discrimination of sexual minorities

Tbilisi Pride to go ahead, despite threats from radicals

By | June 18th, 2019|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

Levan Vasadze warned that vigilante patrols will assemble 'if needed' and prevent Georgia's first Pride parade from going ahead. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch--After much deliberation, the organizers of Tbilisi Pride have decided to go ahead with the first Pride parade in Georgia, according to  a statement released on Facebook Tuesday. "Despite existing risks, the first [...]

Nine detained in Tbilisi as conservatives and LGBT rights campaigners clash

By | June 15th, 2019|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

Levan Vasadze speaking at the counter rally. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch--At least nine people were detained by police in Tbilisi at as defenders of LGBT rights clashed with conservatives on Friday. The police had to set up barriers between the two groups of protesters in order to avoid a physical confrontation. The LGBT activists gathered [...]

Gay rights rally canceled in Tbilisi following pressure from far-right groups

By | May 17th, 2018|Categories: Minorities|Tags: , , |

In 2017, activist in Tbilisi met under strict security to observe the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT). (Rustavi 2.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Organizers have called off a gay rights rally in Tbilisi out of security concerns. The rally should have been held in front of the government building in Tbilisi to mark the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT). “Considering all existing […]

Constitutional Court overturns ban on gay men donating blood – again

By | July 13th, 2017|Categories: Minorities|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s Constitutional Court has overturned a ban on donation of blood by men who have had sex with other men. The lawsuit to lift the ban was filed by LGBT rights activists Gocha Gabodze and Levan Berianidze. The ban on donating blood for ‘a man who has had a sexual […]

Gay pride film screening canceled in Tbilisi after bomb threat

By | May 20th, 2017|Categories: Minorities|Tags: , , |

TBILISI, DFWatch–The screening of a gay pride film in a Tbilisi park had to be canceled Friday evening after someone called in a bomb threat. LGBT people, rights activists and others, mainly youth, had gathered in Mziuri Park for a screening of the British historical comedy […]

Four transgender women attacked at Tbilisi nightclub

By | February 8th, 2017|Categories: Minorities|Tags: , |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Four transgender women are being treated for cuts after an attack at a nightclub in downtown Tbilisi, the capital of the former Soviet republic of Georgia. The incident occurred at 7am Monday on Elbakidze Street, near Rustaveli, one of the main metro stations in the city. […]

Another transgender woman attacked in Tbilisi

By | November 28th, 2016|Categories: Minorities|Tags: , , , |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A transgender woman was attacked in Tbilisi on November 25. The attack happened late at night on Tamar Mepe Avenue. The target of the attack, Nata, had her nose broken and suffered other facial injuries. She left the hospital on Saturday. […]

Man suspected of stabbing transgender woman placed in pre-trial detention

By | October 19th, 2016|Categories: Crime, News|Tags: , |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The 31-year-old suspected of viciously attacking a transgender woman in Tbilisi on October 14 was Wednesday placed in pre-trial detention. The accused Giorgi Murjikneli’s lawyer asked for his client to be released on 1,000 lari bail, but the judge […]

31-year-old arrested for attack on transgender woman

By | October 17th, 2016|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Reacting to the recent attack, dozens of people protested outside the MIA building Sunday evening, to say no to violence against transgender people. (DFWatch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Police in Georgia arrested a man on Sunday who is suspected of having attacked a transgender woman two days before. The suspect is accused of attempted murder. According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA), the 31-year-old was on probation […]

Transgender woman hospitalized after vicious attack in Tbilisi

By | October 16th, 2016|Categories: News|Tags: , |

(1tv.ge) TBILISI, DFWatch–A 32-year-old transgender woman was Friday evening severely beaten in Ortachala, a district in the south of Tbilisi. According to Imedi TV, there were two assailants. Her throat was slit. She remains in the emergency ward in a serious condition, […]

Sabi murder case may go to the Supreme Court as prosecutor appeals

By | July 7th, 2016|Categories: Minorities|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian Prosecutor General’s Office on Wednesday appealed a ruling in the Appeals Court to acquit the defendant in the murder of transgender woman Sabi Beriani. If approved, the case could go to the Supreme Court. […]

Georgians support gay rights, but want gay rights rallies banned

By | June 6th, 2016|Categories: Minorities|Tags: |

Invisible Protest for May 17, 2014, Tbilisi, Georgia (DFWatch) TBILISI, DFWatch–Over half of Georgians think the state should protect the rights of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and other sexual minorities, but four out of five want it to be illegal to demonstrate for LGBTI rights, according to a new survey by Women’s Initiatives Supporting Group (WISG). […]

Georgia has become a more dangerous place for gays: Rights group

By | May 12th, 2016|Categories: Minorities|Tags: , , , |

TBILISI, DFWatch–The human rights of gays, lesbians and other sexual minorities are being less protected in Georgia, according to the organization ILGA, which monitors the situation internationally. International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex […]

Patriarch gives blessing to World Congress of Families

By | May 5th, 2016|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–Patriarch Ilia II has endorsed a controversial ‘pro family’ congress to be held in Tbilisi in May and is expected to deliver a keynote speech. The leader of the Georgian Orthodox Church, the Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia, Ilia II gave his blessing to the 10th World Congress of Families which will be held in Tbilisi on May 15-18, […]

Protesters succeed in preventing LGBT conference at TSU

By | February 22nd, 2016|Categories: Minorities, News|Tags: , |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A conference about sexual minorities had to be moved to another location after Tbilisi State University (TSU) refused to let it be held on February 22 following protests by extreme traditionalists. The protest was staged by a group which has often […]

Georgia may amend Constitution to bar same-sex marriage

By | February 2nd, 2016|Categories: Minorities, News|Tags: , |

Zviad Tomaradze. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A controversy is brewing in Georgia over whether it should be written into the Constitution that a marriage is union between a man and a woman. The idea has been around at least since former Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili suggested it in March […]

Human Rights Watch finds indications of political persecution in Georgia

By | January 29th, 2016|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–In its latest world report, Human Rights Watch draws attention to a number of alleged violations in Georgia, including political persecution, pressure on the media and ill treatment. The first chapter on Georgia in the World Report 2016 […]

Day of remembrance for transgender people observed in Tbilisi

By | November 11th, 2015|Categories: Minorities|Tags: , , |

A day of rememberance was held one year after the brutal murder of Sabi Beriani in Tbilisi. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Two dozen activists gathered in Tbilisi Tuesday evening to observe a new national day of remembrance for transgender people, exactly one year after the murder of a transgender woman. The memorial event was held […]

All defendants acquitted in 2013 anti-gay rights attack case

By | October 23rd, 2015|Categories: Minorities|Tags: , |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Tbilisi City Court on Friday acquitted four people for organizing a violent anti-gay rights rally in 2013. The four, who also included clergy in the Georgian Orthodox Church, were on trial for urging protesters who disrupted a peaceful rally to mark the […]

Georgian MP wants ‘sexual orientation’ deleted from anti-discrimination law

By | September 22nd, 2015|Categories: Minorities|Tags: , |

Soso Jachvliani. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A conservative MP from the ruling Georgian Dream coalition wants to make changes to the anti-discrimination law passed by parliament last year which he himself voted for at every hearing. Soso Jachvliani, an armwrestler, actor and film director, […]

Radio Liberty criticized for publishing homophobic letter

By | September 19th, 2015|Categories: Minorities|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) 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, […]

Court rules murderer of transgender woman acted in self-defense

By | August 8th, 2015|Categories: Minorities|Tags: , |

Sabi was remembered with a minute’s silence at the House of Justice on Nov. 21, 2014. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Tbilisi City Court on Friday unexpectedly acquitted a man of premeditated murder and sentenced him instead to four years in prison for beating another victim the same evening. Levan Kochlashvili was on trial for having physically […]

Georgian parliamentarian criticizes U.S. Supreme Court same-sex ruling

By | June 28th, 2015|Categories: Minorities|Tags: , |

Manana Kobakhidze. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The deputy speaker of the Georgian parliament, Manana Kobakhidze, is criticized for recent remarks about the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage. “Even if we are left all alone on earth, if every one of our friends or partners abandons us, I will not […]

NGOs criticize Georgia for not protecting minorities

By | May 29th, 2015|Categories: Minorities|Tags: , |

The overcrowded mosque in Batumi. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Georgia criticize the government for not doing enough to eliminate discrimination of religious minorities, and underline that over the last two years, the country has seen a number of conflicts on a religious […]

Anti-homophobia day marked in secrecy in Tbilisi

By | May 17th, 2015|Categories: Minorities|Tags: , |

(DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–When groups in Tbilisi wanted to mark the international day against homophobia May 17, they had to organize it in tightly-controlled secrecy and gather in silence. Time and location was secret, and everyone who showed up, including journalists […]

“This street is taken” – Tbilisi gay rights campaigners prepare for May 17

By | May 12th, 2015|Categories: Minorities|Tags: , |

(Facebook.) TBILISI, DFWatch–“This street is taken – there’s no place for homophobia and transphobia here!” This is the slogan of another online campaign to prepare for the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT), May 17. Behind the campaign stands […]

Gay rights activists in Georgia are confined to the Internet

By | May 8th, 2015|Categories: Minorities|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch–Two years after a violent mob attacked them, gay rights activists in Georgia are confining their protest to the Internet as they observe the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT). No-one has been prosecuted for the […]

A gay man from Tbilisi: ‘I haven’t told my mother yet’

By | April 15th, 2015|Categories: Minorities|Tags: |

Illustration photo. (Interpressnews.) A country in which the Church is a powerful presence, which strongly advocates for traditional values, probably would not be the first place of choice for LGBTQ people. But what if it is your homeland? […]

Homophobia in Georgia: tolerance is a myth

By | April 3rd, 2015|Categories: Minorities|Tags: , , , |

From left to right: Levan Berianidze, Tamta Mikeladze, Ana Lobzhanidze. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgians like to talk about tolerance as a part of the national psyche. But the ability to accept and live alongside people who are different from yourself seems to end when it comes to gays, lesbians and other sexual minorities. According to NDI, […]

Georgia has done nothing to protect sexual minorities: Ombudsman

By | April 1st, 2015|Categories: Minorities|Tags: , |

Anti-gay demonstrators in Tbilisi on May 17, 2014. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia has taken no real steps toward protecting the rights of sexual minorities, according to a new report by the Ombudsman. The report, which was published on April 1, says there is an increase not only in homophobic attitudes but also crimes motivated […]

Georgian president speaks out against discrimination

By | March 2nd, 2015|Categories: In brief|Tags: , , |

President Giorgi Margvelashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–President Giorgi Margvelashvili on Sunday highlighted the most pressing problems Georgia faces in terms of discrimination, as he observed United Nation’s Zero Discrimination Day. He drew particular attention to violence against women and […]

Killed transgender woman remembered with a minute’s silence in Tbilisi

By | November 21st, 2014|Categories: Minorities|Tags: , |

A transgender woman recently killed in Tbilisi was remembered with a minute’s silence. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–LGBT activists on Thursday marked Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR) in Tbilisi. The demonstration took place at the House of Justice to protest against the fact that transgender people aren’t allowed to register their true gender in ID cards. […]

Ashamed of being straight

By | November 13th, 2014|Categories: Opinion|Tags: |

A trans gender woman was killed in Tbilisi Tuesday. (Interpressnews.) I am lucky to be born straight. I am lucky to be one of those people who are not stigmatized on the basis of their sexual affection to a certain human being; who can kiss and hold hands in public without being attacked or bullied for it; who can get officially married […]

Transwoman killed and flat set on fire in Tbilisi

By | November 11th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A young transgender person was killed in her apartment last night on Pekini street, Tbilisi. The victim’s apartment was set on fire, apparently in order to destroy the evidence. Local media report that the victim was a 23 year old transwoman, who has appeared […]

How Georgians view minorities: Protect minority groups but not gays

By | August 26th, 2014|Categories: Minorities, News|Tags: , |

One of the injured in the anti-gay rally on May 17, 2013. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–63 percent of Georgians think it is important to protect the rights of minorities, but they don’t want such protection extended to sexual minorities. National Democratic Institute (NDI) on Monday published the results of its newest survey of public […]

Hate crime vs hooliganism

By | June 18th, 2014|Categories: Opinion|Tags: , , |

Sarah Delys is a criminologist working for Human Rights Education and Monitoring Centre in Tbilisi. Last month marked the one-year anniversary of the LGBT rally which turned violent in Tbilisi. The tense situation in the country in the run-up to the International Day Against Homophobia made activists resolve to a silent protest [1] this year. A few days […]

Conservatives rallied against gay rights on May 17

By | May 18th, 2014|Categories: Minorities, News|Tags: , |

The Georgian Orthodox Church organized many events to mark its non-acceptance of homosexual lifestyle, which it considers a sin. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The International Day Against Homophobia was in Georgia transformed into a day of family values, which was the initiative of the country’s most influential person, the Patriarch. A number of rallies and events were held on May 17 against LGBT […]

Premiere of comedy film about Gay couple postponed after threats

By | May 14th, 2014|Categories: Minorities, News|Tags: |

Poster of the comedy ‘We are Mad’ TBILISI, DFWatch–A film director and producer in Georgia has postponed the first screening of the new comedy about a gay couple because of the threats and fear that it might be seen as an attempt to destabilize the country. Otar Mikeladze and David Bezhitaishvili […]

Georgian group calls on people to mark May 17 on the net

By | May 12th, 2014|Categories: Minorities, News|Tags: , , |

The website calls on people to find creative ways to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, May 17. TBILISI, DFWatch–A website has been created in Georgia to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, May 17. The website is the creation of Identoba, an organization working to promote the rights of lesbians, gays and other sexual minorities. It was Identoba […]

Georgian patriarch declares May 17 a day of family values

By | May 12th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

Georgian Patriarch Ilia II. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian Orthodox Church wants to declare May 17 a day to celebrate strength of family, respect for parents and a memorial day. Last year, there were fierce street clashes on May 17 last year, as the gay and lesbian community sought to mark […]

Georgians are split on minorities issues

By | May 6th, 2014|Categories: Minorities, News|Tags: , |

Demonstrators against accepting homosexuality, Tbilisi, May 17, 2013. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The latest survey of public attitudes, published by National Democratic Institute (NDI), shows that Georgians are split in their views on the need to protect minorities. When it comes to protection of gays, lesbians and other sexual minorities, […]

Transsexuals excluded from debate about discrimination

By | May 5th, 2014|Categories: Minorities, News|Tags: , , |

Transsexuals demonstrated outside a TV studio in Gori Saturday, after being excluded from a debate about a new anti-discrimination law. (Trialeti.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Transsexuals demonstrated outside a TV studio in Georgia on Saturday because they were not allowed to take part in a debate about a new anti-discrimination law. Locals in Gori, a town close to the capital, came to the studio building of Trialeti TV […]

Georgian PM wants constitutional block against same-sex marriage

By | March 28th, 2014|Categories: Minorities, News|Tags: , , |

Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian prime minister wants to define a family as a union between a man and a woman. Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili says he has asked the constitutional commission to look at his proposal. “Though according to the current legislation, […]

EU criticizes Georgia for failing to protect human rights

By | March 28th, 2014|Categories: Minorities, News|Tags: |

Orthodox priests removing a police block May 17, 2013, that separated their supporters from the LGBT rights group. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The EU criticizes Georgia for not having done enough in 2013 to protect freedom of speech and prevent violent outbreaks of islamophobia and homophobia. The new report is published by the European Commission and is part of the implementation of the […]

LGBT group in Georgia cancels May 17 demonstration

By | March 27th, 2014|Categories: Minorities, News|Tags: , |

Clerics led the charge against a small LGBT demonstration in Tbilisi May 17, 2013. This year there will be no such event. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Identoba, an organization which protects the rights of sexual minorities in Georgia, has decided to not mark the international day against homophobia May 17. Last year, the organization announced it would organize a demonstration for the rights […]

Georgian anti-gay activists warn of tougher line

By | March 25th, 2014|Categories: Minorities, News|Tags: , , |

May 17, 2013, thousands of anti-gay activists disrupted a small peaceful demonstration in Tbilisi to mark the international day against homophobia. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Anti-gay activists and clerics want to be more tough toward LGBT rights activists if the latter demonstrate for their rights on May 17, on the one-year anniversary of a violent attacks on them organized by Orthodox priests. Pressed with multiple […]

Constitutional Court in Georgia lifts ban on homosexuals giving blood

By | February 11th, 2014|Categories: Minorities, News|Tags: , , |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The constitutional court in Georgia has struck down a thirteen year old ban on homosexual men becoming blood donors. The court agreed with a complaint from five Georgian citizens and recognized several articles of an order issued by the labor, health […]

HRW highlights recent attacks on minorities in Georgia

By | January 22nd, 2014|Categories: Minorities, News|Tags: , , , |

A crowd of thousands led by Orthodox priests on May 17, 2013, violently disrupted a peaceful demonstration to mark the International Day Against Homophobia. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Human Rights Watch criticizes Georgia in its World Report 2014 for not having done enough to protect the rights of religious minorities and LGBT. When it comes to religious rights, the organization points out that the Muslim minority has experienced […]

Georgian Patriarch: Glad gay marriage is not EU requirement

By | January 10th, 2014|Categories: Minorities, News|Tags: , |

Georgia’s Patriarch Ilia II. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Patriarch’s Christmas epistle continues to cause controversy in Georgia. Not only in vitro fertilization and the use of surrogate mothers, but also what he wrote about sexual minorities. “It’s a pity that minority groups, that have sharply […]

Georgia introduces law against discrimination

By | December 18th, 2013|Categories: Minorities, News|Tags: , , |

Minister of Justice Thea Tsulukiani. (Photo published by the Justice Ministry.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian Ministry of Justice has prepared a draft law on anti-discrimination. The proposal aims at eliminating all forms of discrimination, Justice Minister Thea Tsulukiani explained as she met human rights organizations, representatives of […]

Georgian Church against homeless shelter run by LGBT group

By | November 14th, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: , |

The planned homeless shelter. (Channel One.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian Church, the Patriarchate, is against the opening of a shelter for homeless people. The plan has been proposed by the organization Identoba, which protects the rights of LGBT people in Georgia. A private individual donated a building […]

Respecting human rights in Georgia

By | October 24th, 2013|Categories: Minorities, News|Tags: , |

I am writing this letter in response to the letter published in Kviris Palitra and Georgian Journal under the title “Respecting Georgian Traditions”. I am a Georgian citizen, an attorney, and the producer of the show "Georgian Legend," which introduced traditional Georgian singing and dance to millions of people around the world. As all who know [...]

Georgian court acquits priest accused of anti gay violence

By | August 3rd, 2013|Categories: News|Tags: |

May 17, 2013, thousands of activists disrupted a peaceful protest against homophobia in Tbilisi. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Tbilisi City Court on Thursday ruled that there is not enough evidence to prove the guilt of priest Tamaz Bichinashvili in the incidents of May 17, when clerics and their supporters dispersed a peaceful LGBT rally in Tbilisi. When a few tens […]

Parliament passes statement on anti LGBT violence

By | July 17th, 2013|Categories: News|Tags: |

Eka Beselia, head of the committee. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The human rights committee in parliament has passed a statement about the events of May 17, when radical priests and their supporters disrupted a peaceful demonstration against homophobia in Tbilisi. Before the final adoption on Tuesday, there have […]

Court case about anti LGBT violence postponed

By | July 16th, 2013|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

TBILISI, DFWatch–The court hearing for the two clerics who participated in the violent clashes on May 17 has been postponed until July 23. The hearing was to have been on Monday, and apart from the two clerics the case also concerns several other persons who are […]

Poll shows little support for LGBT cause in Georgia

By | July 12th, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: |

Counter-activist with poster saying “These are the sins of Sodom and Gomorra”. (DFWatch photo.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A new opinion poll shows that 79 percent of Georgians do not support the anti-homophobia demonstration on May 17, 2013, which was disrupted by radical Christian clerics and their followers, resulting in almost 30 people being injured. 52 percent think […]

Minorities will be protected, Ivanishvili assures

By | July 3rd, 2013|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili. (DFWatch photo.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili says the government will protect minorities in the country through legal ways, but not ‘artificially.’ At a monthly press conference at Metechi Palace Hotel Wednesday, Ivanishvili also addressed the issue […]

CoE asks Georgia to investigate anti LGBT violence

By | June 28th, 2013|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on the Georgian government to conduct a ‘prompt investigation’ of the violence on May 17 2013. 30 persons were injured that day, as radical clerics and their supporters prevented LGBT […]

Parliament discussed May 17 violence with initiative group

By | June 23rd, 2013|Categories: News|Tags: |

Committee leader Eka Beselia (center). (Sazogadoeba.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The May 17 initiative group Saturday met with parliament’s human rights committee in order to discuss the draft statement regarding the violence that occurred that day, when radical priests and activists disrupted a small rally against homophobia. […]

Protest against parliament’s handling of anti LGBT violence

By | June 21st, 2013|Categories: News|Tags: |

Parliament’s human rights committee has cast doubt on the authenticity of a petition signed by 12 000 people asking for accountability for the violence last month. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–June 20 a protest rally was held at Radisson Blu Iveria Hotel while parliament’s human rights committee was holding a meeting inside. A few days ago, the committee presented a draft statement about the events of May 17, when radical clerics and […]

Parliament questioning whether anti hate crime petition is real

By | June 19th, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: |

Facebook users are reacting to human rights committee head Eka Beselia hinting that their online signatures are fraudulent. TBILISI, DFWatch–The head of the Georgian parliament’s human rights committee has come under fire on social networks, after she instructed her committee to investigate whether 12 000 signatures in a petition are real or fake. The petition is addressed to […]

Parliament in Georgia considers how to react to May 17 violence

By | June 18th, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: |

Almost thirty people were injured on May 17, 2013, as Orthodox Christian activists broke up a small gay rights demonstration. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The human rights committee in parliament is preparing a resolution about the May 17 events, when thousands of Orthodox Christians disrupted a protest by a few tens of LGBT activists. The resolution was a response to an appeal addressed to the speaker […]

Georgia introduces new law to protect minorities

By | June 17th, 2013|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Justice Minister Thea Tsulukiani. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The government in Georgia is planning to introduce a law aimed at protecting the rights of religious, sexual, ethnic and other minorities in the country and avoid discrimination. Speaking at Courtyard Marriott Hotel in Tbilisi, Justice Minister Thea […]

Priests to be put on trial for anti-gay violence

By | June 5th, 2013|Categories: News|Tags: |

Almost thirty people were injured in the violence during the disruption of a gay rights rally in Tbilisi on May17. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The trial of the two priests who are suspects regarding the violent clashes on May 17, is scheduled for July 15. Meanwhile the Prosecutor’s Office didn’t ask the court to place them in pre-trial detention or administrative punishment. […]

In Georgia, online game which emulates gay rights clash goes viral

By | May 28th, 2013|Categories: News|Tags: , |

‘Call of Taburetka’ lets the player be a priest who fends off gay rights activists using a stool. TBILISI, DFWatch–A new Facebook game has become popular among Georgians. It emulates the violent incidents on May 17, when clerics took the lead in disrupting a demonstration against homophobia in Tbilisi. The violence, which led to almost 30 persons being injured, […]

Tbilisi mayor criticizes Saakashvili for LGBT comment

By | May 27th, 2013|Categories: News|Tags: |

Controversy continues over what really happened in Tbilisi on May 17, 2013, and who is to blame. (DFWatch photo.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Mayor of Tbilisi Gigi Ugulava criticizes President Mikheil Saakashvili for having ‘incorrectly ordered’ his facts while commenting on a gay rights rally last week. Saakashvili criticized the LGBT activists for having planned a rally the same day […]

Again the sides meet in Georgia’s most touchy debate

By | May 26th, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: |

These protesters want to ban ‘gay propaganda’. (DFWatch photo.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Two small counter-rallies were held at the Prosecutor’s Office on Saturday in Tbilisi. The organizers of one rally, ‘The law is supreme’, were the same as those who organized ‘No to Theocracy’ on Friday. Meanwhile members of the National Front […]

Two more charged with May 17 violence

By | May 25th, 2013|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

Police line on May 17. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Two more persons have been charged with violence on May 17, when a rally against homophobia was disrupted by a crowd of thousands of people encouraged by Orthodox clerics. The clashes led to almost 30 people being injured. The Interior Ministry […]

Strongly opposing views expressed peacefully at Tbilisi rally

By | May 25th, 2013|Categories: News|Tags: |

‘No to theocracy’ said one part of the demonstrators. The other part wanted a ban on ‘homosexual propaganda’. (DFWatch photo.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Two opposing rallies about very sensitive social issues went ahead peacefully in downtown Tbilisi Friday. People gathered at 18:00 to protest against ‘propaganda of homosexuality’, while the other rally was ‘no to theocracy’ – a protest […]

Opposing views on gay rights to meet, peacefully this time

By | May 24th, 2013|Categories: News|Tags: |

A counter-demonstrator on May 17. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The two opposing sides in Georgia’s gay rights debate are to hold demonstrations at the same spot in Tbilisi today. But Prime Minister Ivanishvili reassures the public that people will be able to express their views peacefully. The first one is in support of the LGBT people […]

15 000 sign petition to punish May 17 hate crimes

By | May 24th, 2013|Categories: NGO news|Tags: |

The petition asks for punishment of perpetrators of violence May 17. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–About 15 000 persons have signed a petition that asks to punish those who committed violence on May 17. After clerics and parishioners attacked a peaceful demonstration by LGBT persons and their supporters on May 17 to mark the International Day […]

Georgia charges two Orthodox clerics after anti-gay violence

By | May 23rd, 2013|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

A scene from May 17. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Interior Ministry in Georgia says it is charging two high-ranking clerics who work for the country’s Orthodox church. (Article has been corrected.) The police is pressing charges against the archimandrite of Sameba cathedral, Father […]

Georgian Church explains its position on the May 17 events

By | May 23rd, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: |

Spokesman for the Georgian Orthodox Church, Mikael Brotkoveli. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian Orthodox Church separates itself from the violent incidents of May 17, when clerics disrupted LGBT activists from holding a peaceful rally, resulting in 28 injured. Church spokesman Mikael Botkoveli on Wednesday evening said at a briefing […]

PM: Being a cleric is no excuse for violent behavior

By | May 22nd, 2013|Categories: News|Tags: |

President Mikheil Saakashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili says that church prayer isn’t an excuse for anyone to violate the law. The PM on Tuesday met with a club of experts and after the meeting he commented on the May 17 events, when Orthodox Christians and clerics […]

Four arrested for May 17 violence, attacks continuing

By | May 22nd, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: |

The attacks are continuing, according to Identoba. Two women were beaten in the street. One of them had bite marks on her arm afterwards. (Identoba.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Police have detained four persons suspected of resisting police and petty hooliganism on May 17, when Orthodox Christians held a counter-rally against an attempt at marking the International Day Against Homophobia. There is one minor among […]

Hammarberg: Hard to explain how May 17 could happen

By | May 21st, 2013|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: , |

Thomas Hammarberg. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Thomas Hammarberg says it will be difficult to explain to Europe how the May 17 violence could occur in a democratic country such as Georgia. Christian Orthodox activists last Friday used violence to disrupt a planned peaceful event to mark […]

Religious Radicals – the Biggest Threat to Georgia’s Democracy

By | May 20th, 2013|Categories: Opinion|Tags: , |

Tornike Sharashenidze is professor and head of MA Program of International Affairs at the Georgian Institute of Public Affairs. These shameful events posed new questions (or rather question marks) for the Georgian democracy. The country has achieved a lot since the collapse of the Soviet Union. It has effectively fought crime and corruption; it has managed to change its government through peaceful […]

Amnesty International says Georgian police failed on May 17

By | May 19th, 2013|Categories: NGO news|Tags: |

Police in Georgia failed to protect gay rights activists, according to Amnesty International. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Amnesty International says the police in Georgia failed to protect demonstrators from aggression on May 17. The human rights group which has more than 3 million supporters worldwide believes that the police failed to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, […]

Day after violence, LGBT campaigners call for accountability

By | May 19th, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: |

Repulsed by Friday’s violence, campaigners demand a proper investigation of every incident. (DFWatch photo.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A peaceful rally to protest Friday’s violent clashes went ahead without serious incidents outside the government office on Saturday. In the afternoon, LGBT activists and their supporters started gathering in front of the government’s office, […]

Gathering today to condemn Friday’s violence

By | May 18th, 2013|Categories: News|Tags: |

Priests removing the police barricades Friday. (Click to enlarge.) (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–After the violence yesterday, a gathering is planned today Saturday outside the government building on Ingorokva Street 7 at 15:00 to condemn what happened. Organizers say the goal is to condemn the violence by clerics and others who confronted the LGBT […]

Georgian Church distances itself from anti-gay violence

By | May 18th, 2013|Categories: News|Tags: |

Clerics addressing the anti-gay demonstrators with megaphone Friday. (DFWatch photo.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian church is distancing itself from the violence on May 17, but maintains that LGBT propaganda is not acceptable. Patriarch Ilia II commented on the violent clashes between his parishioners and LGBT campaigners in Tbilisi. Ilia II called […]

Georgian Church mobilized thousands against LGBT event

By | May 17th, 2013|Categories: News|Tags: |

The Georgian Orthodox Church mobilized thousands of people in Tbilisi to prevent activists for the rights of sexual minorities to peacefully mark the International Day Against Homophobia. (DFWatch photo.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Thousands of parishioners and clerics from the Georgian Orthodox Church May 17 prevented LGBT rights activists from carrying through a peaceful rally against homophobia in downtown Tbilisi. According to the health minister, the day ended with 28 […]

Gay rights protesters driven out of Tbilisi, many injured

By | May 17th, 2013|Categories: News|Tags: |

Orthodox Christian activists successfully prevented a peaceful demonstration against homophobia in Tbilisi Friday. Twenty eight people were injured. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Orthodox Christian activists Friday successfully prevented a peaceful demonstration to mark the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia in Tbilisi. After numerous violent incidents throughout the day which led to more than twenty people being […]

Tense ahead of gay rights rally in Tbilisi today

By | May 17th, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: |

From last year’s demonstration. (DFWatch photo.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Rallies are planned in Tbilisi today to prevent a gathering of activists who want to mark the International Day Against Homophobia. The two organizations Identoba and Women’s Initiative Support Group announced about a month ago that they were […]

Activists planning to prevent gay rights rally in Tbilisi

By | May 14th, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: |

Last year’s demonstration in front of the parliament building in Tbilisi. (DFWatch photo.) TBILISI, DFWatch–An announced gay rights rally is causing outrage among different groups in Georgia who plan to interrupt the rally May 17 and organize parallel rallies against LGBT people in the country. Non-governmental organizations which work with defending […]

Gay rights activists rally in Tbilisi May 17

By | May 8th, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: |

Activists plan to gather outside the old parliament building in Tbilisi. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Human right organizations and gay rights activists plan a flash mob event May 17 outside the old parliament building in Tbilisi. The flash mob will last half hour and the purpose is to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, which is marked in […]

Georgian morning show anchors criticized Elton John

By | January 22nd, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: , |

Davit Katsarava and Salome Gogiashvili, hosts of Imedi TV’s morning show. (Screen grab.) TBILISI, DFWatch — Two well-known Georgian TV anchors are accused of having used a homophobic slur. January 18, one of the anchors of a morning talk show on Imedi TV said: ‘I’m honestly sorry for both surrogate children of Elton John’. The other one […]