“We strongly condemn July 5 violent attacks against civil activists, community members and journalists in Tbilisi, which regrettably forced the cancellation of the LGBTQI+ Pride March,” reads the statement released by MEPs Marina Kaljurand, Sven Mikser and Viola von Cramon Taubadel.
“Unfortunately, the Georgian authorities and religious representatives failed to speak loud and clear against homophobic rhetoric in the run-up to the Pride March. We deplore the Georgian government’s lack of readiness to guarantee the safety of this gathering devoted to tolerance.
“Like any other citizens, LGBTQI+ persons should be able to enjoy their constitutional rights such as participation in peaceful gatherings.
“The Georgian authorities have been vocal about their intention to apply formally for EU membership by 2024. In this respect, we wish to remind them that the prerequisites for the accession to the EU, also known as Copenhagen criteria, provide, among others, that a candidate country has stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights and respect for and protection of minorities.
“We expect the Georgian authorities to see that the perpetrators of the aforementioned attacks are apprehended and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” reads the statement.
By Ana Dumbadze