Democracy Research Institute Calls on Authorities not to Allow Violent Disruption of Movie Screening

The Democracy Research Institute is closely following the statements made by the leaders of the Georgian March and other homophobic groups with extremist ideology, who plan to disrupt the screening of a movie – And Then We Danced, to intrude into cinemas and to use force against the police, and calls on the authorities not to allow the violent disruption of the screening.

The Democracy Research Institute welcomes the statement of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia that "The Ministry will ensure protection of public safety and order, as well as freedom of expression of all individuals that does not go beyond the scope of the law", but believes that activation of the radical groups, which have beenencouraged by impunity,[1]is the result of the Government’swrong policy.

Ensuring freedom of speech and expression is a fundamental, neccessary foundation of a peaceful and democratic society based on the principle of equality. The Democracy Research Institute reminds the authorities that only the right to peaceful assembly is protected by freedom of expression, which excludes violence, calls for violence or threats of violence.Accordingly, as the statements of Levan Vasadze,[2] Sandro Bregadze,[3] Dimitri Lortkipanidze and Guram Palavandishvili[4] directly indicate the threat of violent actions, it is inappropriate to focus on the radical groups’freedom of expression.

Notwithstanding the Georgian Patriarchate's statement that they do not support violence and violent actions, the Democracy Research Institute believes that the content of the Patriarchate's statement makes it clear that they continue portraying sexual minorities and their supporters as enemiesand make them the main target of aggression.

In view of the above, the Democracy Research Institute calls on:

The State Security Service of Georgia and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia:

  • To studythe activities of the radical extremist groups;
  • To properly prepare and mobilize a sufficient number of police officers to prevent the real threats of violence;
  • In case of detecting signs of criminal wrongdoing by the leaders of these groups or their supporters, an investigation should be carried out within the shortest possible time.

To the Georgian Patriarchate:

  • To be particularly cautious in their statements on minorities, as the Patriarchate's intolerant attitude towards minorities is directly perceived as an expression ofsupport to radical extremist groups, which actually makes the threats of violence realistic.








[1]The investigation into Levan Vasadze's statement,which was launched under Article 223 of the Criminal Code of Georgia, has been delayed until now, encouraging the persons pursuing extremist ideology to conduct radical, anti-law actions.

[2]“Be afraid of staining your reputation in the nation or the damage that your own cinemas may suffer during the unrest. A lot of people are going to come there, so we will not be able to control all or any of them, and no matter how hard we shout “No violence”, nobody knows what will happen there,”- Levan Vasadze.

[3]“We will not allow the screening of that movie, like we did not allow the conduct of a gay march this summer," - Sandro Bregadze, leader of the Georgian March.

[4]“If the police impedes us, we will impede the police," - Guram Phalavandishvili, Chairman of the Society for the Protection of Child's Rights.