A TV news cameraman has died in Georgia country after he was brutally attacked by a far-right mob protesting an LGBTQ pride march, his employer says.
Alexander Lashkarev, 37, working for independent station TV Pirveli, was found dead on his bed in the early hours of Sunday after a violent beating in the Soviet republic’s capital Tbilisi last week. The Guardian told.
The cameraman was among more than 50 journalists who were targeted on July 5 by violent hate groups protesting the upcoming Pride march, before it was canceled due to security concerns, the outlet reported.
The outlet reported that Lashkarav suffered fractures in his facial bones, though it is not clear what caused his death.
Georgia’s Interior Ministry said an investigation had been launched into his death.
President Salome Zurabichvili said on Sunday that she had gone to visit Lashkareva’s family.
“What happened is a tragedy, and I send my condolences to the entire media community and to the whole of Georgia,” she said. wrote on Twitter. “It should be investigated, and those responsible should be punished.”
Critics have accused Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili of encouraging hate groups, saying it was “not appropriate” to hold the event due to security concerns before the cancellation.
TV Pirveli’s news editor Nodar Meladze accused the government of being behind the violent attacks against journalists.
“The government not only encourages violence against journalists, it is part of the violence,” Meladze said, the outlet reported.
“The government has formed violent groups to attack independent media,” he said, adding: “The riot police have also repeatedly targeted journalists.”