26 October 2021,   22:10
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Authorities have been inciting violence by hate groups for years - DRI

The observation of events developed around the March of Dignity makes it clear that Tbilisi Pride was not only denied the constitutional right to freedom of assembly by the authorities, but the latter also directly encouraged radical groups, through criminal inaction and statements made by high political officials, to use violence against journalists, public organizations and civil society, reads the information, released by the Democracy Research Institute.

“The Georgian Dream political authorities’ explicit loyalist attitude towards structurally united hate groups, the proof of which is the fact that the acts of violence committed by them have not been responded for years, was reaffirmed on July 5, when the Government demonstratively refused to use legal police measures against the well-organized violence.

Given that the mobilization of violent groups on the basis of the call by the Georgian Patriarchate was uncovered and lasted several days, the mobilization of an extremely small number of police forces by the Ministry of Internal Affairs showed that the Georgian Dream political authorities did not intend to prevent violence. This was made especially evident after the authorities did not mobilize additional police forces to disperse the violent gathering and tackle violence even after the scale of violence increased - violent groups ransacked offices and physically assaulted journalists and passers-by on the street, which was broadcast live.

The inaction of the police clearly indicates the insufficient mobilization of the police force, as well as the lack of proper political will to detain the easily identifiable participants in the violence.

The Democracy Research Institute considers that:

Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili’s statement incited radical groups to use force against journalists and participants in the March of Dignity, which makes him politically responsible for the vents developed
Given that the gathering of violent groups was announced long ago and was not of a spontaneous nature and that the Ministry of Internal Affairs demonstratively allowed them to be violent, the Minister of Internal Affairs should be held politically and legally responsible.

The Democracy Research Institute considers it necessary to:

Mobilize appropriate police forces to prevent violence by structured radical groups
Immediately identify the funders and organizers of the radical groups and take legal action against them
Identify attackers on journalists, NGOs and citizens and take legal action against them
Ensure the safety of members of the LGBT community, NGOs and the media”.

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