Georgia: Today, May 17, is International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT), which aims to condemn violence and express solidarity with LGBT + people. However, LGBT + people and their supporters have not been able to celebrate this day publicly for years due to the risks of violence and the lack of state guarantees of protection.
The Public Defender once again calls on the relevant state agencies and public figures to take effective preventive and reactive measures against alleged crimes against LGBT + people and to make public statements that will help raise public awareness of equality.
Last year’s events were particularly alarming during Tbilisi Pride Week when leaders and other members of far-right groups directly and publicly called for violence against members of the LGBT + community and their support. On July 5, 2021, the day of the March of Dignity, law enforcement failed to prevent a large-scale attack on journalists and human rights activists by these violent groups, resulting in a number of people being physically seriously injured.
Although the visibility of the LGBT + community has increased over the years and the discriminatory attitudes in the society have decreased, this process is not accompanied by a consistent and thoughtful state policy. Moreover, state legal inaction encourages inequality against LGBT + people in almost all areas of public life, fails to improve their quality of life and leaves them vulnerable to violence and discrimination.
An important challenge is the issue of timely, effective and accountable investigation of hate crimes. The state has not yet developed a unified strategy to combat hate crimes, and the state response to homo / transphobic crimes still fails to meet standards of efficiency, timeliness, and impartiality.
On the IDAHOT, the EU reaffirms its strong commitment to respect, protect and fulfil the full and equal enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons.