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Statement regarding “Developments in Georgia, Tbilisi, on July 5-6”

Delivered by Ambassador Anne- Kirsti Karlsen at the Permanent Council, Vienna, 8 July 2021.

Madame Chair,

We join others in thanking the Georgian delegation for putting this issue on the agenda.

Norway condemns the acts of violence against members of the LGBTQI community, civil society, and journalists in Tbilisi 5 July. On the same day, the Norwegian Embassy in Tbilisi joined 18 embassies and delegations in a Joint Statement on the violence in Tbilisi. This clearly shows the significance Georgia’s friends attribute to this matter.

OSCE participating States have committed to the right of freedom of assembly and expression. Governments also have an obligation to ensure equal treatment and protection of minorities. We are glad to hear that Georgia understands this responsibility.

We also welcome the President of Georgia’s condemnation of the violent attacks and call on the Georgian leadership to do everything they can to secure the right to freedom of assembly and expression. Those responsible for the attacks on 5 July should be held accountable for their actions. We call on Georgian authorities to conduct a full and impartial investigation, and thank the Georgian delegation in Vienna for the information given in that regard.

Thank you