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Public Defender Meets with Representatives of Tbilisi Pride

9/2/2020


On September 1, 2020, Public Defender Nino Lomjaria and Deputy Public Defender Ekaterine Skhiladze met with representatives of Tbilisi Pride and received information about the activities of the organization and challenges.

Since May 2020, series of illegal activities carried out by radical groups have become systematic. Inter alia, the radical groups splattered the Tbilisi Pride office with paint, threw eggs and stole their flag. Rallies are held periodically at the entrance to the office, during which, the use of hate speech, verbal abuse and threats against Pride activists are common.

This continuous violence has a negative impact on the Tbilisi Pride staff, activists and human rights defenders, as well as on the LGBT+ community, queer people and their rights situation. Representatives of Tbilisi Pride say that this puts the organization's employees under stress, hinders their work, deepens hatred and stigma towards queer people and encourages violence against the LGBT+ community.

Nevertheless, the law enforcement agency still fails to prevent violence. The violent actions of the radical groups continue to this day, hampering the organization’s activities. The recent harassment and threats against LGBT+ defenders are an illustration of the fact that, in most cases, the state fails to respond effectively to the restriction of rights. As a result, the number of cases of violence against LGBT+ people on the grounds of gender identity and sexual orientation is still high in the country.

Therefore, I consider it especially important for the law enforcement agencies to prevent such cases, as well as to properly assess and effectively respond to the threats and violence against human rights defenders and the associated risks.