Georgian TV presenter who insulted Putin temporarily suspended

Georgi Gabunia, a Georgian presenter from the Rustavi-2 TV channel, has been suspended from work after he let off a tirade of insults against Russian President Vladimir Putin in an uncensored TV broadcast, Meduza reports, citing a statement by the TV company.

Gabunia has been suspended for two months from participating in any programs for Rustavi-2, especially the Postscriptum program.

On the night of 7 July, Rustavi-2 went off air after Gabunia made highly offensive remarks about Putin and his parents. Shortly thereafter, nearly two hundred activists protested outside the TV channel’s offices. The channel went back on air the following morning. Rustavi-2 said in a statement that it suspended its broadcast due to the Interior Ministry’s inability to protect its journalists. Several staff members were assaulted after the incident.

The protesters demanded an apology and the initiation of a criminal case. Several people threw eggs at the building, and some tried to storm inside. One of the TV company’s cameramen resigned in protest.

Gabunia directed a string of insults against Putin and his mother in his Sunday show, Postscriptum.

Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze, President Salome Zourabichvili and the Foreign Ministry have condemned the presenter’s actions.

  Europe, Georgia, Putin, Russia