Vitali Safarov, a 25-year-old Jewish Georgian man, was stabbed to death in Tbilisi in September 2018. Two men were jailed for 15 years each on charges of group murder, however, the court ruled his killing was not ethnically motivated despite witness testimony that he was killed by neo-Nazis because he was Jewish.
Tbilisi City Court has sentenced two men to 15 years in jail for the group murder of human rights activist Vitali Safarov. The court ruled that the murder of Safarov, who was Jewish, was not a hate-motivated crime. [Read more…]
Georgia’s liberal rights groups, neoliberal political parties, and their supporters in the media have consistently tried to discredit neo-nationalists by simply labelling them ‘pro-Russian’ — a misguided claim that only mirrors the opposite claim that rights groups follow an anti-Georgian ‘Soros agenda’. To address growing far-right authoritarianism in Georgia, the underlying social and economic roots of the problem need to be addressed, as well as the legacy of authoritarianism of the previous ruling class. [Read more…]
The authorities’ failure to confront homophobia in Georgian society has perpetuated hate, violence, and emboldened the far right. If the government is truly serious about democracy, human rights, and the rule of law, they must dare to pursue policies based on equality, no matter the political cost.
Georgia’s State Security Service has warned a neo-Nazi group to abstain from using Nazi symbols in public. Small groups of neo-Nazis marched through Tbilisi several times last week, including on 17 May, International Day Against Homophobia, giving Nazi salutes and chanting ‘death to the enemy’. [Read more…]
Georgia’s Orthodox Church distanced themselves from neo-Nazi groups, at a press conference at the Patriarchate on Monday, according to Netgazeti. Announcing their plans for 17 May — International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia — the Church urged any ‘aggressive’ groups to abstain from participating in events, and disavowed neo-Nazi group the Nationalist Socialist Movement — National Unity of Georgia. [Read more…]
Georgia’s Interior Minister Giorgi Gakharia has apologised over police raids on two popular nightclubs in Tbilisi. Gakharia met with protest leaders during a rally in front of Tbilisi’s parliament building on Sunday evening. Far-right groups, who have been holding counter-demonstrations against ‘drug dealers and LGBT propagandists’ vowed to continue to protest.
Far-right group the March of Georgians attacked three journalists from Rustavi 2 on Monday afternoon in Tbilisi. The attack was in response to an on-air joke by anchor Giorgi Gabunia about former Georgian Prime Minister, billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, his tree-collecting hobby, and Jesus Christ. [Read more…]
Hundreds took to the streets in Tbilisi on 14 July, in a xenophobic, ethno-nationalist rally. The ‘March of Georgians’ railed against ‘illegal immigrants’, meaning anyone not Christian and white. But some on the far-right dissented against pro-Russian sentiments within the movement.