RSF: Death of Journalist ‘Calamitous Turning Point’ for Press Freedom in Georgia

“After the coordinated attack of fifty journalists, the suspicious death of Aleksandre Lashkarava marks a calamitous turning point for the press freedom in Georgia ,” said Jeanne Cavalier, the head of Eastern Europe and Central Asia office at Paris-based press freedom watchdog Reporters without Borders.

Cavalier said “we call on the Interior Ministry for an impartial, thorough and transparent investigation into the circumstances of his death and the assaults on journalists that the police failed to protect, rather than attempting to discredit the deceased cameraman.” The RSF representative alluded to the Georgian authorities floating the idea that the journalist, who died few days after being beaten up by homophobic far-right mob, could have died of narcotics overdose.

“The passivity of the authorities in the face of this extreme attempt to intimidate journalists by homophobic movements undermines the credibility of the government, which must leave no room for impunity, and assume its share of responsibility in this affair,” noted Cavalier in the July 12 statement by RSF.

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