TBILISI, DFWatch–Groups rallied outside the office of Radio Liberty in Tbilisi Friday evening against a homophobic and xenophobic letter written by a sexologist and published on the radio station’s website.
The controversial letter was written by Archil Bakradze, head of the clinic Liga, and published as part of Radio Liberty’s series ‘Tavisuflebis Dghiurebi’ (Radio Liberty’s Diary). This is a series where people write about what they did during the last week, and includes entries by both well-known people and taxi drivers, doctors, students and others.
In his latest submission, Bakradze wrote about a strategy game he plays, a description which included xenophobic remarks about Georgia’s neighboring country Armenia.
In another passage, he wrote that mothers sometimes bring their son who has come out as gay and he promises to ‘convert’ them by forcing them to spend time with women.
Apart from that, many people were displeased about how he, in his own description, gives his daughters 100 laris to get a morning hug before going to work.
Radio Liberty has a good reputation in Georgia. The youth who organized the small protest on Friday said they think the company shouldn’t promote hatred.
“Ethically and socially motivated media should on the contrary try to change discriminatory attitudes in people by information,” organizers wrote in a letter which they left at the office of the media outlet.
Protesters also want Radio Liberty to indicate on the website that the letter written by Bakradze is homophobic and to apologize for spreading hate speech.
Bakradze’s letter was published on September 6. Radio Liberty has so far not responded to the criticism.