MIA pledges to defend freedom of expression of every demonstrator today

The organisers of the rally for the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia decided to cancel the rally today. Photo taken in 2017: David Mdzinarishvili/Reuters.
Agenda.ge, 17 May 2018 - 12:43, Tbilisi,Georgia

Despite the guarantees the Ministry of Internal Affairs has given to the organisers of the rally for the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, the Equality Movement has decided to cancel its rally today.

17 May is also being celebrated as ‘family purity day’ in Georgia by the Orthodox Church, and a special rally is going to be held today from Rose Revolution Square to St. Trinity Cathedral.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs held a special press briefing regarding the planned events today. 

As the head of human rights department of the Interior Ministry Londa Toloraia said today, the ministry is going to defend the freedom of expression of everyone. She also said that meetings with NGOs were held to discuss the place of the rallies and security measures. 

We have had several meetings with the ministry this year and received security guarantees however we have been observing the political processes and social anxiety during the past few days  in Tbilisi following the police raid of night clubs. We have seen that there were not only peaceful demonstrants on the Rustaveli Avenue but also illegal and out of control nazi and neo-nazi groups forcing the government to use an unprecedented resource to stop hundreds of destructive citizens,” reads the statement by the Equality movement released today. 

The movement said they were informed about the planned counter rally by "religious and fascist groups allegedly cooperating with the Russian special forces.”

Despite the fact that we have tried our best to avoid their activities we were informed that they have coincided their rally with ours. We, LGBT activists recognise all the existing and real threats and took a difficult decision to cancel our rally planned at the Administration Building of the Governmnet of Georgia, ” says the statement.

Despite this statement by the LGBT activists, some of the representatives of the Georgian Idea, one of the ultra-nationalist movement said they are going to gather at the Administration Building of the Governmnet of Georgia for "preventive purposes” starting from 5 pm today.