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Skirmishes over the death of the camera after the anti-LGBTQ demonstration took place in the Georgian Parliament




Protesters demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili after the death of 37-year-old Alexander Lashkarava. The camera was “found dead at home by its mother” on Sunday, six days after protesters were severely beaten by protesters trying to block an LGBTQ pride event in Georgia’s capital, Tbilisi, its businessman said. TV Pirveli.

Lashkarava suffered “multiple facial fractures” when he was attacked while covering counter-demonstrations in Tbilisi against a Pride event called March for Dignity with fellow journalist Miranda Bagaturia, TV Pirveli’s commercial director told CNN on Sunday. Nana Aburjanidze.

The event was canceled when violent protesters stormed the offices of some LGBTQ campaign groups before the march began, Aburjanidze said.

Garibashvili responded to Lashkarava’s death by referring to protesters as “anti-state and anti-church forces” who were politicizing the incident.

“It was another failed conspiracy against the state, led by anti-state and anti-church forces, that failed and will never succeed in our country. We all saw that the tragedy of this person was tried to be used to his own political agenda, “he said, according to the AFP news agency.

“An appropriate forensic examination is scheduled, at the initiative of the deceased’s family and at the request of the television company, an independent expert is involved and all questions will be answered completely, in the shortest possible time,” he noted. dit.

Georgia President Salome Zourabichvili visited the Lashkarava family on Sunday and said the case needs to be investigated.

“What happened is a tragedy and I send my condolences to the entire media community and to the whole of Georgia,” wrote on Twitter. “We need to investigate it and punish those responsible.”

53 journalists attacked

Aburjanidze, of TV Pirveli, said Lashkarava died after spending almost a week in hospital and having surgery.

TV Pirveli posted this picture of Lashkarava's wounds before his death.

“They gave him medical treatment to do it at home. He visited our office on Friday and said the pain was very bad. He was on the air on a daytime program talking about the incident and demanding justice,” Aburjanidze said. .

“I was too young to die. That’s shocking, just unbearable. I don’t know the words that describe the pain we’re going through right now,” he said.

Aburjanidze also alleged that Lashkarava’s body was “taken away by so-called” experts “without the family’s permission.”

“They basically kidnapped the body,” he said.

CNN has contacted Georgia police and the Interior Ministry to comment on these allegations, but has not received a response.

Various media organizations issued a statement on Monday, criticizing the prime minister for having asked the event organizers to cancel the Pride march, blaming them for any “possible complications” that could arise from the situation.
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The statement states that the protesters “deliberately attacked media representatives, subjected them to physical and verbal abuse and deliberately destroyed their equipment to obstruct their journalistic activities.”

“Insufficient police forces did not take steps to protect journalists,” the statement said, adding that cases related to the violation of journalists’ rights “had reached a critical level.”

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said Wednesday 53 journalists were physically attacked while covering counter-demonstrations on Monday. RSF condemned in a statement “the guilty passivity shown by the authorities” and called for “all those responsible for these illegal acts to be punished.”
Police in riot gear stormed a rally on Friday, removing hundreds of protesters by truck.

Lashkarava’s death was also confirmed by the Georgian Interior Ministry, which said in a statement that it had initiated an investigation under Article 115 of the country’s penal code.

“The investigation is ongoing into illegally interfering with the journalist’s professional activities under threats of violence, persecution under violence or the threat of violence and group violence, within the framework (sic) of the which 4 individuals have already been arrested, “the statement added.

He the ministry said in another statement that the investigation offered Lashkarava family members an independent, international expert of their choice to participate in the forensic examination.

Giorgi Tabagari, director of Tbilisi Pride, told CNN on Sunday: “July 5 was a tragic day for Georgia’s democracy. I would say it was a day when the police and (the) system allowed this pogrom took place on the streets of Tbilisi and they did nothing basically to prevent the violence from happening. ”

Tabagari said “things got out of hand” on July 5. “We lost the life of the camera that had just done its job.”

CNN’s Amy Woodyatt contributed to this report.