NGOs, opposition: inaction of gov’t encourages violence against Tbilisi Pride activists, journalists

Later after media representatives were injured during the clashes, the Interior Ministry said an investigation has been launched into the incidents and called on Tbilisi Pride to call off the march scheduled for 6 p.m. today due to security risks. Photo: TI Georgia/Facebook., 05 Jul 2021 - 16:07, Tbilisi,Georgia

NGOs and opposition politicians have stated that the inaction of the government and inflammatory statements by Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili regarding the Tbilisi Pride march encourage violence by right-wing groups against civic activists and media representatives.

Right-wing activists who gathered on Rustaveli Avenue this morning to protest the Tbilisi Pride march scheduled for 6 p.m. later today attacked journalists and cameramen on the spot, injuring dozens of media representatives.

Prior to the incident Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili said that the conduct of the Tbilisi ‘Pride march at 6 p.m. today ‘ is not reasonable’ because it may lead to civic confrontation.

Media representatives with several injuries were transferred to New Hospitals, reports Photo: Netgazeti.

Transparency International Georgia released a statement earlier today noting that despite there have been a number of threatening statements made recently by right-wing groups, the measures taken by the authorities have been ineffective.

Prior to the media crackdown, Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili stated that he considered the July 5 march unreasonable and that a revanschist radical opposition were behind its organisers. PM Garibashvili has practically encouraged violence through his statement”, reads the statement.