HRC and a coalition of 10 partner organizations are sending a letter to the Georgian Ambassador today, urging his government to protect the human rights of LGBTQ people in the Eastern European nation.
The letter focuses on a recent attack on two LGBTQ Georgians in Batumi, Georgia. According to reports on the August incident, Levan Berianidze and Tornike Kusiani were attacked and beaten by a mob that was shouting homophobic slurs. When the men sought help from the police, they appear to have joined in the attack, rather than protecting the victims. They allegedly arbitrarily detained the victims, prohibited them from using the phone to contact legal counsel, subjected them to further violence and humiliation and verbally assaulted them with homophobic slurs.
HRC recently sat down with Berianidze to talk about being LGBTQ in Georgia, find out more about the attack and what the community is calling on the government to do to prevent such incidents in the future.
In response to the incident and other LGBTQ concerns, a coalition of Georgian non-governmental organizations has called upon their government to:
- Condemn violence against LGBTQ people in Georgia;
- Conduct a fair and impartial investigation into this case;
- Punish the police officers involved; and
- Create and implement a hate crimes policy and strategic plan.
HRC is partnering with the Georgia Democracy Initiative and other organizations in their efforts to improve the lives of LGBTQ Georgians.
In addition to HRC, Advocates for Youth, Council for Global Equality, Global Justice Institute- Metropolitan Community Churches, Human Rights First, The Matthew Shepard Foundation, the National Center for Lesbian Rights and the National Center for Transgender Equality have signed onto the letter.
The full text of the letter can be found here, along with the full recommendations of the Georgian LGBTQ community.