• Reuters


Georgian police on Sunday opened a criminal investigation into the death of a cameraman, one of several journalists who were assaulted during attacks on LGBT+ activists earlier this week.

LGBT+ campaigners in the South Caucasus country of Georgia called off a pride march on Monday after violent groups opposed to the event stormed and ransacked their office in the capital Tbilisi and targeted activists and journalists.

Cameraman Alexander Lashkarava, who was beaten up in the incident, was found dead at his home by his mother, his channel, TV Pirveli, said on Sunday. It did not disclose the cause of death.

The interior ministry said it had opened a criminal case, but also did not disclose the cause of death in a statement.

His death prompted activists to announce a march in central Tbilisi later on Sunday to demand the prosecution of those responsible for the attacks on journalists and LGBT+ supporters.

More than 50 journalists were targeted in the violence, police said on Monday, prompting Western countries to call on Georgia to ensure freedom of expression and assembly.

The planned pride march, which was called off before it began, had prompted criticism from the church and conservatives, while Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili said the march risked causing public confrontation.

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