“We Couldn’t Have Imagined It, We Hadn’t Discussed This Possibility” – Vakhtang Gomelauri on July 5 Attacks on Journalists

The Minister of Internal Affairs, Vakhtang Gomelauri, answered the questions asked about the events of July 5-6 at the parliamentary hearing. He said couldn’t have even imagined it, they hadn’t discussed this possibility.

“Unfortunately, something tragic has happened. Such an aggressive attack on journalists has never occurred. It doesn’t matter who it was, in this case it was Alt-info and few other residents, which is absolutely unacceptable. It was not only directed at opposition-minded TV stations, even a photographer with no TV sign was beaten. They were physically abused. I’ll tell you why it didn’t happen: there were about 8 small groups on different locations. The aggression could’ve taken place at the rally were these people had gathered [Members of Pride March]. Part of the police was stationed near Philarmonia, Vera Park, and so on – in order to barricade the place and take these people to safety. The attack and violence on journalists occurred on a few spontaneous places. Based on this, I understand, we were supposed to take care of this, I’m not justifying myself, the fact was awful, and we didn’t consider that journalists would get attacked, more so – physically. We will do anything in our power to ensure that such events will never happen again – that the press and journalists will not experience violence. Our whole focus was centered around LGBTQI+ people, and sadly, this happened,” – says Vakhtang Gomelauri.

According to him, meetings were held with the organizers of Pride March before July 5-6. 2 events of were held successfully, while various possibilities were considered in connection with the march itself. However, “an agreement could not be reached and the issue was stopped.”

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