Ministry of Internal Affairs reports on July 5-6 Tbilisi Pride March counter rallies

A large demonstration involving political party figures, activist organisations, Tbilisi Pride organisers and independent citizens started at 8pm local time outside the Parliament of Georgia on July 6, to protest the violence against journalists and storming of Pride organisers' offices the day before. Photo: Nino Alavidze/, 07 Jul 2021 - 17:42, Tbilisi,Georgia

Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Aleksandre Darakhvelidze has briefed the media and public on recent developments concerning violence at the Tbilisi Pride counter rallies of the past couple of days. 

He said that the Ministry of Internal Affairs held a number of meetings with the organisers of Tbilisi Pride as a result of which the ministry took responsibility to provide security at the July 1 public screening of ‘March for Dignity,’ a British documentary film and July 3 events (Queer Fest), however offered Tbilisi Pride organisers an alternative location to hold the July 5 march. 

However, they stated that they only wanted to hold a demonstration on Rustaveli Avenue. Despite a number of working meetings, Tbilisi Pride representatives did not change their position", Darakhvelidze said.

He added that the Minister of Internal Affairs met with the diplomatic corps accredited in Georgia on June 30 and alerted them to the fact that in parallel to the March of Dignity a number of counter rallies and various manifestations were planned by 'certain groups' and large-scale confrontation would be inevitable.

Photo: Nino Alavidze/

Darakhvelidze said that about 650 police officers ensured safety at the July 1 event, while 850 law enforces were mobilised at the July 3 event and both events were held 'without any excesses'. 

He said that on July 4 'we once again met the organisers of March for Dignity at the United Nations' office and once again informed them about the planned counter rallies', however the organisers once again refused to move the event to another location.  

On July 5 we mobilised about 3,200 police officers as well as Special Purpose Forces from 5 a.m. As we did not know the exact time and location of the March for Dignity we distributed police officers on different locations: Rustaveli Metro, Kashveti church, Dedaena Park, 9 April Park, Tbilisi Concert Hall and other places", Darakhvelidze said.

He noted that the right-wing groups protesting the March for Dignity 'became aggressive and began violent actions'; how they dismantled the tents set up in front of the Parliament of Georgia building, stormed the offices of Tbilisi Pride, Shame Movement and a non-governmental organisation and attacked journalists [53 media representatives in total]. 

In total 53 journalists were attacked at the counter-rallies. Photo: Nino Alavidze/

Darakhvelidze stated that in total seven people have been detained for attacking the journalists, while the investigation is underway on destroying the offices of Tbilisi Pride, Shame Movement and a non-governmental organisation, located on Gakhokidze Street.

It is important to note that the officials from Tbilisi Pride, as well as non-governmental organisations, refused to cooperate with the police during the investigation", Darakhvelidze said.

Darakhvelidze also spoke about the July 6 events and said that about 3,000 police officers were mobilised on spot to ensure the safe environment on two counter-demonstrations. 

The police managed to control the masses for about six hours, arrested the aggressive groups and ensured the safety of the protesters", he said.

Photo: Nino Alavidze/

He added that 100 people have been detained, of which 68 have been released, while 32 remain in temporary detention.

Darakhvelidze said that the protesters resisted the officers of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, throwing various items, as a result of which three law enforcers were injured. 

Darakhvelidze  stated that the Ministry of Internal Affairs condemns any form of violence.