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picture Statement

May 17 appeals

28 May 2018

On May 17, LGBT activists addressed the state agencies through the guerrilla rallies held in 6 places of the city, following the cancellation of an IDAHOT action planned by community organizations. Here's the full text of the appeal:

Appeal from Vake Park
(at the memorial of victory over Fascism):

17ht of May is the day against homophobia and Transphobia. We tried to celebrate IDAHOT for the first time in 2012, although the counter demonstration organised by Orthodox Parents’ Union made it impossible to finish the rally. After one year, the counter demonstration was organised not by some informal groups, but by a legitimate institution - Orthodox Church itself. Activists and Journalists were injured. Instead of reflecting on this large-scale violence, in 2014, Orthodox church announced May 17 as a Family Purity Day. Thus, the day to fight violence turned into the day to celebrate homophobia, annually, in the name of love. In parallel, during recent years, we have seen unprecedented rise of informal extremist groups, which directly preach hatred. Almost daily, we hear them publicly calling for bloodshed and violence. We are only allowed to use our right for freedom of expression in an extremely enhanced security conditions, surrounded with the cordons. This is the reality which affects not only us, one group of the society. If more people don’t understand the threats following the rise of this kind of extremist and fascist groups, if the government doesn’t address it clearly, that calling for violence and inciting hatred towards certain groups is not what freedom of expression means, then tomorrow there will be more and more groups in our society facing the fact that they can only express their opinion by being surrounded with the police cordons.

Our event was planned to be held in parallel of the demonstration that we cancelled, but given the current context, it has now gained a new meaning. It is very symbolic for us to appeal to the whole society from this very place, a memorial of victory over Fascism: Let us unite against Fascism to win!

Appeal to the Ministry of Internal Affairs:

Crimes that are committed on the ground of Homo/bi/transphobia, are often left without effective police reaction and even without investigation. Face to face with police system, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people get often revictimised because of the homophobic policy and culture. There is a high tendency from the police to accuse victims and detain them. Moreover, in some cases, the police itself turns into an abuser towards lgbt people and reveals its homophobic nature in the most ruthless forms.

Ineffective, discriminative and repressive policies strengthen existing homo/bi/transphobic predispositions in our society, create the syndrome of impunity and cause isolation of discriminated groups from the political and social spheres.

We appeal to the Ministry of Internal Affairs to carry out effective policy while investigating hatred-based crimes, raise awareness and sensitivity among the police and develop a strategic document and independent internal monitoring mechanisms.

Appeal to Parliament of Georgia:

Every Georgian citizen must feel that the Human Rights Committee ensures their rights. It should be the foundation of the activities carried out by the Committee to defend fundamental human rights, especially the rights of vulnerable groups, and to collaborate with the NGOs working in the human rights field.

Expressions and initiatives regarding minority groups’ rights coming from the majority of MPs of the 9th convocation Parliament have often been subject to the public protest. Their attitudes regarding marginalised groups contradicts the officially declared state policy and justifies oppression.

We appeal to Parliament of Georgia and the Human Rights Committee:

To ensure effective parliamentary control over hatred-based crimes, as well as over misconducts from the Law enforcement agencies;

To Condemn Homo/bi/transphobic violence and support equality in public speeches and campaigns.

We also demand the resignation of the Chair of the Human Rights and Civil Integration Committee, Sopho Kiladze, and instead to appoint a person, whose values are relevant for this position and respond the high standards of Human Rights.

Appeal to the Ministry of Justice:

Transgender people living in Georgian are deprived from the most important recognition. They cannot change the gender marker on their IDs since the Legal Gender Recognition mechanism is not regulated by law.

As of today, transgender people have been forced to undergo unwanted, medically unjustified, expensive and life-threatening procedures in order to change their gender marker.

As a result, transgender people become victims of discrimination every day and every place where they are asked to show their IDs. This means that transgender people are in unequal conditions at the times of employment, service delivery and participation in public life.

We demand the Ministry of Justice of Georgia to develop Legal Gender Recognition mechanism! Transgender people should be given the opportunity to carry the IDs that confirm their real sex, without undergoing compulsory medical procedures.

Appeal to the Ministry of Health:

The right to life and health is our most fundamental right! Transgender people living in Georgia do not have access to qualified medical procedures. The issue of sex reassignment is completely unregulated, since clinical guidelines and protocols are almost nonexistent.

As a result, transgender and intersex people undergo procedures that are considered torture by international standards; procedures, that are accompanied by irreversible physical and mental effects, but this issue is completely unregulated in Georgia.

We request that the Ministry of Labor, Health and Social Affairs to develop clinical guidelines and protocols that respond the international standards of care for transgender and intersex people. It is absolutely necessary to implement the mechanism that ensures protection of intersex people from risky surgical procedures and makes sex reassignment medical procedures available and affordable for transgender people.

Appeal to the Ministry of Education:

What kind of school do we want?

The school where there is a safe environment for everyone, where the child of any possibility, identity, appearance or belief is protected.

Where the children that need support of the elders will be understood and recognised. Where they plan the strategy on how to deal with homophobic bullying. Where homophobic bullying will be stopped with a silent consent on the background and where the issue is announced a priority.

We want the school as an institution that doesn’t only trains for academic skills, but also promotes humane values and supports the development of children.

Traumas caused by homophobic bullying during childhood follow the person for the whole lifetime, and the hatred attained at this time causes increased homophobic aggression among young people.

That’s why we need a safe school. School without homophobic bullying. We want a school for everyone.