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Police in Georgia have opened an investigation into organisers of the recent far-right March in Tbilisi, after a number of them threatened a woman who criticised their movement with rape.
Tatia Dolidze, a former Georgian Youth Delegate at the UN, was met with threats of sexual violence and gang rape on Facebook on 17 July, after criticising the organisers and attendees of the xenophobic, ethno-nationalist demonstration.
Gia Korkotashvili, a leading figure of the March, Mikheil Amisulashvili, a member of political group Erovnuloba (‘nationality’), who organised the march, and Konstantine Morgoshia, member of parliamentary political party the Alliance of Patriots, were reportedly the most active offenders.
[Read OC Media’s analysis: Who was in and who was out in Tbilisi’s far-right March of Georgians]
‘This is a criminal offence and the reaction to it will be adequate’, Dolidze wrote on her private Facebook account, before taking the case to the police.
In response to the threats, women’s rights groups have planned a counter-demonstration to the March of Georgians on 19 July.
‘Georgia must adopt a law on sexual harassment’, their statement read.
The groups have been asking for some time for legislative amendments to fight against sexual harassment, as there are currently no laws against sexual harassment in Georgia.
Police opened an investigation on 17 July for ‘making threats’, which is punishable by up to a year in prison.
[Read on OC Media: Tbilisi activists launch campaign against sexual harassment]
Women’s rights groups also called on the media to ‘abstain from spreading hate-speech and fascist rhetoric’ by interviewing people ‘distinguished by calls for violence’.
Georgia’s Public Defender said he was concerned over ‘obviously misogynistic language and hate speech’, which, he claimed reinforces gender inequality.
‘People, who can not compete with an active, smart and successful woman, have but one choice, to try and shame them’, deputy speaker of Georgia’s Parliament Tamar Chugoshvili said.