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Anti-LGBT mobs attack Pride event in Georgian capital Tbilisi | World News


A Pride festival in Georgia was disrupted by a group of protesters who charged over police officers, destroyed rainbow flags and set fires.

Saturday 08 July 2023 at 22:29, UK

A mob of 2,000 anti-LGBT+ protesters stormed a Pride event in Georgia’s capital Tbilisi on Saturday, setting fire to it, clashing with police and destroying rainbow flags.

Pride had to be canceled as participants were evacuated to safety.

According to Georgian media reports, about 5,000 protesters marched to the lakeside park where the event was held. Many of them waved Georgian flags and carried religious icons.

Gay+ rights protected by law Georgiabut many face widespread discrimination in this socially conservative, predominantly Orthodox country.

Georgia’s Deputy Interior Minister Alexander Darah Velidze said police tried to stop the demonstrators but were unable to stop them.

But event organizers accused authorities of colluding with demonstrators to disrupt the festival.

Far-right groups had publicly incited violence against LGBT+ activists in the days leading up to Pride, Mariam Kvaratskhelia told Reuters, saying police and the government had yet to investigate it.

“I definitely think this [disruption] This was a pre-planned coordinated action between the government and activist groups,” she said.

“We believe this operation was planned to undermine Georgia’s EU candidacy.”

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Georgia wants to join the EU But its governing Georgian Dream party has faced growing criticism from rights groups and the European Union for its apparent authoritarian leanings.

Police and the government did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment on Ms Kvaratsheria’s account.

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Georgian President Salome Zurabichvili, a frequent critic of the government, also condemned the police, saying they had failed in their duty to uphold the people’s right to assemble safely.

No one was injured in the incident. Dalah Veliser said the police are currently “taking steps to stabilize the situation”.


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