The Democracy Research Institute continues to study the discourse of far-right groups and their leaders in the context of social and online media.
As in previous months, in December the Georgian far-right discourse relied on the sources of misleading and discrediting content. Their rhetoric was mainly aimed at inciting xenophobic, homophobic and anti-liberal sentiments in the population.
The far-right groups have been actively using social networking site Facebook and other online media platforms to attract supporters and spread propaganda messages. Most of the far-right-wing Facebook pages were openly anti-Western and anti-liberal information campaigns.
In December, the Society for the Protection of Children’s Rights and the Youth Center Zneoba held a protest rally against the International Film Festival at Amirani Cinema. They were protesting against the premiere of Georgian director Tamar Shavgulidze's LGBT film "Comets". The speeches of far-right leaders were also homophobic. Guram Palavandishvili, the leader of the Society for the Protection of Children's Rights, called the film “Shameful depravity” and announced the rallies on December 6. He was supported by David Lortkipanidze, representative of the Youth Center "Zneoba" and Levan Antadze, the archpriest. The ongoing protests were using religion as a powerful weapon of far-right nationalistic rhetoric.
Nationalist Messages of Far-Right Groups
Ethnocentric characteristics of far-right rhetoric were also revealed in December. Facebook pages: "Turkey is Occupier", "Silent Georgians" and "Cardhu", were especially active in portraying Turkey as Georgia's historical enemy, spreading anti-Turkish messages.
Pro-Russian and Anti-Western Messages
Pro-Russian media have continued their campaign against George Soros and NGOs. In December. This tendency was highlighted by a misleading article published by News Front Georgia, a Kremlin publication, about the murder of Georgian citizen Zelimkhan Khangoshvili in Berlin. The Kremlin media argued that the search for the Russian footprint in the case was a "Sorosian provocation" and not an official position of the German authorities. The material published by News Front Georgia is a lie, as the German Federal Prosecutor's Office pointed directly on the Russian trace in the Khangoshvili murder case. In addition, two Russian diplomats were also expelled from the country.
The monitoring was possible with the financial support of the Embassy of the Netherlands in the framework of the project "Understanding and Combating Far-Right Extremism and Ultra-Nationalism in Georgia”.
In March, Lugar Research Center, European Institutions and the Civil Society became a Target for Far-right and Pro-Russian Online Media