Public Defender’s Statement on Pride Week
The Public Defender of Georgia echoes the Pride Week that is due to start on June 28 and emphasizes the importance of ensuring the conduct of events within the framework of the Week in a peaceful and non-violent environment for the proper realization of the rights of the LGBT+ community and their supporters, as well as for the smooth conduct of democratic processes in the country.
According to the Public Defender, it is necessary for the authorities to take into account the last year’s hard experience of July 5-6 and make every effort in the coming days to immediately prevent all possible actions of violent groups. It should also be taken into account that our country has a specific deadline to take measures for obtaining the status of a candidate country for EU membership, during which the smooth exercise of rights has additional importance.
We would like to remind the public that last year, on July 5, the groups organized by Zurab Makharadze and other members of Alt-Info carried out gang violence at several places. As a result, citizens and representatives of the media received various types and degrees of health injuries; people were not allowed to exercise their right to peaceful assembly and demonstration; items belonging to various persons were damaged; and journalists were prevented from carrying out their professional duties. Despite the evidence provided by the Public Defender, the Prosecutor's Office has not launched criminal proceedings against the organizers of the group violence.
The Public Defender calls on the Minister of Internal Affairs of Georgia to:
- take timely and effective measures in order to prevent possible violent actions and protect the participants and organizers of the Tbilisi Pride from any threats coming from the violent groups;
- ensure that all the events scheduled within the framework of the Pride Week are carried out safely and smoothly; take measures to protect the territory adjacent to the Tbilisi Pride office;
- carry out the investigation launched on June 6, 2022 into the alleged threats and violent calls relating to the Tbilisi Pride Week in an effective manner;
- promptly respond to any violations.