The Georgian Orthodox Church (GOC) released a condolence letter on July 12 about the death of TV Pirveli cameraman Aleksandre (Lekso) Lashkarava and commiserated with his family.
“Do not cast any doubts, he is alive and you may get in contact with him through praying,” reads the letter released in the name of Georgian Patriarch Ilia II.
Speaking about the violence against journalists on July 5, Archpriest Andria Jagmaidze, Head of the Public Relations Department of the Georgian Orthodox Church, said that “the Patriarchate is not responsible for what happened.”
He noted that the Georgian Orthodox Church did not encourage violence. As for individual clerics, Archpriest Jamgaidze stressed they will be held accountable if any violations are revealed.
The clergyman also accused the organizers of the rally in solidarity with the deceased cameraman of violence and “hate speech” against the Georgian Orthodox Church. “I think nobody cares about Lekso any longer there,” he added.
Aleksandre Lashkarava was found dead on July 11, six days after the far-right mob brutally assaulted him while covering anti-LGBT pride demonstrations of July 5. The Interior Ministry of Georgia said on July 12 that according to the interim, chemical expertise, narcotics overdose could have been the immediate cause behind the journalist’s death. Lashkarava’s family expressed distrust towards the forensics yesterday.
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