Georgian ruling party accuses opposition of ‘trading by tragedy’ following death of TV Pirveli cameraman

Protesters demand the resignation of PM Garibashvili in front of the parliament building on July 11, following the death of TV Pirveli cameraman. Photo: Nino Alavidze/, 12 Jul 2021 - 15:19, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Georgian ruling party has accused the opposition of ‘trading by tragedy’ following the death of the TV Pirveli cameraman Lekso Lashkarava, who was found dead yesterday after being attacked by right-wing counter protesters of the Tbilisi Pride march on July 5. 

The head of the ruling party Irakli Kobakhidze said earlier today that the organisers of yesterday's rally, protesting the death of TV Pirveli cameraman Lekso Lashkarava, are the leaders of radical, anti-Christian groups, ‘who decided to score points on the death of the colleague.’ 

The leaders of the radical, anti-Christian groups are Nodar Meladze (head of TV Pirveli), Nika Gvaramia (Head of TV channel Mtavari Arkhi), movement Shame and the political forces, which coordinated the organisers of yesterday's rally...Their goal is to confront the state and the church,” said Kobakhidze. 

Vice Prime Minister Tea Tsulukiani said that blaming the government for the death of the TV Pirveli cameraman is shameful. She called on ‘some TV stations’ to stop participating in provocations. 

I would also urge you to stop the aggression towards the majority who believe that the parade should not be held on Rustaveli Avenue and learn to respect each other. I ask journalists as well not to intimidate me by the EU ambassador, because you are playing with this, when you intimidate Georgians with Europeans, you are doing a Russian job,” Tsulukiani said. 

People pay tribute to the deceased TV Pirveli cameraman in front of the parliament of Georgia on July 11. Photo: Nino Alavidze/

Head of Georgian Dream faction, MP Mamuka Mdinaradze also accused ‘certain people’ of manipulating by tragedy and assessed it as bad behaviour. 

I have questions for people who have started to trade the tragedy, who have the full information, much more than we do. At this point, specific people come out and manipulate the tragedy. This is very bad behaviour...Those abusive actions against journalists on July 5, are the actions of the darkest people, who have no idea about patriotism, the patriarchate or the church,” noted Mdinaradze. 

Int’l community sends condolences over death of TV Pirveli cameraman

Parliament Speaker Kakha Kuchava also responded to the ongoing events in Georgia and said that Lashkarava's death was a continuation of the events of July 5 and called it ‘black spot.’ 

[The death of TV Pirveli cameraman] is a sad and tragic development of the events that started on July 5, which has no justification...Unfortunately, this black spot has remained in our history as July 5…Parliament will also have to be actively involved in actually identifying all the causes. This is not only about the independent and impartial investigation,” said Kuchava. 

Yesterday civil activists, journalists and politicians gathered in front of the parliament building, demanding the resignation of PM Garibashvili, following the death of the TV Pirveli cameraman, who was violently beaten up by the right-wing protesters on July 5. 

An investigation into the death of the cameraman was launched yesterday under Article 115 of the Criminal Code of Georgia – incitement to suicide.