Opposition parties, journalists and civil society activists are protesting in the center of Tbilisi on Sunday, demanding the resignation of the Prime Minister, after the death of a cameraman who was beaten during the violent rampage which has become known in Georgia as “the July 5 pogrom”.
Organizers of Sunday’s rally demand the immediate resignation of Irakli Gharibashvili’s government. They also demand an investigation by independent experts into the death of cameraman Lekso Lashkarava, that all the perpetrators be arrested and punished to the full extent of the law, as well as holding the organizers of the violent attack accountable.
Lashkarava, who worked for TV Pirveli, was found dead in his home on Sunday morning, five days after being severely beaten by a hate group while covering different events during Tbilisi Pride.
He had several serious injuries, including a fracture of the facial bones, which necessitated surgery. However, he was discharged from the hospital. Doctors say his life was not in danger at the time.
The cameraman’s body was taken for examination despite the family’s objections. His colleagues suspect the government intends to falsely conclude that his death was caused by other circumstances rather than the July 5 attack.
Journalists and the opposition accuse the government and PM Irakli Gharibashvili of secretly supporting hate groups and being passive in preventing the violence.
The government denies this and says all the culprits will be punished.