LGBTI activists arrested during simultaneous demonstrations
On 17th May, two opposing rallies were held in Georgia’s capital Tbilisi. LGBTI activists marked the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) while representatives of conservative religious groups held a rally to mark the Georgian Patriarchate’s Family Values Day. The rallies led to the arrest of ten young activists for attempting to stencil the words ‘all love is equal’ on walls and buildings belonging to Georgian Patriarch Ilia II. Three of the protestors were released immediately, while the other seven await court trials. The gathering of the conservative religious groups was enthusiastically endorsed by Ilia II, the Patriarch of Georgian Orthodox Church, who has promoted ‘traditional family values’ at the expense of minority rights.
Association and Peaceful Assembly
On 15th April, a public debate was organised to discuss progress on implementation of recommendations made in the 2012 report of Maina Kiai, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association in 2012. While progress has been made to address some concerns highlighted in that report, the Special Rapporteur restated that administrative detention should be scrapped, in order to ensure the full realisation of association and peaceful assembly rights. The meeting noted that no changes have been made to the Law on Assemblies and Manifestations which could strengthen protections for people engaging in peaceful protest in Georgia.