Georgian March organizers holding icon of King Davit IV

The insignia worn by the street patrols are seen here in this photo from a protest in July, 2017, with organizer Sandro Bregadze (right) holding an icon of King Davit IV. (Facebook/Nini Ketelauri.)

TBILISI, DFWatch–A far right group in Georgia has been patrolling the streets of Tbilisi for ‘over a week’, wearing armbands and T-shirts with its insignia, the group’s leader confirmed on Monday.

Georgian March’s patrols covered an area in the city center including Leselidze Street, Agmashenebeli Avenue, Rose Revolution Square and adjacent places, GM leader Sandro Bregadze told Liberali magazine.

The patrols have documented and videotaped offenses such as underage prostitution, which will be presented to the public at a press conference after about a month, he said.

No incidents regarding the patrols have been reported so far.

In mid February, Georgian March declared that they would be forming vigilante groups to patrol Tbilisi streets looking for ‘suspicious foreigners’. The group is notorious for its strongly conservative, homophobic, anti-migrant and anti-Muslim rhetoric, much like the right wing groups that have emerged in Europe in recent years. 

The Ministry of Internal Affairs warned Georgian March that any attempt to set up vigilante groups would be met with a ‘strict response’. “Protecting the law and prevention of crime in the country is the prerogative of the law enforcement agencies,” a spokeswoman said.