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A Georgian mob attacking a pride party in Tbilisi

Mob storms Pride Fest in Georgian capital forcing the event’s cancellation

Animosity toward sexual minorities is strong in Georgia

HUNDREDS OF OPPONENTS of gay rights have swarmed the site of an LGBT festival in the capital of Georgia, vandalising the stage, setting fires and looting the event’s bar.

Deputy Georgian Interior Minister Aleksandre Darakhvelidze said participants in the Tbilisi Pride Fest were safely evacuated from the scene.

The event’s organisers called on people not to come to the lakeside park where the festival was to be held.

Georgian news media estimated about 5,000 people marched toward the site. Many of them waved Georgian flags and carried religious icons.

Animosity toward sexual minorities is strong in Georgia, which is predominantly Orthodox Christian, and some previous LGBT events have met violent disruptions.

Darakhvelidze said police tried to obstruct the protesters, but could not hold all of them back.

But the event organisers criticised police as ineffectual, saying in a statement that “The police did not block the access road to the festival site in order to prevent an aggressive group. The police did not use proportional force against the attackers”.

Press Association