Court: Georgia police failed to protect anti-homophobia protestors from street mob fury

Human rights judges declared today that Georgia’s police failed to protect anti-homophobia street protestors from the violent attacks of counter-demonstrators.

In its judgment in the case of Identoba and Others v. Georgia (application no. 73235/12) the European Court of Human Rights held:

by a majority, that there had been a violation of Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment) taken in conjunction with Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination) of the European Convention on Human Rights,


unanimously, that there had been a violation of Article 11 (freedom of assembly and association) in conjunction with Article 14.

The case concerned a peaceful demonstration in Tbilisi in May 2012 to mark the International Day against Homophobia, which was violently disrupted by counter-demonstrators outnumbering the marchers.

The court considered in particular that the authorities knew or ought to have known of the risks surrounding the demonstration. They had therefore been under an obligation – but had failed – to provide adequate protection so that it could be held peacefully.

Just satisfaction (Article 41)

The European court held that Georgia was to pay to the 13 applicants who had participated in the march between EUR 2,000 and 4,000 each, and to the NGO Identoba EUR 1,500in respect of non-pecuniary damage.

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