The United States Embassy in Tbilisi is responding to the attack on Vakho Sanaia and his family by a Formula One journalist in Tbilisi.
“The US Embassy condemns the attack on journalist Vakho Sanaia and his family. Attacks on journalists are unacceptable and should not be tolerated. We call on the authorities to fully investigate other unsolved cases of violence against journalists,” the embassy said in a statement.
Vakho Sanaia was attacked on February 25 in Tbilisi. According to Sanaia, he was physically injured. The journalist says that the attackers had aggression towards him as a journalist. He said the attackers tried to help him move on the icy road before identifying him, but after identifying him, they physically assaulted him.
Formula TV also made a statement about the incident and noted that it was the responsibility of the government.
“The government’s attempt to marginalize critical thinking, to conduct political justice and to use aggressive rhetoric against opponents of the ruling party has deepened the polarization to the point that no one in our country feels safe anymore,” the station said in a statement.
The media coalition also made a statement on the fact of the attack. Members of the Coalition for Media Advocacy say that high-profile statements by political officials about political opponents of journalists and the use of hate speech encourage a section of the public to verbally attack or interfere with their professional activities.
“We have repeatedly expressed concern over the rhetoric of Georgian Dream members, which creates a toxic environment in Georgia for the free work of media organizations and journalists. Or interfere with professional activities, “the statement said.
Three people were arrested in the case. According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, an investigation is underway into gang violence, according to Article 126, Part 1, Subparagraphs B and C of the First Prima Part of the Criminal Code of Georgia. The offense carries a maximum sentence of 2 years in prison.