TBILISI, DFWatch – The Coalition for Media Advocacy says it is unacceptable to prevent journalists from bringing cameras into the session hall of the the Georgian parliament.

It recently became known that there will be a photo ban in the new Georgian parliament building in Kutaisi, covering both the main hall and the smaller committee rooms.

The ban has led to criticism from journalists and others. The Coalition for the Media Advocacy today sent a letter of protest to the Speaker of Parliament Davit Bakradze, calling the photo ban unacceptable.

“The coalition considers that this decision will be one more step backwards in the regards of protecting democracy, transparency and freedom of speech and will restrict the right of citizens to receive objective information about the MPs they have chosen,” the letter says.

The coalition asks for a meeting with the Speaker to discuss the issue.

Georgia is moving parliament to Kutaisi, a city in the west of the country, from after the election this fall. It will have a press center where journalists will be able to follow proceedings via eight cameras installed in the halls. But journalists will not be allowed to bring their own cameras into the main session hall and committee rooms.