TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s Public Defender has criticized a TV report concerning a family conflict which for openly reporting about the personal life of a young couple.
The report was aired Sunday on Imedi TV and describes a newlywed couple living in the northwest of Georgia.
The Public Defender believes that the report violated the right to privacy of several people and calls for journalists to be more careful while reporting this kind of issues.
He draws attention to the gender inequality in society and points out that violence against women remains a serious challenge in Georgia, as there are strong but incorrect stereotypes and a practice of discrimination, resulting in violations of women’s basic rights.
“Society often doesn’t fight against discriminatory practice but expresses sympathy toward offenders,” the ombudsman’s statement reads, recalling a report aired on the show Imedis Kvira which was about alleged physical and sexual offense committed by a husband against his wife, because she wasn’t a virgin when they married.
The Public Defender also reminds journalists and media outlets that they have an important role in changing public consciousness and establishing the right attitudes, as they are entitled to reach every family and highlight problems.
The ombudsman believes that the report on Imedi violates the right to privacy on the background of grave trauma, while the report openly showed footage of the victim’s face and health condition, discussed details of the couple’s sex life in a way that it completely obscured the character of the physical and sexual violence against this woman.
He calls on journalists to be careful and take into account the interests of victims and the traumas they have gone through and not contribute to strengthening wrong discriminatory stereotypes. He further calls on government bodies to investigate the case and react to the incident, protect the victim and provide psychological and social rehabilitation.