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Another arrest made in Georgia after cameraman's death at anti-Pride protests

Alexander Lashkarava's death has prompted protests calling for government officials to resign.

2021-07-23

Words: Alastair James; pictures: Twitter

One more person has been arrested in Georgia following the death of a cameraman at a protest against an LGBTQ Pride march in the capital Tbilisi at the beginning of the month.

Alexander Lashkarava, 37, worked for the independent station TV Pirveli and was covering the protest on 5 July when he was attacked, along with other journalists and activists.

He suffered facial injuries in the attack and was found dead on 11 July. A funeral was held for him last week, with journalists paying tribute to him. 

"A major setback for press freedom in Georgia"

Georgia’s Interior Ministry said another person had been arrested in connection with Lashkarava’s death and the violence that erupted when far-right protestors attacked the headquarters for those organising a Pride march in Tbilisi.

The ministry said on their website on Friday (23 July) that a 34-year-old man had been arrested for verbally and physically abusing a journalist and obstructing his work.

The ministry also said that since the violence 28 people had been arrested – 24 for threatening journalists with violence, 3 for raiding Tbilisi Pride offices, and 1 person had been arrested for violence against a citizen.

It adds that investigations are ongoing.

Jeanne Cavelier, the head of Reporters Without Borders’ (RSF) Eastern Europe and Central Asia desk said: “The brutal attacks against journalists in Tbilisi represent a major setback for press freedom in Georgia.

Georgia’s President, Salome Zourabichvili, described Lashkarava’s death as a “tragedy” and called for the investigation to punish those responsible for his death.

Lashkarava’s death also led to protests calling the country’s Prime Minister, Irakli Garibashvili to resign, including interrupting a press conference.

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