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News cameraman dies after attack by far-right mob protesting LGBTQ march

Josephine 12/07/2021

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  A TV news cameraman died in the country of Georgia after he was brutally attacked by a far-right mob protesting an LGBTQ Pride march, his employer says.

  Alexander Lashkarava, a 37-year-old cameraman working for independent TV station Pirveli, was found dead in his bed in the early hours on Sunday, the channel reported.

  On Monday, he was assaulted by a violent mob of anti-LGBTQ protesters and sustained fractures to his facial bones.

  More than 50 journalists were attacked that day by anti-LGBTQ groups protesting the planned Pride march, which was cancelled over safety fears.

  Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemned the attacks, saying journalists "sustained injuries that included concussion, chemical burns and broken arms."

  Lashkarav suffered fractures to his facial bones, though it is unclear what caused his death, the outlet reported.

    Georgia's interior ministry said an investigation has been launched into his death.

  President Salome Zourabichvili said Sunday that she had visited Lashkarava's family.

"What happened is a tragedy, and I send my condolences to the entire media community and to all of Georgia," she wrote on Twitter."It must be investigated, and those responsible must be punished."

  Critics have accused the ruling Georgian Dream of tacitly supporting homophobic and nationalist groups, who have also staged protests against pro-Western opposition parties.

"The government has set up violent groups to attack independent media," he said, adding: "Riot police have also repeatedly targeted journalists."

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