Reporters Without Borders: "Georgia: Suspicious death of a journalist attacked six days earlier by homophobic lynch mob"

  • Lekso Lashkarava was found dead by his mother at his home on Sunday, following an attack on him and his accompanying reporter on July 5. TV Pirveli screenshot.

Review by, 13 Jul 2021, Tbilisi,Georgia

Reporters Without Borders have called for an "in-depth, impartial and transparent" investigation of the causes that led to the death of cameraman Lekso Lashkarava in Tbilisi on Sunday after the TV Pirveli reporter was injured by a right-wing group in the capital last week.

A piece published on the website of RSF on Monday explains the developments around the death of Lashkarava, deployed by his channel to cover the planned Tbilisi Pride queer event on July 5 before being attacked by the mob and receiving serious injuries.

While the causes for his passing away on the weekend remain unknown, and an official inquest into them is ongoing, RSF's article includes a statement from Jeanne Cavalier, head of the organisation's Eastern Europe and Central Asia desk, calling the cameraman's death "a disastrous turning point for the freedom to inform in Georgia".

Reacting to the Georgian interior ministry's preliminary comments about a possible drug overdose as an element in the tragic event, Cavalier said "[i]nstead of trying to discredit the late cameraman" the government should ensure a transparent and impartial investigation into both the death and the attacks on 53 journalists "whom the police failed to protect" on the day.

Read the full story here.