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ECHR Accepts Tbilisi Pride’s July 5 Case

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has accepted a case by LGBT+ rights group Tbilisi Pride and activists against Georgian authorities in connection with the unchecked homophobic violence in Tbilisi on July 5, 2021.

The Georgian Democracy Initiative (GDI), a Georgian civil society outfit that represents the group, reported that the Strasbourg-based court considers that “the application may become an impact case” by setting a precedent for future cases.

The announcement coincides with the one-year anniversary of the incident where over 50 journalists were violently assaulted, and LGBT+ activists and allies were chased by far-right mobs ahead of the planned queer pride parade. It also comes as Tbilisi City Court yesterday ruled a lenient decision of a GEL 5,000 fine to three men that raided the Tbilisi Pride office on July 5, 2021.

In the case, GDI argues that the Georgian Dream authorities failed to act and were ineffective in their response to “homophobic violence, attack, and threats against the LGBTQI+ community and activists.”

The applicants requested and the ECHR agreed to consider violations under Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights, envisaging prohibition on torture, Article 11 referring to freedom of expression, Article 13 regarding the right to an effective remedy, and Article 14 referencing the prohibition of discrimination.

The decision gives Georgian authorities until October 13, 2022, to respond, according to GDI.

The CSO reported that the Court is interested in whether authorities’ statements in reference to the march exacerbated the violence and whether the state fulfilled its obligations with an effective investigation into that day.

Against that backdrop, the Court has asked the government to provide internal documents regarding security preparations before July 5 events.

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