Statement of the Public Defender regarding International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia

May 17 is International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia which aims to denounce violence and express solidarity towards LGBT persons. Unfortunately, in recent years, the most frequent displays of violence and homophobia were noted on this very day.

According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. Freedom of expression, opportunity for realization of right to assembly and manifestation are those fundamental values on which democratic development of a country is based.

Developments in Georgia clearly showed that homophobic attitudes are in close connection with the general level of social and cultural tolerance of the society. On May 17 in 2012 and 2013 violent attacks that were motivated by hate took place towards people who were assembled in their desire to realize their constitutional right. Police could not protect health and safety of participants of the peaceful rally. May 17 of 2014 was not marked by representatives of LGBT community and human rights activists since based on experience of previous years they believed that the state could not guarantee their safety.

Despite numerous calls on state authority bodes, no active steps were taken towards raising of public awareness and establishment of tolerance culture. Timely, effective and accountable investigation of hate crimes still remains problematic. Three years have passed but unfortunately, no legal result has been instituted on any of facts of violence.

“Decision of the European Court of Human Rights of May 12, 2015 – “Identoba and others V Georgia” should be especially noted. According to the decision, the court adjudged violation of the articles 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment) and 11 (freedom of assembly and association) by the state in conjunction of the article 14 (prohibition of discrimination) of the convention. According to the judgment, the state should be a guarantor of in-practice realization of fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens. Also, it should assume obligation to ensure that their life and health are not threatened in the process of realization of these rights.

I fully share pathos of the European Court of Human Rights and call on state authority bodies and society to maximally support prevention of hate-based violent attacks and elimination of homophobic displays.

On May 17, 2015, the Public Defender’s Office of Georgia will monitor events unfolding in the country. The following hot line numbers will be active during the day: 2 91 38 14; 2 91 38 15.

Woking Hours: Monday–Friday 9:00–18:00
Hot line: 1481 (24/7)