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Interior Ministry calls on groups opposing Tbilisi Pride Week to abide by law

Georgia’s Interior Ministry on Saturday issued a call for groups opposing the ongoing Tbilisi Pride Week events to abide by the law, and pledged to ensure public order, safety and freedom of expression and assembly of “each individual”.

In its statement, the Ministry said it was in “constant communication” with Tbilisi Pride Week organisers to ensure planned events would be held in safety, and noted law enforcement officers would be “mobilised at all venues” hosting planned events to avoid “artificial escalation”.

The state body also called on media representatives to be in coordination with the Ministry’s Strategic Communications Department when covering the events, and urged them to follow instructions of law enforcement officers issued on grounds of security. 

Groups opposing the Tbilisi Pride Week events were also urged to “not exceed the limits of the right to assembly and manifestation”, with the state body noting “each case” of violations would be prevented and a “strict legal response” would follow.

The Ministry also noted 26 participants of a rally against an event of the ongoing Pride Week had been arrested in the early hours of Saturday for “disorderly conduct”.

The arrests were made near the city’s Mtatsminda Park, and included two leaders of the Alt-Info right-wing media platform that had announced planned action against the Pride Week in the run-up to the event.

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