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Statement about upcoming Tbilisi Pride Week

6/26/2022


We would like to remind the public that Tbilisi Pride week starts on June 28. This year, after making a conscious and deliberate assessment of the existing context, we reached an extremely important decision. In order to prevent polarization in the society, especially to avoid tense situations in this very crucial process of EU integration, we refused to exercise our constitutional rights — freedom of assembly and manifestation. We are not holding a March for Dignity. Even though we shifted Tbilisi Pride Week events from public to private settings, pro-Russian and violent political party “Conservative Movement — Alt-Info” is openly announcing that they will attack the Pride Week and will repeat what happened last year on July 5. 

For the past two months, we have been actively communicating with the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA), providing complete and accurate information regarding the events planned within the Pride Week. Additionally, we are constantly updating law enforcement authorities about received threats and attempts to organize violence. Various international organizations, diplomatic corps, and Public Defender’s Office are engaged in negotiations with the MIA. We would like to emphasize that the Ministry of Internal Affairs is giving us guarantees to protect all three events planned under the Pride Week. As they noted, they will make a public statement about the above-stated guarantees in the near future. On top of that, MIA has launched an investigation into alleged threats and incitement to violence towards pride week. 

However, we have serious concerns, doubts and fears about the process of the high-ranking officials actively making damaging, discrediting and violence-encouraging statements about Tbilisi Pride and LGBTQ community in recent days. In particular, Irakli Gharibashvili accuses us of anti-state activities and artificially tries to connect us with political parties and Irakli Kobakhidze says that he does not see the accusation of the leaders of Alt-Info in organizing the events of July 5, thus creating a syndrome of impunity and giving impetus to this year's identical threats.

We demand from the government: 
    • To publicly and unequivocally declare that it will protect Tbilisi Pride Week and the safety of each participant and to ensure public order in the Pride Week events’ areas, surroundings and throughout the city.
    • To prosecute the organizers of the violence that occured on July 5 who continue to incite violence and endanger Georgia’s European future.