TBILISI, DFWatch–Groups in Georgia call on the government to settle the religious conflict in a Kakheti village and ensure the safety of Muslims.
The groups are backed up by the Public Defender in their call for Interior Minister Irakli Gharibashvili to take immediate action to avoid another attack on Muslims in Samtatskaro, a village located in the southeast of Georgia, near the Georgian-Azerbaijani border.
Public Defender Ucha Nanuashvili demanded that the police protect the house of Hajji Suliko Khozrevanidze, where local Christians gathered on June 28, after the Muslims’ Friday prayer, threatening the Hajji and his family.
Hajji Suliko Khozrevanidze said that about 200 residents of the village demanded that Muslims stop praying and physically assaulted his wife.
Nanuashvili stays there is a real danger of physical pressure on Muslims in the village.
Georgian Young Lawyer’s Association, Transparency International Georgia, Article 42 of the Constitution and other NGOs ask to punish the offenders and avoid future attacks on Muslims.
The incident on June 28 was not the first confrontation on the religious background in the village.
According to the Interior Ministry, a criminal investigation was initiated on the basis of article 151 of the criminal code that deals with threats to life, health or property.
The house of the Hajji in Samtatskaro is currently being guarded by police. Nino Giorgobiani, Interior Ministry spokeswoman, said that police will stay there as long as it is necessary to ensure the family’s safety.