MEPs: Georgian authorities, religious representatives failed to counter homophobic rhetoric

Right-wing protesters in front of the Georgian parliament building on July 5. Photo: Nino Alavidze/, 07 Jul 2021 - 16:33, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Georgian authorities and religious representatives have failed to counter homophobic rhetoric, following violent attacks by right-wing groups against civil activists, community members and journalists in central Tbilisi on July 5, a joint statement of the Members of the European Parliament on the cancellation of the Tbilisi Pride march says. 

We strongly condemn yesterday’s violent attacks against civil activists, community members and journalists in Tbilisi, which regrettably forced the cancellation of the LGBTQI+ Pride March. Unfortunately, the Georgian authorities and religious representatives failed to speak loud and clear against homophobic rhetoric in the run-up to the Pride March”, the official joint statement reads. 

Members of the European Parliament Marina Kaljurand, Sven Mikser and Viola von Cramon-Taubadel deplored ‘the Georgian government’s lack of readiness to guarantee the safety of this gathering devoted to tolerance.’ 

Like any other citizens, LGBTQI+ persons should be able to enjoy their constitutional rights such as participation in peaceful gatherings,” says the statement. 

MEPs also reminded the Georgian government that a EU membership candidate country should have a ‘stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights and respect for and protection of minorities.’

We expect the Georgian authorities to see that the perpetrators of the aforementioned attacks are apprehended and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” stated the document. 

Organisers of the Tbilisi Pride called off the scheduled march on July 5 due to ‘the inaction of the executive power,’ as they noted.

Right-wing counter activists broke up a ‘silent’ rally organised on July 6 to protest the events of the previous day; in the process, they removed a EU flag in front of the parliament building for a second time on July 6 and burnt it. 

Police detained 100 violent right-wing protesters yesterday, 68 have been released following a process in which they put their signatures on promises to refrain from similar behaviour in the future.