Saturday, 18 May 2013

Part II: LGBT activists under attack in Tbilisi: Georgian police and politicians

“Police did a good job”, says Minister of Justice. The reality is they failed to protect the rights of citizens and gave in to the priest lead mob. According to the Public Defender Ucha Nanuashvili, the police failed to take “proper measures” to secure holding of a rally by gay rights activists.

“Considering the sheer number of counter demonstrators, their violent actions and the risk to human safety, Transparency International Georgia considers the police's strategy as wholly inadequate.”

A group of six civil society and watchdog organisation said in a joint statement that "the police failed to take measures to prevent violence, that erupted after thousands of Orthodox activists thwarted gay rights rally in downtown Tbilisi, and accused law enforcement officer of being reluctant to secure holding of rally against homophobia."
It says that the police lacked coordination and their actions to protect anti-homophobia rally from attacks of counter demonstrators were often meager.
“Impression was that the Interior Ministry was more focused on safe evacuation of [anti-homophobia rally] participants from the scene, instead of protecting the rally itself. The police did not show enough efforts to provide security of the participants in the process of the rally,” the statement reads.
“Attitude of police towards participants of rally against homophobia and transphobia was especially alarming. Observers confirm that in conversations between each other policemen were referring to the participants of the rally cynically and derogatively and to some extent were sympathizing with counter demonstrators. Such stance was also felt in their actions,” the statement says. 
Earlier, Georgia PM was highly praised (including on this blog) for standing up for the rights of all citizens, regardless of sexual orientation. But head of parliamentary majority (PM’s coalition) was quick to put blame on LGBT activists and their “donors” and effectively sided with the mob: “Earlier today on Rustavi 2 the Leader of Parliamentary Majority, Davit Saganelidze, stated that Identoba and their donors are responsible for the violent developments that erupted today at the the International Day Against Homophobia: "they, who arranged this provocation, who were sitting in the buses calmly and are responsible for what happened".

Here is a video of the mob attack towards bus escorting LGBT activists. Video shows clearly of what was happening towards those who “were sitting in the buses calmly”. Disgusting, nauseous display of hatred in the heart of Tbilisi. Approved by some politicians, as above.

Good to see at least some police did their job. Here is a video form inside the yellow bus.

Georgia’s serving president Saakashvili condemned acts of anti-gay violence in Tbilisi. And now this issue turned into a matter of political battles between Saakashvili and Ivanishvili camps, blaming each other for “provocations” and violence that happened.

"This is a shameful and alarming day for the whole of Georgia and Georgian society. Violent offenders who attacked and severely beaten people planning to express their protests against violence are enemies of Georgia's freedom and statehood. They are offenders and must be punished," National Security Council Secretary Giga Bokeria said on 17 May. "The key problem is the climate in the country.” He then continued that some of the participants in counter-demonstration and their leaders were the ones who were "detained previously for violence but released later from prisons as political prisoners".

PM Ivanishvili said that those who committed violence will be held responsible. Until I see this happens, including priests who were leading the attacks, I will not believe his words on equality and rights of citizens.
PM Bidzina Ivanishvili has condemned violence, that erupted after anti-gay protesters, led by Orthodox clergy, thwarted a rally against homophobia in downtown Tbilisi, and vowed that perpetrators “will be dealt with according to the law”. PM Ivanishvili’s English-language written statement reads: “The right to gather peacefully and to freely express one's opinion is fundamental to our democracy. Every Georgian citizen benefits fully and equally from this right. Acts of violence, discrimination and restriction of the rights of others will not be tolerated, and any perpetrators of such acts will be dealt with according to the law.”
Part I: Victory for homophobes. Defeat for Georgia

Part III: Criminal church: Georgian Orthodox Church incited and led anti-gay attacks in Tbilisi

Part IV: the aftermath of church-led homophobic attacks in Georgia. PM Ivanishvili delivers groundbreaking Independence Day speech

No comments: