Riot Police Pursue, Attack Online Media Journalists

Several journalists, including from the online media Publika, Tabula and Aprili, reported being chased and beaten by police during the April 16-17 protest rally against the “Foreign Agents Law” near the Parliament building.

Aleksandre Keshelashvili, a journalist from Publika, was reportedly beaten by police while carrying out his professional duties. According to Publika, he was recording a video of a police arrest of citizens when the police took his phone from him. The phone was later returned to him.

Giorgi Badridze, a journalist from Tabula, was also beaten by the riot police. As in the previous case, the police took his phone while he was recording the rally. According to Tabula, the journalist continued to work with his office phone, which the police also tried to take, although it was returned to him later.

Giorgi Baskhajauri, a journalist from the queer-themed online media April, was also assaulted by police while on site covering a story. Baskhajauri reported being physically assaulted and verbally abused, including the use of a deeply offensive homophobic slur, “pederast.”

After the April 16 parliamentary session, during which the so-called Foreign Agents Law was discussed and citizens had already gathered near the parliament building to protest against the law, police began to disperse the peaceful demonstrators with pepper spray. At least eleven people were detained.

UPDATE: During the dispersal of protesters near the Parliament of Georgia, an independent Azerbaijani journalist Nurlan Libre was reportedly assaulted by the riot police.

This article was updated on 17.04.2024 at 13:20 to reflect the information about the reported assault of the Azerbaijani journalist.

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This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)


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