Press Conference Concerning the Events at the Amirani Cinema on November 8
On November 9, a press conference was held in the Human Rights House Tbilisi (HRHT) concerning the incidents near the Amirani Cinema.
On November 8, 2019, hours before the Georgian-Swedish film “And Then We Danced” premiered, violent groups gathered near the several movie theaters in Tbilisi and Batumi to disrupt the movie screening. A particularly large group of ultranationalists was gathered in Tbilisi at the Amirani cinema. Civil activists, Anna Subeliani and Tamaz Sozashvili were helping the LGBT community to enter the cinema without hinders and attend the screening, they were acting as the human rights defenders and became the victims of targeted aggression and intimidation from the aggressive group themselves. One of the participants of the violent rally threw a blunt object at Anna Subeliani and she was later taken to a medical unit were doctors gave seven stitches to her eye area.
Chairman of the Human Rights House Tbilisi Board, Baia Pataraia, civil activists – Anna Subeliani and Tamaz Sozashvili spoke at the press conference. In addition, lawyers from the member organization of the HRHT – Human Rights Center – Eka Kobesashvili and Dimitri Nozadze, spoke about the legal aspect of the incident. They are defending the rights of Anna Subeliani and Tamaz Sozashvili in the court.
Lawyers say it is important for Anna Subeliani to be granted the victim status (which happened on November 10) and to punish those who made violent calls and incited abusers a few days before November 8. According to lawyers, the attacks on Subeliani and Sozashvili were hate crimes and it is necessary to take this into account during the investigation.
The court sentenced the attacker of Anna Subeliani imprisonment on November 11 as a preventive measure.