TBILISI, GEORGIA, JULY 13 — Students For Liberty are deeply saddened to learn about the death of a Georgian cameraman, Lekso Lashkarava, who was beaten by a homophobic group during a protest against an LGBTQ pride march on July 5, 2021, and died shortly after.
Lekso Lashkarava was working behind the camera as a media professional when members of a violent group deliberately attacked over 50 media representatives, physically abused them, and destroyed equipment to obstruct their journalistic activities. Some of the media representatives remain in hospital, while Lashkarava was found dead at his home on July 11. The team at Students For Liberty would like to extend our deepest condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Lekso Lashkarava.
Thousands of protesters gathered outside the parliament to call for justice in the aftermath of the violence and Lashkarava’s death. Students For Liberty activists in Georgia joined in protests to condemn violent actions against independent media:
“Despite continuous calls from the civil sector, the state has not taken appropriate measures to protect media representatives and citizens during the Pride march on July 5. Anti-LGBTQ violence was organized by different ultranationalist and/or pro-Kremlin groups and fueled by Georgian Orthodox Church statements. It should not end like this, those who were responsible should be punished,” – said Giorgi Sinauridze, SFL’s Regional Coordinator in South Caucasus.
We stand with the Georgian people in their aspirations for a freer future and support their call for the state to respect their freedoms and ensure their safety from violence. Every individual has the right to express themselves. Freedom of expression includes freedom of the press, the right to challenge ideas, and the right to hold peaceful demonstrations. At Students For Liberty, we believe that the freedom of expression is a fundamental pillar of a free and democratic society and must be upheld and protected.
About Students For Liberty:
Students For Liberty is a rapidly growing network of pro-liberty students from all over the world. Our mission is to educate, develop, and empower the next generation of leaders of liberty. We are the largest pro-liberty student organization in the world. We accomplish this through a strategy of empowerment, identifying the top student leaders, and training them to be agents of change in their communities.
Accredited members of the media can arrange interviews with Giorgi Sinauridze by contacting Students For Liberty’s Public Relations Strategist Mariam Gogolishvili at [email protected] or by phone at 995 557116661
Featured image by Tbel Abuseridze