A video of the allegedly racist incident has been published on Facebook" />

Dark-skinned students attacked in Tbilisi

A video of the allegedly racist incident has been published on Facebook

Photo: Vladimer Valishvili

The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia reports it has launched a criminal investigation into an incident involving an attack on dark-skinned students in Tbilisi’s Digomi District.

Netgazeti.ge reports that the incident took place around 6 o’clock on 8 April in the Beliashvili Street. Several dark-skinned students were playing football on a local pitch when a group of individuals approached them.

From the very beginning of the encounter, the group seemed to be intent on aggression and violence. They used vulgar and offensive language and threatened the students with batons which they had brought with them. They chased the students away from the pitch.

The event in the Beliashvili Street was captured on video by one of the students and published on Facebook. The video shows how he and his friends were being chased away from the playing field and attacked.

The students called the police and provided the video as evidence.

Law enforcement officers advised that we should forget the incident and to forget about the attackers as well”, netgazeti.ge cites one of the students as saying.

“Not one of the Georgians who offended us was detained. The police do not demand even an apology from them of any sort. Nothing at all. Why? If it were black students that had attacked Georgians, would the police look differently at the situation? We will fight against this racism. In the 21st century? It’s just not understandable. This must stop!”, a student from Tbilisi’s New Vision University told netgazeti.ge.

The students are concerned about retaliation. After they published the video, a wave of online aggression followed: Georgian users of Facebook used threats and sent them racist messages.

The criminal case has been launched under Article 126 of the criminal code – “violence”, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia reports.

While the students claim they were attacked because of the colour of their skin, the Ministry of Internal Affairs has opted not to launch an investigation under article 142 implying “discrimination on racial grounds”.

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