COE: The Georgian authorities must take action to protect LGBTI people
We, the undersigned, declare the following:
LGBTI people in Georgia continue to face bias, stigma, discrimination in political, social and economic life, as well as experience violent hate incidents and crimes and hate speech. The Covid-19 pandemic has further increased the vulnerability of LGBTI people by amplifying prior injustices and obstacles.
Moreover, discourses attempting to de-legitimise LGBTI identities have increased and derogatory language and speech are utilised by organised hate groups and far right movements as weapons to create a hostile environment for LGBTI people. On 5 July, organisers were forced to cancel the Tbilisi Pride march after far-right demonstrators stormed LGBTI organisations’ offices and violently attacked journalists. The far-right demonstrators went largely unchecked by authorities. The authorities’ response demonstrates a resounding State failure to ensure the protection of human rights and constitutes a violation of the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights.
We remind the Georgian authorities about their duty and responsibility to protect the Constitutional rights and freedoms and human rights of all citizens, and call on Georgian authorities to bring to justice those who commit violence against others peacefully exercising their rights. The Georgian authorities also have the responsibility to do their utmost to protect journalists and citizens exercising their constitutional rights.