Rainbow flag. Photo: REUTERS/Ann Wang

03 June 2019, 10:57

Georgian police state inability to protect LGBT marchers

Policemen will not be able to ensure the safety of the participants of the "Tbilisi Pride" initiative group, who have announced a march and a series of meetings for LGBT activists in Tbilisi, the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) has informed.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that this May, Georgian LGBT activists refused from holding a rally on the Homophobia Day, finding it risky due to possible conflicts with LGBT opponents.

For June 18-23 in Tbilisi, the "Tbilisi Pride" has announced the March of Dignity and a series of events for LGBT activists. MIA officials have stated their inability to secure safety of the actions in support of sexual minorities in the proposed format: according to the MIA, the police will not be able to protect marchers against possible provocations and attacks, if the march is held in central Tbilisi.

The MIA has offered activists to find "safer" venues for their actions. According to the "Tbilisi Pride", the MIA has offered to hold the March of Dignity somewhere in a closed area – in a club or at a stadium, which, however, restricts the protesters' rights to the freedom of assembly and self-expression.

"The state has shown its helplessness. Speaking of security risks, they declare that they are powerless in dealing with radical and violent groups. At this stage, we don't change our plan. We continue organizing the march and other events," the "News-Georgia" quotes Maryam Kvaratskheliya, a co-organizer of the "Tbilisi Pride", as saying.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on June 2, 2019 at 06:22 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

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