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Thousands Celebrate European Court Ruling In Favor Of Georgia's Rustavi 2 TV

Thousands turned out on the streets of Tbilisi on March 11 to show support for the Rustavi TV station.

Thousands of supporters of Georgia's Rustavi 2 TV have gathered in central Tbilisi to celebrate a recent ruling in favor of the broadcaster by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

The Strasbourg-based court on March 7 indefinitely prolonged its suspension of a Georgian Supreme Court decision to place Rustavi 2 under the control of a close supporter of the ruling Georgian Dream party.

Critics allege that the Georgian court's ruling is an attempt to stifle the only strong Georgian media organization that airs critical views of the government.

Rustavi 2 Director-General Nika Gvaramia said on March 11 that there is "reason to celebrate for now, but we have the feeling we have just won a battle -- not the whole war.”

An attorney for Rustavi 2, Tamata Muradashvili, says the ECHR's prolonged "interim measure" allows her legal team to prepare a case they will file at the European court to challenge the Georgian court decision.

With reporting by AP