‘Tbilisi Pride’ released a statement regarding the events on Rustaveli Avenue, saying that the March of Honor for Solidarity will not take place today.
“There is a war declared against civil society, democratic values and the European course of the country. The current actions of the country’s authorities have once again made it clear that the political authorities are reluctant to carry out their direct duties,” Tbilisi Pride said in a statement.
The representatives of Tbilisi Pride say that “Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili’s shameful, violent, anti-state and anti-Western statement, in which he shifted responsibility and vectors of aggression to activists, is a continuation of the coordinated, violent and politically motivated policy of our political authorities, the Georgian Patriarchate and pro-Russian groups. The inaction of the executive power has put the health and lives of Georgian citizens in real danger.”
The organizers of the March of Honor state that the Ministry of Internal Affairs, despite having all the means to ensure the safety of the participants of the Pride Week, did not take any effective measures to protect the fundamental rights of the people.
“Tbilisi Pride members, representatives of international organizations and the diplomatic corps held several meetings with the employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, they were familiar with the action strategy, they were offered specific plans based on which the safety of the march should be maintained, however, we have been still watching the encouragement of violent groups by the authorities since the morning,” reads the statement.
Violent homophobic groups have been attacking citizens, including media representatives, in various districts of the city since the morning. The offices of Shame Movement and Tbilisi Pride were also raided. At least 20 media representatives were injured.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs has not yet said whether anyone has been arrested for violence against the media.
The March on Honor on Rustaveli Avenue was scheduled for today, July 5. In turn, the Patriarchate called on the population to gather at Kashveti Cathedral on July 5.
“On July 5 this year, at 5 PM, let’s gather at St. Giorgi’s Church of Kashveti to offer a prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary and show the world that we protect our dignity and that any forced upon attempt at degeneration is unacceptable,” it said.
By Ana Dumbadze