Georgia’s Interior Ministry on Friday pledged to ensure safety for the ongoing Tbilisi Pride Week, ahead of the concluding event of the queer community festival in the Georgian capital on Saturday.
The Ministry said it had been involved in working meetings with the Office of the Public Defender of Georgia, United Nations and other international organisations, as well as diplomatic corps, to ensure safe hosting of the events planned in this year’s programme of the festival that launched on July 1.
The body also said it was in communication with organisers of the events designed to celebrate LGBTQ+ community and highlight the rights of queer people.
For the closing event on Saturday, and in the wake of media reports on “several groups planning counter-protests” against the Pride Week, the Ministry said law enforcement units would be prepared to “maintain law and order and security” in locations set to be used by organisers of the celebration.
It also urged organisers and participants of the potential counter-protests comply with the law and “legitimate police requests” and refrain from violating the freedom of assembly.
In their statement, Tbilisi Pride said no “street march” would be held as part of this year’s festival, with only registered attendees being hosted in a “safe, closed space” for events of the programme.
They also said the Ministry had provided “strong guarantees” the festival would be “properly protected”.