PM calls journalists ‘party activists’ in response to inquiry into responsibility for attacks on journalists, resignation

People demanding the resignation of PM Garibashvili at the media protest rally in front of parliament building on July 17. Photo: Nino Alavidze/, 23 Jul 2021 - 15:53, Tbilisi,Georgia

Prime Minister Garibashvili has called journalists ‘party activists’ earlier today in response to inquiries into whether he would take responsibility for the attacks on journalists at the Tbilisi Pride counter rally on July 5 and leave the post following demands for his resignation from the opposition, NGOs and media representatives.

PM Garibashvili responded to journalists’ questions earlier today saying: ‘...unfortunately, TV stations have been transformed into departments of party organisations.’ 

He called on media representatives to ‘end the violence’ noting that managers of TV stations have to ‘put an end to the ​​falsity and violence.’ 

Various media outlet representatives, NGOs and opposition leaders have been demanding the resignation of PM Irakli Garibashvili following the more than 50 cases of physical assault on journalists at the Tbilisi Pride counter rally and the death of TV Pirveli cameraman Lekso Lashkarava, who was violently beaten up by right-wing counter protesters on July 5 and found dead later on July 11. 

A total of 53 journalists were injured at the counter rally on Rustaveli Avenue. 

Police arrested 28 individuals for unlawful interference with the journalist’s professional activities.