The messenger logo

The News in Brief

Monday, July 12
Prepared by the Messenger Staff

Lietuva Foreign Ministry: Government must take immediate action against criminals

“Violence against journalists in Georgia is shocking and unacceptable. The government must take immediate action against the perpetrators and allow an independent investigation into the tragic death of Alexander Lashkarava. Any other courses are unacceptable for Georgia's democratic achievements,” states the official Twitter post of the Foreign Ministry of Lietuva.

Media holds a joint mass protest, demands government resigns by noon today

Media representatives held a mass rally in front of the parliament and government administration buildings. Journalists and cameramen laid down their cameras and microphones in solidarity and protest for the series of the government’s organized crime.

Yesterday, on July 11, the media issued a joint statement to the embassies to respond immediately to the persecution of journalists on July 5 and the inaction of the authorities.

On July 5, while journalists were already being abused, Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili, blamed the members of the March of Dignity, for the possible aggravation of the situation and called on them not to march on Rustaveli Avenue. Gharibashvili said that the planned ‘March of Honor’ was ‘inappropriate’ and ‘dangerous’. According to him, the opposition is behind the pride march.

MIA blames drug abuse in Lashkarava's case

The Ministry of Internal Affairs has hinted at drug overdose in connection with the death of Lekso Lashkarava.

The head of the criminal police, Mamuka Chelidze, released video footage at the briefing, which allegedly shows Lekso Lashkarava riding a moped with a friend yesterday, July 10.

Chelidze said he refrained from voicing preliminary versions "in the interests of the family and the deceased."

According to him, for now, he refrains from specifics, however, the version of a drug overdose is also being considered.

Government-orchestrated fake accounts and pro-government, Russian-affiliated, news platforms on social media kept spreading false information about the murdered cameraman’s ‘Methadone addiction’ yesterday.

The Interior Ministry is demanding to be handed Lashkarava’s phone for investigation purposes.

Aleksandre Lashkarava, a TV Pirveli cameraman who was mercilessly beaten by a large group of radicals on the July 5 counter-protest, was found dead in his bed on the morning of July 11.