The Government of Georgia is entirely responsible for the ongoing violent processes

The GDI and GMC are responding to the actions of the violent and homophobic groups aimed at disrupting the "March of Dignity". We condemn the violent actions of these groups and are outraged by the inaction of the government of Georgia.

On July 5, 2021, homophobic and violent groups occupied Rustaveli Avenue, illegally dismantled tents of the demonstrators situated in front of the parliament,  attacked media representatives, obstructed professional activities of the journalists, physically injured them  as well as damaged media cameras and equipment. Afterwards, these violent groups  moved to the office of the civil movement "Shame", where they surrounded the entrance of the office,  prevented those gathered at the office from working and shouted offensive and aggressive slurs. These groups also invaded the "Tbilisi Pride" office. They continue to be aggressive and threatening towards the people living in the vicinity of Rustaveli Avenue.

In light of everything mentioned above, violent groups have been disrupting the public order and committing hate crimes throughout the day. They have violated the freedom of expression and assembly of the members of the LGBT+ community and their supporters, as well as private property, they have endangered the health of others and obstructed media freedom and journalism. Despite these violent, aggressive, and criminal acts by homophobic groups, the government has done nothing to maintain public order and the rule of law. Since morning, the government has not taken a single step to prevent and stop the violence. The amount of the police forces at the Rustaveli Avenue and in its vicinity has been insufficient.  Furthermore, the law enforcement officers on the ground have not yet taken appropriate measures to stop the violent groups - police have not prevented them from illegally dismantling tents in front of the parliament, nor have they protected media representatives, or the offices of the “Shame” and “Tbilisi Pride”. On the contrary, the Prime Minister, Irakli Gharibashvili, stated that holding “March of Dignity” is inexpedient and that “it is without a doubt that everything in our country will be as our society, our people want”. The Ministry of Internal Affairs also issued a statement calling on Tbilisi Pride not to hold the “March of Dignity” in public.

We categorically condemn the violent actions of homophobic groups that threaten not only the freedom of expression and assembly of the members of the LGBT+ community but the rights of every single one of us as well. The above-mentioned statements by the authorities encouraging homophobia and hatred are even more outrageous. The government's inaction and incitement to hatred violates its positive obligation to ensure the safety and the exercise of freedom of expression and assembly of the LGBT+ community and their supporters. We believe that the Georgian government is entirely responsible for the ongoing violent processes that contravene the principles of rule of law and democracy.