The message below is from Georgian LGBT NGO - Inclusive Foundation.
Many of you are aware that the director of Georgian public broadcasting has resigned. His former deputy and general producer G. Chanturia is now discussed as the possible candidate while all other candidates are not favored by government.
I urge all of to share this note with your friends and raise awareness so that Board has problems appointing him as director of GPB. This man is xenophobe, sexist and homophobe. Today we cannot afford this kind of person paid by our money slamming our face with his miserable prejudice!
This is the letter that EU presidency, Swedish Ambassador kindly wrote to the Board.
Letter of Swedish Ambassador to Georgian Public Broadcasting on the occasion of homophobic hate speech
To: Mr. Levan Gakheladze, Head of the Board of trustees of the GPB
Unfortunately, a climate of homophobia prevails in Georgia, reflecting attitudes that are not compatible with European norms on human rights. An example of this unhealthy social environment was the discussion published in the January 2009 issue of the magazine Tskheli Shokoladi, discussion during which a representative of the Georgian Public Broadcaster was reported as treating homosexuals in a disrespectful way, calling them “crippled people” and “pederasts”. The Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association as well as the Ombudsman have criticized this violation of the code of conduct of the Georgian public broadcaster.
In a related matter, in 2007 the GPB had agreed to show a documentary on LGBT rights violations in Europe entitled “Rainbow’s End”. However, for some unknown reason, the documentary was eventually not broadcast.
It remains unclear what the position of the Board over these cases is.
The Swedish EU presidency supports the negotiations within the EU on a new directive implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation. According to this new directive, discrimination because of sexual orientation shall be prohibited.
Also, the Swedish presidency will organize an Equality Summnit in November which will constitute an opportunity to reaffirm political commitment for this new anti-discrimination directive, give visibility to discrimination based on gender identity and highlight LGBT rights violations.
Taking into consideration Georgia’s European aspirations and its increasing engagement in the European Neighbourhood Policy and the Eastern Partnership, I remind you that Georgia will be expected to transpose the EU acquis into national legislation, including comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation, and to respect and uphold LGBT people’s rights.
The Swedish embassy would recommend that the Georgian Public Broadcasting undertake activities designed to educate the general public on sexual orientation and gender identity and to counter homophobia and negative stereotypes.
Hans Gunnar Aden
CC: M Levan Kubaneishvili, Director General of the GPB
M Paata Sabelashvili, President of Inclusive Foundation