Related Broadcasting in
Due to transformation from Soviet totalitarian regime to democratic developments there is no enough legislative basis for regulating issues concerning broadcasting and linguistic minorities rights. In fact only now Georgian society begins to realize real essence and nature of human rights. Adoption of constitution in 1995 was the first step towards democratic state, but nevertheless only after accession to Council of Europe appeared necessity for adopting new laws compatible to European Convention on Human Rights and international standards.
Nevertheless these groups are not
heterogeneous. One group of Greek speak Turkish language and other modern
In Georgia exist State television
(First and second channels) and eight independent broadcasting companies in
Tbilisi and about 45 regional TV stations and several radio stations including
state radio station. Lack of finances forces most of them to depend on state
funding. There is no public service broadcasting in
In second part of 90-th State
official bodies actively appealed to restrictive measures toward independent TV
Rights of religion minorities are
mostly restricted on
There is a little information
from Abkhazia and south
Georgian constitution includes provisions concerning freedom of expression and minority rights. It declares equality of every person in social, economic, cultural and political life regardless of national, ethnic, religious or language origin. As prescribed by constitution in accordance to universally recognize principles and norms of international law, which take precedence over domestic legislation, all have the right to develop their culture freely without any discrimination any interference.
Constitution stresses the great importance of freedom of speech and makes emphasis on right of freely receive and disseminate information the importance. Every one has a right to express and disseminate his opinion orally, in writing or in any other form. It is prohibited to monopolize the mass media and other means of dissemination of information by state and private persons. Censorship is strictly forbidden. Freedom of speech can be restricted by only in following cases:
Constitution names Georgian as a
state language on
There is no concrete legislation related to rights of minorities. Some experts think that statements of constitution and implementation of European Convention of Human Rights is effective guarantee to protect minorities' rights and adoption of certain law concerning minority rights will cause discrimination. However legislation in different spheres for example Law on Citizenship of Georgia, Law on Culture put emphasis on equality of citizens regardless national, ethnic, religious and linguistic origin. Law on education provides the right to receive primary and secondary education on native language. Therefore adopted Georgian legislation admits no hierarchysation of officially-recognized languages and minority groups.
Though working on the conception
on Public service broadcasting has been started, presently the only legislative
act regulating broadcasting sphere in Georgia are law on Post and Communication
and on Press and Other means of Mass Media. It states provisions relating free
access of minorities to broadcasting. Language of Press and other means of mass
media is state language – Georgian language, in Abkhazia also Abkhazian
Law on Press and Other means of
Mass Media includes norms concerning to all kind of broadcasting stations.
Government bodies, political parties, public organizations and other
associations registered in accordance with law and citizens of
Activities of means of mass media may be stopped, if they violate the law, cause commitment of crime, induce danger to state and public security, territorial integrity.
Terminating of independent TV-Radio broadcasting channels is allowed only on basis of court decision.
Georgian state television is an exception from above mentioned rule. It is legal person of public law by status established owing to President's order; therefore it is subjected to governmental influence and completely shares views of authorities. Adjara TV carries out same functions in Adjarian autonomous republic.
Law on Post and Telecommunication
(hereinafter LPT) defines bodies giving license and regulates rule of licensing
for broadcasting stations considering such principles as equality of every
person and entity, restriction of monopolization, protection of consumers
interest and etc.
Georgian National Post and Telecommunications Regulatory Commission
(hereinafter commission) is the independent state organ that grants licenses in
broadcasting sphere in
LTP determines principles and objectives of tariff policy in this field. It must support development of sector; economic, social, and legal stability in the state, protect consumer rights and creation of competitive environment. Tariffs should be fair and non-discriminative.
Some kinds of broadcasting are not subjected to licensing. It concerns to broadcasting provided by the legal entity of common law established on the basis of state property or by a state government body established for the provision of broadcasting at the moment of coming into force of this law. The example of it is Georgian state television and other regional stations in state television network. Nevertheless they must be registered in Commission.
Resolutions and decisions of commission can be appealed in court.
LPT provides opportunity for different stations to receive license through competition, announced by commission. Commission determines unused frequency in frequency scheme and priorities of public opinion. Commission, when selecting applications, considers technical, financial, criteria and programming, including quantity of local production. LPT includes no restrictions concerning linguistic minorities.
LTP states certain obligations for broadcasting stations. The broadcaster is obliged to keep to the rules determined by international agreements, the Georgian organic law “Georgian Electoral Code” this law, and to existing Georgian laws on: “An author’s and the Related Rights”, “Protection of Minors from Harmful Influences”, “Advertisement”, and “State Secret”. Apart of it, the broadcaster shall submit to the Commission all documents confirming its authority for the dissemination of TV and radio programs during the broadcasting process, immediately upon request of the Commission and publish broadcasting program once a week.
There is no legislative act regulating state and minority language issues except constitutional provision mentioned above.
Broadcasting and minorities
In Samcke-Javaxeti region settled
compactly by ethic Armenians there is a local TV station ATV-12, that broadcasts
mostly on Armenian and Russian languages. In Ninotsminda region functions TV
company RTV-Faravana broadcasting also on Armenian and Russian languages There
are no local radio stations. Nevertheless the information vacuum is serious
problem in this area. Only source of information from other parts of
National State radio station is used to disseminating information on Armenian , Azerbaijanian and Greek languages (one hour duration of each), but recently it had to change transmitting frequency, due to dept to state budget. It turned out to be a great impediment for regions settled by these minorities, because mentioned frequency is accessible only by means of additional equipment not available for most of minorities.
Georgian radio broadcasting company Green Wave managed
to establish its station in
Only in the beginning of the year
active discussions began on the draft law on state language. It claims that all
Article 32 of draft law suggests that as rule newspapers and magazines must be published on state language. This standard concerns TV and radio broadcasting. Only in case of necessity this law allows 10 percent of whole broadcasting on other languages. This norm violates right of freely receive and impart information.
Conception on law on Public Service Broadcasting is being worked out at a present. It relates to setting up of such kind of broadcasting that take into consideration interests of every social groups and minorities regardless of language also.
1. The Constitution is the supreme law of the state. All other legal acts shall be issued in accordance with the Constitution.
2. The legislation of
The state recognizes and defends universally recognized human rights and freedoms as eternal and supreme values. The people and the state are bound by these rights and freedoms as well as by current legislation for the exercise of state power.
The state language of
Georgian Law on Post and Telecommunications
Article 4. Principles of Activities in Telecommunications and Post Sector
1. Activities in the
telecommunications and post sector of
a) Equality for legal and physical entities in their activities and utilization of the proceeds;
b) Restriction of the monopolization of the post and telecommunications networks;
g) Protection of the consumer's legal interests;
Article 20. Statute and functions of the GNPTRC
1. The Georgian National Post and Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (GNPTRC) is a legal entity under public law and is a permanent independent state body, which is not governed by any other state authority/body.
4. The Commission is authorized to grant licenses on
activities in the telecommunications and post sphere in
Article 22. Members of the Commission and Terms of Membership
1. The Commission consists of three Commissioners. The President of Georgia appoints the Commissioners for six-year terms and dismisses them.
Article 25. Appointment of Commission Staff Members and their Dismissal
The commission involves apparatus to provide carrying out its functions. Only the commission is authorized to select, appoint, and dismiss apparatus staff, according to the rules established by Georgian legislation.
Article 29. Appeal
Resolutions and decisions made by the Commission may be appealed to the court according to the rules established under Georgian legislation.
Article 31. Budget of the Commission, License Fees
1. The Commission shall prepare the budget for the next year by September 1, of each year, reflecting all expenses and income of the commission, including salaries for commissioners and staff. The commission is obliged to publish its budget.
2. 20 % of license fee shall be transferred to the account of the Commission and is not an income, obtained through economic activities. 20 % of the license fee should be used to cover current expenses of the Commission.
Article 32. Annual Accounts of the Commission
The Commission draws up the annual report on its activities, which is submitted to the President of Georgia, Parliament and the Ministry. The account shall be available for the society.
CHAPTER VI. LICENSING, CERTIFYING & OBSERVANCE OF METROLOGICAL NORMS IN THE TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND POST SPHERE
Article 34. Licensing Body in the Telecommunications and Post Sphere
1. The licensing body in the telecommunications and post sphere is the Commission, which:
a) Grants licenses on activities envisaged by this law and keeps a departmental register;
b) Provides control upon observance of conditions envisaged by the license;
c) Suspends, recommences or revokes the license, according to the rules established by the law;
d) Publishes information on the suspension, re-commencement, or revocation of the licenses.
Article 36. Types of Activities Permitted by the License and Terms of Validity of
1. The license is granted for a ten year term; If the license holder during the term of the license does not violate conditions determined by the Georgian Law, including the normative acts of the Commission, the license is renewed (extended) for ten years based on the decision of the Commission. In case the license is renewed the license holders has to pay license application fee and in certain cases defined by this law, initial portion of the license fee, corresponding to the amount determined at time of the renewal of license. When the terms of license validity are expanded, the Commission shall determine the initial amount of license fee. (0.05.2002 #1388)
Article 42. Activities without a License
11. Broadcasting provided by the legal entity of common law established on the basis of state property or by a state government body established for the provision of Broadcasting at the moment of coming into force of this law, is not subject to licensing. The mentioned entities and state bodies that are obliged to keep the requirements determined for the broadcasters by this law are granted the frequencies used by them by the Commission at the moment of the enforcement of this law. (07.05.2002 #1388)
Article 47. Main Objectives and principles of tariff policy
1. Tariff Policy in the field of Telecommunication and Post shall support development of sector; economic, social, and legal stability in the state, protect consumer rights and creation of competitive environment. It shall promote availability of telecom and post service. The development and roll-out telecommunication and postal networks provides the basis for tariff policy.
2. Basic objectives of the tariff policy are:
a) Promotion of effective and efficient telecommunication and post services for all social groups and development of customer oriented types of services;
c) Create proper conditions for development of entrepreneurship environment, for extension of healthy competition, quality services and modern technologies;
d) Ensure availability of services, provided through Telecommunication and Post network and facilities for the consumers;
Chapter VI1. Broadcasting Licensing
Article 451. Broadcasting Licensing Body
Only the Commission is authorized to issue broadcasting license in compliance with the rule determined by the legislation and keep the community principles.
Article 452. Limits for Broadcasting Licenses Acquisition
Following persons or entities should not be granted a broadcasting license:
a) State government body of foreign country and its representatives;
b) Citizen of foreign country, the person with no citizenship and their representatives;
c) The entity registered according to the foreign legislation, its representatives and subsidiaries;
d) The entity registered according to the Georgian legislation, if 50% of authorized capital stock of such entity belongs to the subject considered in sub-articles “b”-“c” of this Article.
Article 454. The Rules of Broadcasting Licensing
Article 455. The Rules of Broadcasting Licensing through Competition
Article 4510. Obligations of a Broadcaster
 Law of Georgia on Citizenship of Georgia article 4
 Law of Georgia on Culture article 6
 Law of Georgia on Education, article 4
 Law of Georgia on Press and other Means of Mass Media, article 3
 Law of Georgia on Press and other Means of Mass Media, article 6
 Law of Georgia on Press and other Means of Mass Media, article 4
 Law of Georgia on Press and other Means of Mass Media, article 12
 Law of Georgia on Post and Telecommunications, article 4
 Law of Georgia on Post and Telecommunications, article 20
 Law of Georgia on Post and Telecommunications, article 22
 Law of Georgia on Post and Telecommunications, article 36
 Law of Georgia on Post and Telecommunications, article 452
 Law of Georgia on Post and Telecommunications, article 45
 Law of Georgia on Post and Telecommunications, article 42
 Law of Georgia on Post and Telecommunications, article 455
 Law of Georgia on Post and Telecommunications, article 4510
 Draft Law on State Language, article 11