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In Quotes: Int’l Reactions to Death of Journalist

Foreign officials, diplomats and lawmakers have issued reactions to the death of TV Pirveli cameraman Aleksandre (Lekso) Lashkarava, and reiterated condemnations of the July 5 violence spree that culminated in attacks on more than 50 journalists.

Below is a compilation of some of the remarks:

Ann Linde, Swedish Foreign Minister: “Shocked by the tragic death of Lekso Lashkarava. My deepest condolences to his family and friends. Violence against journalists and members of LGBTIQ community completely unacceptable and needs to be deplored. The perpetrators must be brought to justice.”

Sigrid Kaag, Foreign Minister of the Netherlands: “Shocked by the death of Georgian cameraman Lekso Lashkarava who was attacked on the 5th of July during the planned Pride events in Tbilisi. My condolences go out to his family. Violence against journalists is unacceptable.”

Edgars Rinkēvičs, Latvian Foreign Minister: “My deep condolences to the family and friends of Georgian Pirvelli TV cameraman Lekso Lashkarava. I call for complete and fair investigation into his death as well as the violence during July 5 events. Attacks against journalists are unacceptable.”

Lithuanian Foreign Ministry: “Violence against journalists in Georgia is shocking and unacceptable. Authorities should act out immediately against the perpetrators and allow independent inquiry into the tragic death of Aleksandre Lashkarava. Any other course is incompatible with Georgia’s democratic credentials.”

U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member: “Attacks against journalists, tourists and civil society in Georgia are reprehensible. I pray for Mr. Lashkarava & his family – those responsible for the violence should be fully prosecuted. Rule of law supports peaceful protestors, not violent perpetrators. Georgia must do better.”

Marcel Kolaja, European Parliament Vice-President: “Way too often, we’ve been witnessing terrific attacks on journalists and the LGBT community lately. My thoughts are with Lekso Lashkarava’s family and the injured journalists and their families.”

MEPs Andrius Kubilius and Rasa Juknevičienė: The death of Mr Lashkarava and staggering inaction of police in face of the violent attacks need to be fully and impartially investigated.We call on all members of society to demonstrate calm and restraint, not to fall for provocations. All  political powers in Georgia, especially the ruling party, should work towards ensuring that the European values are respected.”

Diégo Colas, French Ambassador to Georgia: “We, diplomats, had a meeting yesterday at the Ministry of Internal Affairs. We reaffirmed strong disappointment with the breakdown of constitutional order, massive violations of human rights on July 5 in Tbilisi. Instead of divisive words, we called on the government to recommit to protect all including minorities, LGBT+ people, press.”

Carl Hartzell, EU Ambassador to Georgia: “It is with sorrow I learned today about the tragic death of Pirveli TV cameraman Lekso Lashkarava. … While still awaiting the results of the investigation into the cause of his death, let me reiterate the EU’s strong condemnation of all violence and our staunch and unwavering support to the freedom of media and assembly.”

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