Organisers cancel Monday's Tbilisi Pride events citing PM's "shameful" comments, interior ministry's "inaction" on safety

Counter-demonstrations gathered in Tbilisi on Monday to prevent the Tbilisi Pride march from taking place, attacking reporters and the Pride organisers' office. Photo: Nino Alavidze/, 05 Jul 2021 - 15:10, Tbilisi,Georgia

Organisers of Tbilisi Pride march have announced their cancellation of the event on Monday, citing "shameful" comments by Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and "inaction" from the interior ministry on ensuring safety for participants in the face of right-wing counter-demonstration in the capital.

Revealing their decision on social media, the organising group said "Pride march for #solidarity is not going to be held today", adding the government "not only did not ensure safety of the queer community and our supporters, but actively interfered with our right of assembly."

The group said developments in the run-up to the event on Monday - which included right-wing demonstrations attacking reporters gathered to counter the Pride march, and vandalising organisers' offices - had shown the government's "refusal to execute its direct responsibility."

[PM Garibashvili's comments] are a continuation of the coordinated, violent, [...] Russian policy of our political government, the Patriarchate of Georgia and pro-Russian groups

- Tbilisi Pride organisers

They also condemned comments ahead of the event by PM Garibashvili, who had said holding Tbilisi Pride was "not reasonable" and could "lead to civic confrontation". On Monday Garibashvili had also made connections between the queer rally and interests of former president Mikheil Saakashvili and the political opposition in the country to "spark tension and destabilisation".