Many in Georgia heaved a collective sigh of relief after pro-LGBT rights rallies went without clashes on May 17, the International Day against Homophobia.
Groups of activists assembled in several locations in the capital, Tbilisi, mainly to highlight the European Court of Human Rights’ recent decision to impose penalties on the Georgian state for failing to prevent attacks against participants in an anti-homophobia demonstration in 2012.
Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili construed the lack of violence as proof that Georgia “is a deserving, distinguished society and a civilized state.” But it also had to do with the LGBT community and their rights-defenders taking their precaution this time around. Mindful of assaults in 2012 and, especially in 2013, when a violent mob crushed a similar demonstration, the groups this year did not publicly announce the venues for their rallies.
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