalition’s statement says.