A protest rally will be held in front of the parliament building in downtown Tbilisi at 6 p. m. demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili after TV Pirveli cameraman Lekso Lashkarava was found dead earlier today.
Lashkarava, 36, who was attacked in the office of the Shame Movement by over 30 right-wing activists during the Tbilisi Pride counter rally on June 5, had received a concussion, facial bone fractures and multiple bruises and went under medical surgery.
Heads of different media outlets and civil activists have called on others to join them and pay tribute to the late cameraman.
Nika Gvaramia, releases a statement on Facebook, beseeching everyone who can, to attend the protest against the murderous Government, on Rustaveli ave. 18:00— Mtavari TV (@MtavariChannel) July 11, 2021
More: https://t.co/v2JpGE9d3Y pic.twitter.com/M5P634SufS
Mtavari Arkhi TV Director Nika Gvaramia has also called on the public to stand with the Georgian media today.
We, despite our editorial policies, serve to you as much as we can, on the verge of our possibilities”, Gvaramia wrote on Facebook.
He said, today’s solidarity is of utmost importance for the media to ‘physically survive’, and keep on working.
Claiming that the anti Tbilisi Pride rally of July 5 was ‘a special operation’ planned by the government of Georgia to threaten the media, TV Pirveli anchor Inga Grigolia said otherwise police would have ensured safety during the rally.
Grigolia, like other journalists, calls on Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili to take the responsibility over the recent violence in Tbilisi and resign.
You live in the country where journalists are being killed”, Grigolia has addressed the audience, encouraging them to join the protest later today.
TV Pirveli founder Vato Tsereteli has also stated earlier today that the entire responsibility of the actions of the right-wing groups lies on Irakli Garibashvili personally and his ruling Georgian Dream party.
Founder of the Shame Movement Shota Dighmelashvili has tweeted:
RIP journalist Lexo Lashkarava :(— Shota Dighmelashvili (@shotadig) July 11, 2021
He died days after he got beaten up by the violent pro-Kremlin mob. Lexo was just doing his job, reporting on @TbilisiPride while the government sanctioned mobsters tried to break in the office of @Shamemovement
PM and MIA must step down! pic.twitter.com/HsCqbIQRzK
The Shame Movement, comprised of young civil activists, demands the resignation of Garibashvili's government, and punishment of everyone responsible for the violence against media and activists on July 5-6.
The Shame Movement has tweeted:
Today is a tragic day for #Georgia. @TvPirveli cameraman beaten on 5 July #TbilisiPride21 violence co-organized by ???????? Gov & Patriarchate, died today. Today we are taking to the streets with demands: 1. @GharibashviliGe's murderous Gov must resign. ⤵️Event: https://t.co/VaYxebvWLs pic.twitter.com/dXdmxQKSw5— Shame Movement (@Shamemovement) July 11, 2021
Opposition politicians also demand the resignation of the Georgian Prime Minister and the Interior Minister.
The Chancellery of the Georgian Government has been painted with red paint by Droa Movement chair Elene Khoshtaria, following the death of Aleksandre Lashkarava.— OC Media (@OCMediaorg) July 11, 2021
???? Journalist attacked during anti-Pride riots found dead at home: https://t.co/7zDF8RAYZz
???? Vakhtang Berikashvili. pic.twitter.com/An4efofsyM
Expressing their condolences to the family of the late cameraman, Lelo for Georgia says Lekso Lashkarava is the victim of the ‘Russian scenario in Georgia’, which aims at ‘inspiring civil confrontation in the country and dismantling the state’.
This scenario has blind performers, but unfortunately, it has organisers and planners in the highest echelons of the Georgian government”, Lelo for Georgia has stated.
United National Movement member Nugzar Tsiklauri also claims that the responsibility over Lashkarava’s death lies with the government.
Director of Tbilisi Pride Giorgi Tabagari has also tweeted:
❗️Activists painted Georgian Orthodox Church in red paint. After their direct participation in the violence that resulted in death of a journalist.— Giorgi Tabagari (@Tabagari) July 11, 2021
❗️Church won't get away with the responsibility. blood is on their hands too! #Georgia #Media pic.twitter.com/JkQneCt2F5
A total of 53 representatives of various media outlets have been injured while covering the rally of right wing activists against the Tbilisi Pride march that was scheduled for July 5.