European Union External Action

 

EU Delegation intervention on the Tbilisi Pride March

Brussels, 07/07/2021 - 17:15, UNIQUE ID: 210707_17
Statements on behalf of the EU

1409th meeting of the Committee of Ministers on 7 July 2021

  1. On 5 July, organisers were forced to cancel the Tbilisi Pride march after violent groups stormed LGBTI activists’ headquarters and attacked journalists.
  2. We condemn violent attacks on the civic activists, community members and journalists, as well as the failure of the government leaders and religious officials to express condemnation of this violence. Violence is simply unacceptable and cannot be excused.  Those who incite or threaten violence or commit violent acts are interfering with the efforts of Georgia’s law enforcement professionals to uphold a safe and secure environment.  They should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.  
  3. The rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression, guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights, include the right of LGBTI people to organise manifestations, public events, and their right to speak publicly about matters of their interest or concern. As the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights stated in reaction to the events in Tbilisi, authorities have the human rights obligations to uphold free expression and assembly, ensure demonstrators and journalists’ safety and punish the perpetrators of attacks. We call on all Georgia’s leaders and law enforcement to act swiftly to protect those exercising these rights as well as journalists exercising freedom of the press, and to publicly condemn violence.
  4. We also call on the Georgian authorities to sustain and redouble their cooperation with the Council of Europe, in order to overcome - in line with their obligations arising from the judgement of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Identoba and Others v. Georgia - the persisting challenges in the fight against hate crime, and to further improve hate (especially anti-LGBTI) crime investigations, including drawing on the Council of Europe’s HELP programme.
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