The European Pride Organisers Association has written to the President of Georgia Salomé Zourabichvili, and Prime Minister of Georgia Mamuka Bakhtadza to demand protections for Tbilisi Pride this weekend.
The letter reads:
Brussels, 18 June 2019
Dear President Zourabichvili and Prime Minister Bakhtadza
Last weekend, the President of Austria Dr Alexander van der Bellen spoke at EuroPride in Vienna and said that LGBTI equality is an essential tenet of European democracy and human rights. I am writing to you today to appeal to your good sense and duty as the President and Prime Minister of Georgia, to ask that you take immediate action to protect your citizens attending Tbilisi Pride this weekend.
Very serious concerns have already been expressed by international agencies, civil society organisations, and world politicians about the safety of participants at the Pride this weekend. The very real and explicit threats made to Tbilisi Pride participants by religious and far right fundamentalists are an affront to basic human rights and democratic values.
European and world communities will look very dimly upon Georgia if the Pride is not protected, and if participants in the Pride are allowed to be attacked. I urge you both:
- To condemn utterly and unreservedly the statements of Levan Vasadze and others calling for violence and restrictions against Pride participants;
- To ensure that the police and security services are properly resourced and deployed to protect the Pride, the and its participants; and
- To require government agencies to work with the Pride organisers in the future, to develop a strategy for the safe and successful manifestations of Pride in the future.
A country whose anthem is titled ‘Freedom’ and whose motto is ‘Strength is in Unity’ cannot allow people exercising their basic human rights to be threatened and attacked. I appeal to you both to please act now.
The letter can be downloaded here.
We will be monitoring the situation closely in the coming days and will be in regular contact with activists from Tbilisi Pride, and representatives and monitors from partner organisations.
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