Abusers who attacked journalists during July 5-6 events must face justice, U.S. Embassy says
Abusers who attacked journalists during July 5-6 events must face justice, U.S. Embassy says

The U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi extends deepest condolences to the family of Lekso Lashkarava, particularly to Lekso’s mother, and to his colleagues at TV Pirveli and all those who are shocked and saddened by his death, U.S. Embassy stated on Sunday.

The embassy says “the arrest of several individuals in connection with the attack on Lekso is a positive first step toward justice,” adding that “the safety of every Georgian journalist and the credibility of democracy in Georgia require that every individual who attacked peaceful citizens and journalists on July 5 and 6, or who incited violence, must be identified, arrested, and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”

“Lekso worked behind the camera so despite his years of service as a media professional, many might not have recognized him before he was viciously attacked by people who demonstrated a complete lack of respect for human life. His bravery as he defended his colleague and his commitment to the fundamental freedoms long cherished in this country represent the best qualities and traditions of the people of Georgia.

We call for calm and an end to the violence that has already caused one tragic loss of life,” the statement reads.

TV Pirveli cameraman Lekso Lashkarava died earlier today after being assaulted by far-right activists on July 5. He was beaten in the Shame Movement office, stormed by anti-Tbilisi Pride members.

Interior Ministry launched a probe into the case under Article 115 of the Criminal Code of Georgia, involving incitement to suicide.

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