State Department on July 5 in Georgia
State Department on July 5
The US State Department has published a 2021 report on terrorism in which July 5, 2021, when ultra-right groups committed violence against journalists and activists during Tbilisi Pride, as an example of terrorist activity going unpunished.
“They also smashed an opposition protest site near Parliament, tried to storm Parliament and attacked NGO offices,” the State Department report says.
The document also notes that the events of July 5 developed after the statement of the Prime Minister, Irakli Garibashvili, who called the planned event “unacceptable”.
“During the day, the Ministry of Internal Affairs could not take the necessary measures. Despite the arrest and subsequent prosecution of 28 perpetrators, no leader of the group or mastermind of the violence has been brought to justice,” the State Department writes.
- The history of Georgia’s LGBT+ community’s struggle for equal rights and non-discrimination
- Media hunted: Over twenty reporters injured during anti-Pride rally in Tbilisi
- Georgia: Tbilisi Pride July 5 Violence Claim Admitted to European Court of Justice
What happened on July 5th?
On July 5, 2021, a gay pride parade was to be held in Tbilisi as part of Tbilisi Pride Week. The procession was scheduled for 18:00 from the Rustaveli metro station in the center of Tbilisi. The clerical patriarchy soon announced a protest against the march. They urged supporters to take to the streets and defend the country from a “perverted way of life”.
On the morning of July 5, anti-gay groups came out to the parliament building. First, they destroyed opposition tents that had been standing near the parliament for months, and then they began to beat journalists who had come to cover what was happening; 53 journalists were injured, one of whom died from his injuries.
The clergy openly called on the radicals to use violence “for the sake of the Motherland.”
Witnesses of those events allege that the attackers’ actions were prompted by Prime Minister Garibashvili’s July 5 statement. Garibashvili urged the organizers not to hold the march on Rustaveli Avenue.
The march was canceled, but the fighting on Rustaveli Avenue continued for several more hours. According to journalists, not enough police officers were mobilized to the scene, although the Minister of the Interior stated that they had mobilized the maximum number of law enforcement officers.