Late at night on October 15th, a transgender woman was viciously attacked in Tbilisi. It is understood that she was attacked with a sharp object and was hospitalized in a serious but stable condition. Several politicians and Human Right activists have described the attack as a hate crime.
Lawyer and the founder of “Equality 17”, Nino Bolkvadze, issued a statement: “They’ve [the police] found a the knife which was used to stab her throat. In addition to this the attacker also beat her with a stone, breaking her facial bones. The particular cruelty of the attack would suggest that this was a hate crime.”
The Women’s Initiatives Supporting Group has also described the attack as a hate crime: “According to our data their has been up to 20 incidents of hate crime against the LGBTQ community. According to our partner organisation, Transgender Europe (TGEU), 2115 transgender people have been killed in 65 countries since January 2008. Between June-May 2016, their were been up to 100 cases, however, according to TGEU, this data doesn’t reflect the full picture as many countries do not record these attacks as hate crimes.”
Public Defender of Georgia has encouraged the Prosecutor's Office to take into account the motive of hatred while investigating the cirme. According to Ombudsman, there are many cases of hate crime, but it's always obscure what kind of measures are being taken to detect that motive.
Political party Girchi has also commented on the incident: "by not the criminals strictly, government will only send one message that it's okay to beat up trangender people...It is our aim to stand by people who are alone and vulnerable."
According to the World Value Survey, Georgia is the third most homophobic country in the world after Jordan and Iran, with 92.6% of the population unhappy with the idea of having a gay or lesbian neighbor. Only 27% of the Georgian population believe that it is important or somewhat important to protect the rights of “sexual minorities.” Russia has been accused of promoting homophobia in Georgia. Pro-Russian forces have sought to label LGBT people as a Western import and to fan the flames of homophobia, while presenting Russia as the guardian of "Orthodox Values”.