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Two More Arrested for July 5 Media Attack

Police have arrested two persons for attacking Formula TV cameraman during the homophobic pogroms of July 5, the Interior Ministry reported today.

The Ministry said the two suspects verbally and physically attacked the cameraman, and unlawfully interfered with his professional duties near Kashveti Church in downtown Tbilisi. The journalist was covering the violent counter-rally against Pride March, an event canceled subsequently due to the outbreak of violence and lack of security guarantees by the state.

The Interior Ministry said the investigation into the incidents is ongoing on charges of participating in group violence (Article 225.2, Criminal Code), unlawful interference with journalist’s professional activities (Article 154.2), and persecution using violence or threat of violence (Article 156.2a).

At least 53 journalists were attacked on July 5 by far-right homophobic mob that hit downtown Tbilisi streets to disrupt the LGBT pride march. At least one more journalist was assaulted the following day. One of the beaten journalists, TV Pirveli cameraman Aleksandre Lashkarava passed away a few days after the attack in suspicious circumstances.

As of July 30, 27 persons have been arrested for the attacks on journalists.

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