Georgian president Salome Zourabichvili on Monday condemned ongoing developments around journalist Tatia Samkharadze, who has won sexual harassment dispute in 2018 against Shalva Ramishvili, the chair of the pro-Governmnnetal, propagandist POSTV channel.
Last week a POSTV journalist Natia Beridze called police and said Dimitri Chikovani, a member of the United National Movement opposition party, had kidnapped Samkharadze, with the latter responding it was a “lie” with Ramishvili continuing to oppress her.
The channel claimed on March 26 Samkharadze still remained in the politician’s flat, with the journalist rejecting the claims again, posting a photo from her home and addressing the country’s authorities to react to “continuous violence” against her.
The ruling party has not responded to the incident so far, while the opposition has condemned it.
"The situation of violence against women in our country and its justification is disturbing. Such an uncivil, non-social, non-solidarity approach is incomprehensible to me, both humanly and morally especially when we know that what begins with verbal violence often continues with physical violence and in some cases ends with femicide”, Zourabichvili said.
“I categorically condemn all harassment, verbal or physical attacks. I condemn, first of all, as a woman and then as a president. I condemn what has nothing to do with our culture, our traditions”, she added.
The president also slammed the authorities for “not distancing itself” from violence, “even verbally, on the contrary, it encourages the perpetrator for repeated violence. This does not belong to our country. You should be ashamed”, Zourabichvili said.
Ramishvili left the presidential administration and worked as a host in Imedi TV in 2014, where Samkharadze also worked.
She later sued Ramishvili for sexual harassment and won the lawsuit in the city court and the court of appeals.
Imedi TV terminated its contract with Ramishvili, who founded the Internet television POSTV, which later became a TV channel, with its 52 percent owned by Viktor Japaridze, a member of the Power of the People movement that in last year formally separated from the ruling party and still remaining in the parliamentary majority.
The channel has been engaged in anti-western propaganda.