05 July 2021, 15:48
Georgian PM asks LGBT community to cancel march in Tbilisi
Tbilisi, July 5, Interfax - Georgian Prime Minister Irakly Garibashvili has called on members of the LGBT community to cancel their plans to hold a march on Rustaveli Avenue in Tbilisi on Monday.
"Holding a march is among the rights of these people, whom nobody harasses in Georgia, and their rights are protected by the constitution. Today's demonstration involves risks of a civilian standoff, as most of the population views this demonstration as unacceptable," Garibashvili said at a government meeting.
He said such a march should not take place on Rustaveli Avenue, the central street in Tbilisi.
"The Interior Ministry is in touch with the organizers of the march, the situation has been explained to them, and they have been invited to hold their demonstration at a different place," Garibashvili said.
Garibashvili also suggested that "radical revanchist groups led by [former Georgian President Mikheil] Saakashvili" stand behind the planned LGBT march's organizers.
"I can say with all responsibility that these groups are the organizers of this march, and their goal is to create chaos and unrest in the country. We won't allow this," Garibashvili said.
Thousands of protesters determined to prevent an LGBT march have gathered on Rustaveli Avenue.
The organization Tbilisi Pride, which unites members of the LGBT community and some non-governmental organizations, started a campaign for their rights on July 1. The organizers announced earlier that they would hold a March of Dignity with the motto 'Come Out for Solidarity' in Tbilisi on Monday.