Obieqtivi TV continues illegal broadcasting in the Russian language and this time with a co-host from Sputnik-georgia.ru. Bypassing the decision adopted by Georgian National Communications Commission (GNCC) on January 9, which issued a warning and ordered Media Union Obieqtivi to immediately remove Russian-language program from the air, the TV channel still aired the program “Неделя” in the Russian language on January 21 and February 4, without Georgian subtitles and translation, contrary to the requirements of Georgian law. Moreover, on February 4, the program was co-hosted by Anna Anastasiadi, correspondent of the Kremlin-founded media outlet Sputnik-georgia.ru.
Anna Anastasiadi’s articles have been published on Sputnik since 2017. Her articles cover a variety of topics on how to lose weight, homeless dogs and Lugar Lab. The article about the Lugar Lab is dated October 8, 2018 and it covers the visit of Russian journalists to the lab, including Anastasiadi’s personal experience.
“The only thing that is familiar and clear to me in this room is the biological hazard warning sign - Biohazard. During the entire period of time, I had a feeling that for a couple of minutes, I appeared at the place, where, if not all, a lot of human misfortunes have been concentrated,” Anastasiadi writes. The pro-Kremlin actors have been spreading conspiracy theories about the threats coming from the Lugar Lab since 2012.
Since Obieqtivi TV does not meet the requirements of Georgian legislation, the Media Development Foundation (MDF) filed another complaint with GNCC on January 22.
The first complaint against Obieqtivi TV was filed on December 19, 2019. Obieqtivi TV’s decision to air the program “Night Studio” in the Russian language prompted MDF to file the complaint. The GNCC ruled that its resolution No.6 and article 381 of the Law of Georgia on Broadcasting have been violated. According to GNCC’s resolution and the Georgian Law on Broadcasting, the authorized national broadcaster in Georgia is obliged to ensure that the duration of programs in their broadcasting grid in a non-official language does not exceed 10% of their total daily broadcasting duration. Additionally, the duration of a program aired during prime time that is not in an official language, must not exceed 10% of the total prime time duration. The Obieqtivi TV program “Неделя” lasted for 51 minutes, exceeding the timeframe by 21 minutes as well as violating the obligation to place subtitles in the Georgian language.