July 25, 2021

In Georgia, the government’s murky role in anti-LGBT + violence

The fight against discrimination against LGBT + people is a “Cultural struggle” that Europe must lead, said Thursday, July 8 the French Secretary of State for European Affairs, Clément Beaune, qualifying as “Scandal” the Hungarian law assimilating homosexuality and pedophilia. “I believe that there is a very serious drift in Europe and we must strengthen our arsenal (…). We unfortunately see that the cases are multiplying, we saw it again in Georgia at the time of an LGBT + demonstration last week “, he regretted.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also Fear settles in Hungary for homosexuals forced into discretion

LGBT + activists in this Caucasian country are still in shock after the violence that took place Monday in Tbilisi, the day the Pride March was to be held. Hundreds of people hostile to the parade protested near the Georgian Parliament, where the European flag was torn off, and ransacked the offices of the organizers of the March. A Polish tourist was also injured after being stabbed, according to independent Formula TV.

These groups then attacked the media. Fifty-three journalists were assaulted. Several of them were hospitalized. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) denounced “The culpable passivity of the authorities” and “Impassibility” of the police in the face of this violence. “These brutal attacks represent a major setback for press freedom in Georgia. The intensity and coordination in the violence are unprecedented ”, worried the head of RSF’s Eastern Europe and Central Asia office, Jeanne Cavelier.

“Hateful crowd”

Faced with the risks, the organizers decided to cancel the March. “We cannot endanger human lives and demonstrate in streets full of violent aggressors”, they wrote on their Facebook page. Guiorgui Tabagari, co-organizer of the parade, denounces the role of the government. “We were faced with a hateful crowd, but the police weren’t really acting, he tells the World. It is a political will: the government wanted to leave us alone to face these radical groups. “

Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili himself spoke out against this parade. “Holding a so-called Pride March is not reasonable because it creates the threat of civil confrontation”, he said Monday. According to him, these demonstrations are “Unacceptable to a large part of Georgian society”. He also accused the opposition and the ex-president in exile, Mikheil Saakashvili, of being behind this event in order to provoke a “Crisis”. The powerful Orthodox Church, which has tens of thousands of faithful, was also hostile to the parade and called to meet on Monday for a public prayer against the Pride March.

You have 40.67% of this article left to read. The rest is for subscribers only.