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.
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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