Protest scheduled for 6 p.m. today demanding PM’s resignation following TV Pirveli cameraman’s death

  • Lekso Lashkarava was one of the 53 media representatives who were attacked by right-wing groups during the Tbilisi Pride counter rally on June 5. Photo: Nino Alavidze/, 11 Jul 2021 - 15:12, Tbilisi,Georgia

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.

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:

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:

Opposition politicians also demand the resignation of the Georgian Prime Minister and the Interior Minister. 

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:

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.