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Anti-Gay Attack Prompts HRC and Coalition to Urge Georgian Government to Protect LGBTQ Citizens

Thursday Sep 21, 2017

An August incident where police reportedly joined an angry mob in a brutal attack on a pair of gay men in the Eastern European nation of Georgia has prompted the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and a coalition of 10 organizations to send a letter to the country's ambassador, urging the government to protect the human rights of LGBTQ people.

According to HRC, the letter, which was sent on Wednesday, focuses on a recent attack on two LGBTQ Georgians in Batumi, Georgia. According to reports on the August incident, Levan Berianidze and Tornike Kusiani were attacked and beaten by a mob that was shouting homophobic slurs. When the men sought help from the police, they appear to have joined in the attack, rather than protecting the victims. Additionally, when the victims tried to use the phone to contact attorneys, police allegedly detained them, verbally assaulted them with anti-gay slurs, and subjected them to further violence.

In the letter to the Ambassador, the coalition (which includes HRC Advocates for Youth, Council for Global Equality, Global Justice Institute- Metropolitan Community Churches, Human Rights First, The Matthew Shepard Foundation, the National Center for Lesbian Rights and the National Center for Transgender Equality) calls on the Georgian government to conduct a fair investigation into the case, punish the police officers involved and create and implement hate crimes policy.

HRC Global's Jean Freedberg spoke with Levan Berianidze, the Georgian LGBTQ activist who was attacked with his friend.


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