The Democracy Research Institute condemns the brutal violence against designer Giorgi Maskhulia and considers the bullying of the victim, use of hate speech and comments of homophobic/transphobic content posted on social networks categorically unacceptable.
According to Giorgi Maskhulia, he was attacked by 3 people in the club late on February 21. Maskhulia says in the video released by him that the offenders were “from the evil". According to the friend of the victim, Giorgi Arutinashvili, the motive of violence might be Maskhulia’s "eccentric behavior".
According to the media reports, no attacker has been arrested so far. The incident is being investigated under Article 126 (Violence) of the Criminal Code of Georgia. In order to assess the motive of the crime, the factual circumstances of the case must be analyzed in detail and criminal responsibility must be determined accordingly. It should be noted that the presence of mixed motives (two or more) in the case does not exclude the existence of hate motive. It should be taken into account that crime may be hate-motivated when the victim is targeted by the perpetrator on the basis of prejudice and intolerance.
The Democracy Research Institute calls on the Prosecutor's Office and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia:
To grant victim status to Giorgi Maskhulia;
To consider alleged hate motive when filing charges;
To ensure an effective and impartial investigation.