The 1992 Law on the Press nominally reversed the rigorous state censorship of the Soviet and Gamsakhurdia periods and guaranteed freedom of speech. In 1993 Georgian law contained no prohibition of public criticism of the head of state, and Shevardnadze was subjected to accusations and comments from every direction. Three television channels are in operation; one, Ibervision, is run independently. Numerous independent newspapers are published; Sakartvelos Respublika (The Georgian Republic) presents the official government view in the daily press.
Despite some liberalization, in 1994 national security remained a rationale for media restriction. During the crisis of September 1993, two pro-Gamsakhurdia newspapers were closed and the office of an independent weekly were attacked by gunmen. The Free Media Association, an organization including eight independent newspapers, blamed a progovernment party for the attack. After his controversial decision in October to join the CIS, Shevardnadze threatened to close hostile newspapers, and no television channel discussed the widespread disagreement with the head of state's CIS initiative.
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