After the death of a TV cameraman, thousands of people in Georgia rallied for Georgia News
Alexander Lashkarava was one of dozens of journalists who were assaulted when reporting on an attack on LGBTQ militants last week.
Thousands of people took to the streets of the Georgian capital after the death of a photographer, one of the dozens of journalists who were beaten when attacking LGBTQ activists in Tbilisi this week.
On Monday, LGBTQ activists in the South Caucasus country of Georgia cancelled a pride march after violent groups that had previously opposed the event stormed into and ransacked their Tbilisi office, targeting activists and journalists.
On Sunday, the 36-year-old photographer Alexander Lashkarava was beaten in the incident. His mother found him dead at home on TV Pirveli, the channel where he works. It did not disclose the cause of death.
Thousands of protesters gathered outside the parliament and the Georgia Dream Office of the ruling party on Sunday, calling on the prime minister and interior minister to resign due to the violence and the death of Rashkarava.
Opposition politician Elene Khoshtaria splashed red paint on the door of the government building in protest.
The death of Rashkarava angered Georgian human rights activists, who accused the authorities of encouraging hate groups and failed to protect journalists and LGBTQ supporters from harm.
The Ministry of the Interior said it was investigating the cause of Lashkarava’s death, but did not specify what caused it.
The ministry later stated that during the attack on LGBTQ supporters, Lashkarava’s professional activities were “illegal obstructed by threats of violence”.
Georgian President Salome Zurabichvili wrote on Twitter on Sunday that she has visited the family of Rashkarava.
“What happened was a tragedy, and I extend my condolences to the entire media community and the entire state of Georgia,” she wrote. “It must be investigated and those responsible must be severely punished.”
The police said on Monday that more than 50 journalists had been targeted in the violence, which prompted Western countries to call on Georgia to ensure freedom of speech and assembly.
The planned pride parade was cancelled before it started, arousing criticism from the church and conservatives, and Prime Minister Irakli Garibashivili stated that the parade risks arousing public confrontation.