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Georgian TV Cameraman Injured Amid Anti-LGBT Violence Has Died


Lekso Lashkarava was one of nearly 60 journalists and other media workers who were attacked on July 5 in Tbilisi.

A Georgian TV cameraman who was among dozens of journalists attacked by a right-wing mob during a melee aimed at LGBT campaigners has died.

Co-workers of Lekso Lashkarava said on July 11 that he had died, apparently of injuries suffered during the violence six days earlier, but provided no further details.

Lashkarava's employer, Pirveli TV, said that his body was found at his Tbilisi home by his mother on July 11.

The Interior Ministry said in a statement that an investigation had been opened into his death.

Lashkarava, 37, was one of nearly 60 journalists and other media workers who were attacked on July 5 when hundreds of people took to the streets of Tbilisi to block a planned LGBT parade.

Two RFE/RL reporters were among those injured.

Anti-LGBT Protesters Attack Journalists In Tbilisi, Force Organizers To Cancel Pride Event
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The chaos, which included mobs scaling the building where the organizers of the Tbilisi Pride parade have their headquarters, drew criticism from press advocates and foreign governments.

Many have pointed blame at Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili, who, on the morning of the scheduled parade, said it was inappropriate to hold the event, arguing that it would create confrontation and was "unacceptable for a large segment of the Georgian society.”

The Georgian Orthodox Church had also called on supporters to gather against the pride march.

Videos of the mobs showed some priests joining the protests. After the march was canceled, priests chanted and people danced to Georgian folk songs in front of the parliament.

A day after the event, thousands rallied in Tbilisi to denounce the violence. That event was largely peaceful, but right-wing activists, who were held back by police, later held their own event in front of parliament, where they tore down a European Union flag and burned it.

Diplomatic missions from 18 countries and the European Union condemned the violence and called on the Georgian government to protect people’s constitutional right to peacefully gather.

With reporting by AFP