Public Defender Responds to Ongoing and Planned Demonstrations on Rustaveli Avenue

The Public Defender of Georgia is actively watching the events developing on Rustaveli Avenue. Opponents of Tbilisi Pride gathered in front of the Parliament building in the morning after organizers of Tbilisi Pride annulled their pride march. They demand abolition of the anti-discrimination law and prohibition of Tbilisi Pride. In addition, they say they will not let civil activists continue the anti-occupation protests.

It should be noted that peaceful protests have been organized by civil activists for more than 2 weeks under the slogan "It is a shame" since the June 20-21 events in front of the Parliament. Protesters demand the resignation of the Minister of internal Affairs. According to the organizers, the demonstration should be resumed at 19:00 today. Relevant equipment and banners have been placed on Rustaveli Avenue to ensure smooth conduct of the demonstration.

The Public Defender reminds demonstrators that it is inadmissible to carry out violent and/or illegal actions during demonstration, as well as to illegally hamper the realization of the right to organize or participate in another demonstration. The legislation of Georgia provides for administrative and criminal liabilities for the violation of the mentioned rules. It should also be underlined that organizers of the demonstration are responsible for taking all reasonable measures to prevent and eliminate violation of the legislation by demonstrators.

Taking into consideration the above, the Public Defender urges the participants of the ongoing and planned demonstrations in front of the Parlaiment to select certain individuals for holding constructive negotiations that will allow conduct of both demonstrations in a smooth and peaceful atmosphere.

The Public Defender of Georgia urges the Ministry of Internal Affairs to protect the freedom of expression of civilians as much as possible and to ensure full realization of the right to assembly for everyone gathered on Rustaveli Avenue.

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