Protesters gather in downtown Tbilisi following death of TV Pirveli cameraman, demand PM’s resignation

  • Georgian journalists, who are the key speakers at today's protest rally on Rustaveli Avenue, say they will not surrender. Photo: Nino Alavidze/Agenda.ge

Agenda.ge, 11 Jul 2021 - 20:08, Tbilisi,Georgia

Journalists, civil activists and politicians have gathered in front of the parliament building in downtown Tbilisi to pay tribute to the late TV Pirveli cameraman Lekso Lashkarava and demand Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili’s resignation. 

Shame Movement, which is one of the organisers of the rally, has tweeted:

The protest rally was scheduled earlier today after Lekso Lashkarava, 36, was found dead at home earlier today.

Photo: Nino Alavidze/Agenda.ge

He was attacked in the office of the Shame Movement by over 30 right-wing activists during the Tbilisi Pride counter rally on June 5.

Heads of different media outlets and civil activists called on others to join them and pay tribute to the late cameraman.

In a joint statement released after Lashkarava's death, the Georgian media representatives say that the ‘cases of violations of the rights of media representatives in Georgia have reached a critical level’. 

Dozens of cases against the media are still uninvestigated. The government does not ensure the safety of journalists, and statements by representatives of the ruling party exacerbate violence”, the joint statement reads. 

The signatories call on the diplomatic corps and international organisations ‘to respond immediately’ and ‘effectively to the targeted persecution of media representatives’ during the Tbilisi Pride counter rally on July 5. 

The TV Pirveli cameraman was one of the 53 media representatives attacked by the right-wing groups last week. 

Photo: Shot from 1TV live video

Protest rallies are held in other cities, including Batumi, where protesters have sprayed paint 'murderers' on the government building.

An investigation has been launched in the death of Lekso Lashkarava, under Article 115 of the Criminal Code of Georgia – incitement to suicide. However, the Interior Ministry names drug overdose as a possible reason for Lashkarava's death.

Back