Public Defender's Statement on Violence against Transgender Women
The Public Defender of Georgia is echoing the media reports, according to which, serious physical injuries were inflicted to a transgender women. An investigation is in progress under article 19-180 of the Criminal Code (attempted premeditated murder).
The investigation of alleged hate crimes is one of the priorities for the Public Defender. A number of cases are currently being studied in the Public Defender’s Office, which may include discriminatory motive on various protected grounds. Unfortunately, in most cases, alleged hate motive is not considered during the investigation and/or it is ambiguous what kind of investigative actions are carried out in order to identify such a motive.
The Public Defender considers that finding the truth, including identifying the real motive of the crime, is necessary not only for administration of justice in one particular case, but also for the prevention of hate crimes in the future. In a widely homophobic and transphobic society, there is a danger that this type of crime may be repeated, especially given that the investigative authorities do not bring the discriminatory motive into focus.
The Public Defender calls on the Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia to carry out a comprehensive, complete and objective investigation into the case and to focus on the alleged hate motive.