05.07.2021- March of Dishonor

"Georgian Democracy Initiative" presents the report - "March of Dishonor". The title of the report highlights the unfortunate reality showcasing that July 5th, the day when the March for Dignity was to be held, as a demonstration of solidarity and support, turned into the day of hatred, violence and aggression, in other words into the march of the hate groups, devoid of honor.

The present report highlights problems that are faced by the LGBTQI+ community in terms of enjoying freedom of assembly and freedom of expression. In this regard the report discusses fulfilment by the state of its constitutional and international obligations and its policy towards the LGBTQI+ community. Namely, the report describes the homophobic context of the July 5th-6th developments and the period preceding them. These events are also assessed in terms of the media freedom and the safety of journalists. In particular, report legally assesses the state's response to the July 5th large-scale attack on the media representatives, although the primary emphasis of the report is on the evaluation of the state's attitude towards the rights of the LGBTQI+ community.

The first part of the report provides information about the developments prior to the Tbilisi Pride Week, as well as during its occurrence and after it.  These developments are assessed in light of international and constitutional standards in the second part of the report.

Assessment of the above mentioned events revealed the following:

  • The government violated (positive) obligations under the Constitution and the European Convention. Namely, on July 5th, authorities were unable to or unwilling to ensure that the LGBTQI+ community held "March  for Dignity", they failed to protect the community from the aggression of violent and homophobic groups, even though prior to the march, these groups had openly stated their plans about  maximum mobilization  to disrupt the march and  warned of the potential violence  and even though the organizers of the "March  for Dignity" had requested the government to provide them with the guarantees of protection from these  dangers. Consequently, the state violated the freedom of assembly of the LGBTQI+ community and its obligation to protect them from the degrading treatment.

  • In addition, the authorities were unable to or unwilling to protect media representatives from the hate groups while they were working to cover ongoing events on site. Accordingly, the authorities violated their obligation to protect media representatives from the degrading treatment and they were unable to or unwilling to ensure performance of professional activities of the journalists in a safe environment, thereby violating their freedom of expression as well.

  • Most importantly, contrary to the Constitution and the European Convention, the government not only failed to properly protect members and supporters of the LGBTQI+ community, civil activists and representatives of the media, but also encouraged violence against them by making homophobic and anti-democratic statements against the "March for Dignity". This encouraging effect and atmosphere continues to exist up to this day in a sense that the authorities have not arrested any of the organizers of the homophobic hate groups yet. This poses a serious threat that the violence will be repeated in the future.

It should be noted that GDI has provided legal assistance to Tbilisi Pride and was directly involved in the ongoing events and discussions. Accordingly, information presented in the report is based both on the media reports as well as on the personal experience of GDI representatives and the organizers of the Pride.


GDI continues to monitor the ongoing investigation and to protect interests of both Tbilisi Pride and journalists before the state bodies.