Clashes in Dmanisi. Screenshot of the video by the Sputnik Georgia YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BSxdy0ZJhk&t=21s

19 May 2021, 12:39

Georgian rights defenders criticize Patriarchy for its position on Dmanisi conflict

Dmanisi is a region with an unfavourable ethnic balance; while the conflict of Svans with Azerbaijanis was fuelled by external forces, said Andriy Djagmaidze, the spokesman for the Georgian Patriarchate. He was criticized by human rights defenders, who called on the Patriarchy not to incite ethnic hatred in the society.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on May 16, the city of Dmanisi (Kvemo Kartli Region) saw a mass brawl of local Azerbaijanis with forced migrants from Svaneti. The reason for the interethnic confrontation was in economic problems, analysts assert.

The conflicting parties have reconciled, said Vakhtang Gomelauri, the Interior Minister. He condemned some Georgian TV companies for pedalling the topic of interethnic conflict.

According to Archpriest Andriy Djagmaidze, the head of the Patriarchate's public relations division, despite the tense situation, both parties in conflict express their readiness to live peacefully.

At the same time, according to Djagmaidze, calling the Georgians living in Dmanisi as "eco-migrants" means a deliberate insult to these people."

His words were condemned by the non-governmental "Institute for Tolerance and Diversity" (ITD).

According to human rights defenders, Djagmaidze is trying to justify violence against journalists. They called on the Patriarchate to condemn Djagmaidze's "hate speech".

The Archpriest's statement about the "unfavourable ethnic balance" has also caused criticism.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on May 19, 2021 at 01:28 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Inna Kukudjanova, Galina Gotua Source: CK correspondents

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