The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia has released information on the response of the Ministry to the facts of illegal actions carried out towards Tbilisi Pride office.
According to the statement, illegal actions were carried out against the Tbilisi Pride office several times this year, and the investigative body responded accordingly.
“On May 26, 2020, the Seventh Division of Old Tbilisi Main Division of Tbilisi Police Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs launched investigation on the fact of stealing a flag from Tbilisi Pride office located in 17 G. Akhvlediani Street in Tbilisi. The crime committed is envisaged by the part 1 of the Article 177 of the Criminal Code of Georgia.
Numerous investigative and procedural actions were carried out regarding the mentioned criminal case, information was requested from the relevant agencies, and persons with important information for the criminal case were interrogated. The investigation is in progress.
On the fact of getting dirty the flag located on the balcony of “Tbilisi Pride” office in 17 G. Akhvlediani Street in Tbilisi, as well as on the fact of getting dirty the wall of the same office with black paint and eggs on June 7, 2020 the officers of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia conducted immediate and operative activities and identified the alleged offenders; relevant administrative violations protocols were draw up. Based on the materials submitted by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Administrative Cases Panel of Tbilisi City Court found four persons as administrative offenders for committing an offense envisaged by the Article 166 of the Administrative Offences Code of Georgia, three of them were released from administrative responsibility and were subject to verbal rebuke, while one person was imposed administrative fine in the amount of 500 GEL.
On July 21-22, 2020, illegal actions were again taken on the office, which was manifested in the following: the eggs were thrown at the flag on the balcony of Tbilisi Pride office and entrance of the building. As a result of urgent operative measures carried out by the employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the identities of the alleged offenders were identified and protocols of violations were drawn up against them on the fact of possible violation of the Article 166 of the Administrative Offences Code of Georgia. The materials of the administrative proceedings have been forwarded to the Administrative Cases Panel of Tbilisi City Court.
An illegal action was also carried out on the office on August 3, 2020, when the flag on the balcony of the Tbilisi Pride office was sledged with paint and eggs. As a result of urgent operative measures carried out by the employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the identity of the alleged offender was established and protocol of violation was drawn up on the fact of possible offence envisaged by the Article 166 of the Administrative Offences Code of Georgia. The materials of the administrative proceedings have been forwarded to the Administrative Cases Panel of Tbilisi City Court.
In addition to response to the above-mentioned facts the police maintains high level of public order and security via patrolling during protest gathering of citizens in the vicinity of Tbilisi Pride office.
The staff of the Human Rights Protection and Investigation Quality Monitoring Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs has direct and regular communication with the representatives of Tbilisi Pride office and provides information on the response and ongoing measures taken by the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
Also, we would like to note that combating crimes committed on the grounds of intolerance on a discriminatory basis and conduct of victim-oriented investigation is one of the priorities of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. One of the important directions of the Human Rights Monitoring and Investigation Quality Monitoring Department is monitoring of crimes motivated by intolerance and discrimination”, – the statement released by MIA reads.