Items filtered by date: Monday, 05 July 2021 - NEWSDAY GEORGIA

First of all, the Ministry of Internal Affairs condemns actions motivated by violence, including any form of violence against media representatives. We call on citizens gathered in the streets of the capital to observe law and order, adhere to the rightful requests of the police and protest any issue within the frames of the law. 

The Ministry of Internal Affairs launched an investigation with regard to illegal activities carried out at the offices of the “Shame Movement” and “Tbilisi Pride” in Tbilisi under the Article 187 of the Criminal Code of Georgia, which envisages damage or destruction of another person’s property.

Some of the citizens gathered on Rustaveli Avenue tried to break into the office of the “Shame Movement” behind the Parliament building. Journalists were in the office and were covering the current events. Rally participants also damaged their equipment.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia launched an investigation under the Article 187 (Damage or Destruction of another Person’s Property) on the fact of removal of a flag, destruction and damage of inventory by demonstrators from the “Tbilisi Pride” office located at N17 Akhvlediani Street in Tbilisi.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia has already informed the society that, in addition to already mentioned violations, the investigation was also launched on the facts of violence against media representatives and illegal interference in their professional activities occurred today on Rustaveli Avenue. All relevant investigative activities will be carried out on the stated facts and all materials reflecting incidents will be examined.
We call on the mass media members, taking into account the existing risks to cooperate with the police, to take into account the instructions and recommendations of the representatives of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
The police forces remain mobilized in the streets of the capital and continue maintenance of public order. We once again call on everyone to follow the requirements of the law. Otherwise, the police will act within its’ own mandate and each case of violation will be prevented and a strict legal response will be followed.
Published in Justice

“We condemn today’s violent attacks on the civic activists, community members and journalists, as well as the failure of the government leaders and religious officials to condemn this violence,” reads a joint statement of the Embassies of Austria, Bulgaria, Estonia, the European Union Monitoring Mission, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, UN system in Georgia, the United States, and the EU Delegation to Georgia.

According to the statement, “those who incite or threaten violence or commit violent acts are interfering with the efforts of Georgia’s law enforcement professionals to uphold a safe and secure environment.” “They should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. We call on all Georgia’s leaders and law enforcement to act swiftly to protect those exercising their Constitutional rights to freedom of expression and assembly, to protect journalists exercising freedom of the press, and to publicly condemn violence.

Participation in peaceful gatherings is a human right guaranteed by Georgia’s Constitution.  Violence is simply unacceptable and cannot be excused,” the statement reads.

Members of the ultranationalist groups rallied on Rustaveli avenue hours before the Tbilisi Pride march. They aggressively thwarted reporters to do their work. Georgian Public Broadcaster’s First Channel cameraman Ilia Tvaliashvili was injured during the protest.

The anti-Pride rally participants gathered at Kashveti Church to attend prayer service announced by the Patriarchate “after the parishioners’ plea.” The Georgian Patriarchate echoed the Tbilisi Pride Week on June 29 and has urged the population to gather at Kashveti Church and show the world that any attempt to degenerate Georgian people is utterly unacceptable.

The tension mounted as anti-Pride protesters stormed the Pride office on Akhvlediani Street in downtown Tbilisi. Rioters hiked up the second-floor balcony of the building as the police blocked the main door. They removed the LGBTQ Pride colours, burnt them and hang the Georgian national flag.

Georgian Interior Ministry (MIA) urged Tbilisi Pride Week organizers to cancel the March of Dignity since various protesting groups were holding counter-rallies on Rustaveli avenue. MIA reported on increased security risks.

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili also echoed the march, saying that “it is inappropriate as it poses a threat of civil strife.”

Tbilisi Pride Week kicked off on July 1.

 

Published in Society

At least twenty journalists have been attacked by hate groups gathered in a counter-rally against today’s Tbilisi Pride March, according to the latest media reports.

Those attacked include journalists and cameramen from television channels TV Pirveli, Formula TV, Rustavi 2, Imedi TV, Georgian Public Broadcaster, Mtavari Arkhi and online media outlets On.ge, Netgazeti and Tabula, reports say.

TV Pirveli said counterprotesters smashed its equpments, while Tabula Magazine noted its journalist Mako Jabua was hit by a stick. Several journalists reportedly sustained various degrees of injuries.

The Interior Ministry said it has launched investigations into cases of interference with journalist’s professional activities (Article 154, Criminal Code) and violence (Article 126). The statement did not specify how many incidents have taken place.

The statement also called on Tbilisi Pride activists not to hold the March “in an open public space” because of the “scale” of the ongoing counter-rally.

Parliament Speaker Kakha Kuchava said “violence is inadmissible and I particuparly condemn violence against journalists and in general, media representatives.”

“The situation poses a real threat to the life and health of representatives of the media and hampers their journalistic activities,” stated the Public Defender of Georgia following the attacks.

Ombudsperson Nino Lomjaria called on the law enforcement agencies to “use legal mechanisms” to remove alleged offenders from public spaces, and reminded the state authorities of their constitutional obligation to protect freedom of peaceful expression and assembly “including by responding to counter-demonstrators’ violent actions.”

Source: https://civil.ge/archives/430551

Published in Society

On 24 June, the European Union and UNDP launched a new project – EU for Improving Environmental Monitoring in the Black Sea (EU4EMBLAS) – to further boost the efforts to improve protection of the Black Sea environment.

EU4EMBLAS builds on the results of previous phases of the project, which have tackled the deficiencies and limitations in marine data availability, supported development of the Black Sea Water Quality Databases, assessment and classification schemes, as well as addressed public involvement in marine litter reduction and environmental protection through local small-scale actions, campaigns and events.

EU4EMBLAS will primarily help to establish modern systems and facilities to support marine environmental monitoring in Georgia and Ukraine and strengthen national capacities for application of modern analytical methods, data management and assessment related to marine environmental monitoring. Increased public awareness on Black Sea environmental issues and education of the young generation will continue to be an integral part of the programme.

Key actors include national institutions involved in the Black Sea monitoring, as well as national authorities, research / scientific / educational organisations, and civil society organisations.

The material is prepared within the project "EU NEIGHBOURS east"

Published in World

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