Georgia: Thousands protest against government takeover of main TV company

Thousands of protesters rallied in Tbilisi on Thursday against the proposed government takeover of a leading TV company in the South Caucasus region, Rustavi Two. Twin protests joined forces as one was held outside a courthouse in the city centre and the other unfolded outside the main station. Demonstrators came out to oppose a decision which will enforce restrictive measures on the TV company by the government. Up until now the company has been free from government control therefore "depicting the views and voices of the Georgian people" a protester said. There have been fears that the court would rule to seize the channel with staff threatening to defend the premises. However Judge Tamaz Urtmelidze ruled to adjourn the case until Monday. The company believe the Georgian authorities are using the court case to seize the TV company from the current owner, Nika Gvaramia. He said the government wants to control the channel's editorial line and alleged that the authorities have made attempts to intimidate him.