Press Release

Council of Europe Office in Georgia

26, Kakabadzeebi Brothers street, 0108 Tbilisi, Georgia
Tel.: +995 32 291 38 70 / 71 / 72 / 73
Fax: +995 32 291 38 74

Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights comments on 17 May events in Tbilisi

The violence which took over the streets in Tbilisi on the International Day against Homophobia in Tbilisi has shown that the measures taken by the Government were insufficient to ensure the safety of persons taking part in the LGBTI rally. The police was unprepared to cope with the large number of counter-demonstrators, a number of whom assaulted participants in the LGBTI rally.

The authorities, including the Prime Minister, have condemned the violence and expressed a commitment to punish the perpetrators. This is a positive first step. The authorities have a duty to intercept and respond to any further threats targeting members of the LGBTI-community, as well as to carry out a prompt investigation into the violent events and hold accountable those who incited and committed violent acts. Failure to do so would send a signal that violence and hate speech against LGBTI persons can continue to proceed with impunity.

The events have also shown that there is still a lot of work to be done in Georgia to eliminate discrimination against LGBTI persons. Political and opinion leaders in Georgia have a responsibility to contribute to this goal.

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A political organisation set up in 1949, the Council of Europe works to promote democracy and human rights continent-wide. It also develops common responses to social, cultural and legal challenges in its 47 member states.

Council of Europe Office in Georgia