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Three Accused of Storming Tbilisi Pride Office Released on Bail

Tbilisi City Court has released three persons accused of storming and ransacking the office of Tbilisi Pride during the July 5 homophobic pogroms on GEL 5,000 (USD 1,600) per each, according to various Georgian media reports.

The three suspects had to surrender their passports, have received restraining orders from members of the Tbilisi Pride organization and will have to visit police stations once a week, Formula TV cited lawyers of Tbilisi Pride. has reached out to the Tbilisi City Court for confirmation and awaits a response.

The three persons were detained on July 8, in the aftermath of the far-right violence spree that resulted in attacks on more than 50 journalists and activists. They faced charges of participating in organized group violence (Article 225.2), persecution using violence or threat of violence (Article 156.2a), and unlawful entry into a property in a group (Article 160.3a).

If proven guilty, they face a prison term of two to six years.

The release of the three suspects on bail comes as Georgian law enforcers have yet to identify and press charges against the organizers of the mass violence five months later.

Ahead of the planned July 5 Pride March, Georgian far-right group and TV network Alt-Info had called for supporters to rally against the LGBT rights demonstration, while the Georgian Orthodox Church organized prayer in front of the Kashveti Church, on Rustaveli Avenue.

The situation became tense in the morning on July 5, as far-right crowds gathered on Rustaveli avenue violently dismantled anti-government protest tents outside the Parliament.

Then a series of violent events ensued as the anti-gay crowds began to attack journalists covering the counterprotest.

The hate groups also stormed the office of Tbilisi Pride and attempted to break into the office of the Shame Movement, the organizers of the Pride March. TV Pirveli cameraman Lekso Lashkarava was brutally assaulted when covering the attack on the Shame Movement office, and he died six days later. Although the authorities cited interim forensic results in arguing he died of a drug overdose, final examination results have not yet been released.

Noteworthy, the Pride March was canceled on July 5 amid the unchecked violence and the lack of safety guarantees by the state.

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili had argued ahead of the turmoil that holding the Pride March on Rustaveli Avenue would be unreasonable and had claimed that “radical opposition” was behind Tbilisi Pride.

In the aftermath of the violence, police detained in total 27 persons over the various incidents that took place on July 5. None of the suspects have been sentenced yet.

One of the leaders of the Alt-Info and the Conservative Movement party established by the group, Konstantine Morgoshia on December 20 called a rally for December 24, to gather outside the Public Defender’s Office building and demand the release of all detainees.

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This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)


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