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EU ‘Dismayed’ over Homophobic Violence in Tbilisi

EU delegation in Tbilisi said it was “dismayed by the scenes of brutal intolerance and violence committed by some demonstrators” on May 17, when a huge crowd of anti-gay protesters thwarted a rally intended for marking the International Day Against Homophobia.

The EU has called on the Georgian authorities “to defend the human rights of all its citizens using all the means at its disposal.”

“The EU considers the freedom of expression of every human being to be of paramount importance as stated on numerous occasions, including in the latest statement made by EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Lady Ashton, on the Day against Homophobia,” reads EU delegation’s statement, made on May 20 in agreement with the EU heads of mission in Georgia.
 
“The EU believes in the need to fight discrimination on any grounds, including sexual orientation, and to encourage tolerance as a basis for a democratic and peaceful society,” it says. "The EU calls on the government of Georgia to uphold the international and European standards of freedom and equality in dignity and rights to which it has committed itself."

The Georgian authorities said that investigation was launched into the May 17 violence. But no one has yet been charged and no arrests have yet been made.

Chief prosecutor, Archil Kbilashvili, said on May 19 that results of the investigation would become known to the public in the nearest future.

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