Reporters hold protest ahead of ruling party reveal of Tbilisi mayor candidate

Journalists are holding the protest on a road leading up to Mtatsminda Park, where Georgian ream party is set to present Kakha Kaladze for another term as Tbilisi Mayor. Photo via InterPressNews., 20 Jul 2021 - 19:53, Tbilisi,Georgia

Reporters from Georgian outlets are holding a protest near Mtatsminda Park in Tbilisi with demands of repercussions for violent individuals who attacked media professionals in the capital on July 5.

Gathering on a road leading up to the recreational area - designated as the spot for the ruling party's presentation of Kakha Kaladze for a second term on the Tbilisi Mayor position on Tuesday - the journalists have confronted Georgian Dream members heading to the location.

The media professionals unfurled banners with messages demanding criminal responsibility for those from the right-wing groups who assaulted reporters in the city ahead of the ultimately cancelled Tbilisi Pride queer march event two weeks ago.

The protest follows the passing away of Lekso Lashkarava, a TV Pirveli cameraman, on July 11. Lashkarava was beaten by the attackers on July 5, with causes for his death becoming a controversial subject between the interior ministry on the one side and political opposition and media outlets on the other.

Journalists have been protesting what they see as inaction of law enforcement in protecting media professionals on July 5, as well as the ministry's version of drug overdose as the cause of Lashkarava's death.

Earlier on Tuesday reporters - including some of the most notable TV anchors - were seen at government offices while attempting to ask ruling party members questions about the government's responsibility following the death of the cameraman, with the officials evading the attempts.

Reporters involved in the series of protests have demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili following the violent scenes on July 5 and the subsequent controversy.

Georgian Dream party is scheduled to present Kaladze as their candidate for Tbilisi Mayor for another term at 8pm local time in Mtatsminda Park. Georgia's municipal elections are scheduled to be held in October.