NGOs condemn homophobic posters against opposition, media in Tbilisi

  • NGOs and civil activists claim that the ruling Georgian Dream party stands behind the posters ahead of the election campaign. Photo courtesy, 25 Jul 2021 - 15:01, Tbilisi,Georgia

Transparency International (TI) Georgia and International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED) say violent posters in the streets of Tbilisi pose a threat to the health and life of the opposition and media representatives. 

Executive Director of TI Georgia has tweeted:

Posters with the photos of ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili, heads of TV Pirveli, Mtavari Arkhi TV and Formula TV, as well as civil activists from Tbilisi Pride and the Shame Movement read: ‘say no to Natsis!’* and ‘say no to evil!

The content of the poster, which was widely distributed in the light of the events of July 5-6, is perceived as a call for violence, and the homophobic context of the posters is also obvious”, the NGOs say.

They further note that considering the recent attacks on ‘critical media representatives’ from the ruling Georgian Dream party, the appeals on the posters ‘might again put the journalists and civil activists in front of the risk’.

Director of Tbilisi Pride has also tweeted:

While the civil society and opposition claims that the ruling party stood behind the posters, Giorgi Iakobashvili, editor-in-chief of website said it was the idea of his organisation ‘Davasrulot’ (Eng: Let's put an end)

Meanwhile, stating that the posters ‘damage the facade of the city and therefore they are illegal’, Tbilisi City Hall says the posters will be removed, while the individuals who have hung the posters at different locations in Tbilisi will be fined.

The Shame Movement also tweeted as well:

* ‘Natsis’ is a short, in a way derogatory form of the opposition United National Movement.