Media organizations operating in Georgia issue a joint statement on the death of cameraman Lekso Lashkarava and address the diplomatic corps

Media organizations operating in Georgia have issued a joint statement regarding the death of cameraman Lekso Lashkarava and addressed the diplomatic corps.

According to the statement, the media appeals to the representatives of the diplomatic corps and international organizations accredited in Georgia to respond immediately and effectively to the targeted persecution of media representatives on Rustaveli Avenue on July 5, the facts of inflicting health injury, obstruction of professional activities and inaction of the Georgian government.

We offer the statement unchanged:

"Cases of violations of the rights of media representatives in Georgia have reached a critical level. Dozens of cases against the media are still uninvestigated. The government does not ensure the safety of journalists, and statements by representatives of the ruling party incite violence.

On July 5, 2021, at a counter-rally against the "March of Dignity", members of a violent group deliberately attacked media representatives, physically and verbally abused them, and deliberately destroyed equipment to obstruct their journalistic activities.

Despite preliminary calls from the civil sector, the state has not taken appropriate measures to protect media representatives. Insufficient police forces did not take measures to protect journalists. Moreover, on July 5, before the start of the government session, the Prime Minister of Georgia, Irakli Gharibashvili, didn't put the responsibility on the participants of counter-rally, but the organizers of the "Dignity March" for the possible complication of the situation, and called on them not to march on Rustaveli Avenue.

On July 5, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, 53 members of the media were injured, including Aleksandre Lashkarava, a cameraman for TV Pirveli, who was severely beaten by violent groups on July 5 while on duty. Alexander Lashkarava died on July 11.

Part of the media representatives still remain in the hospital. Members of various violent groups continue to openly threaten journalists and cameramen, to which law enforcement agencies have not responded accordingly. The organizers of the July 5 violent counter-rally, whose identities are publicly known, have not been arrested either.

It should be noted that most of the facts of assaulting journalists, obstruction of media activities and violence in the past have not been investigated so far and the issue of responsibility of the organizers of the violent groups has not been outlined.

We appeal to the representatives of the diplomatic corps and international organizations accredited in Georgia to respond immediately and effectively to the targeted persecution of media representatives on Rustaveli Avenue on July 5, the facts of inflicting health injury, obstruction of professional activities and the inaction of the Georgian authorities", - the statement reads.

The signatories of the statement are:

TV Pirveli

Mtavari TV

Formula

Rustavi 2

Tabula

Imedi

Kavkasia

Public Broadcaster

Charter of Journalistic Ethics;

Georgian First Channel Public Broadcaster

Adjara Television and Radio of the Public Broadcaster;

TV 25

Interpressnews

Expressnews

Faxinternews

Artarea TV

Studio Monitor

Radio Georgian Times

FactCheck

Radio Mtsvane Talga

AT.ge

Media Development Fund

Border Zone

Media and Communication Education and Research Center

Radio Voice of Abkhazia

Radio Dardimandi

Alternative Professional Union of Adjara TV and Radio of the Public Broadcaster

Holding Hereti: Radio Hereti FM102.8, Radio Tbilisi FM93.5, Radio Citrus FM97.3

Radio Old Town

Georgian Regional Radio Station Network

New TV Company

OC Media

Eco-Fact

Radio Holding Fortuna

SOVA

Batumelebi

Newsreport

On.ge

Netgazeti

Social Reactive Blog

TSpress.ge

Radio Atinati

Metronome.ge

Publika

Civil.ge

Internews Georgia

Media.ge

Openrustavi.ge

Palitranews; Radio Palitra

Radio Marneuli

Euronews Georgia

FirstNews.ge

Kutaisi Today

Speqtri.ge

CNews

Media Holding Kronika +

Droa.ge

Accentnews.ge

Popmusic.ge

Popsport.com

Media Rights

Gurianews.ge

Tok TV

Journalism Resource Center

Agro Environment TV

Alliance of Regional Broadcasters

Radio Green Wave

Radio Imedi

AMNews

Commersant

Reginfo.ge

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