On Vitali Safarov's Murder
15 October 2018
We are utterly horrified upon the murder of Vitali Safarov. Our sincere condolences go to his family, all his friends and acquaintances. We want to express our solidarity and will to combat against neo-Nazi and ultra-right ideology with Vitali’s surroundings as far as we are capable of. Especially with Vitali’s mother Marina Alanakyan who expresses readiness via social media to tackle Neo-fascist aggression.
We have drawn to this cause because of the State’s indifferent attitude. Just in this year, we witnessed several neo-Nazi and ultra-right demonstrations in the central skirts of the city. However, no one has taken these demonstrations seriously despite the fact that the aggressors were always using hate speech and unlawful slogans publicly. For us it is utterly unacceptable for those bearing Fascist and [pseudo] patriotic ideology to be able to freely express themselves, especially in public spaces. It is neither democracy, nor good for the society to develop healthily, as we see it now. It’s just bringing us danger. As it is already stated in Freedom Charter the state has to “take preventive measures against stirring the Communist totalitarian and Fascist ideological bases”.
Worth pointing out, that the staff of the bar nearby the place of murder talk about the fact that those who killed Vitali, and other people with the same attitudes and habits, would roam around the spot before the incident. One of the employees of the bar Warszawa describes how the above-mentioned people used to attack people around the territory because they spoke other languages, how they were shattering things and were threatening them. Despite the fact that the staff would call the police, they never got any reaction from them but indifference and sometimes jeering remarks towards peaceful people. That is what we got as the result – in the very centre of the city on the ethnic grounds and for speaking different language a peaceful citizen got attacked and put to death by stabbing some ten times.
We think that in terms of safety and security we have an extreme situation. Even as the Minister of Interior Affairs Giorgi Gakharia admits, the law is not effective enough for fighting against neo-Fascist groups. It is important for some measures to be taken immediately to eradicate cases like this as we are in the situation where because of the syndrome of impunity and further encouragements these groups’ aggressiveness is becoming harsher. The statistics show us the same – when the members of the ruling party dare to announce publicly with pride as if the crime is diminishing in the country, the fact is contrary – since less than one year hate-motivated crimes have been doubled. Gakharia’s public apologies devoid of any sense can save nothing. Our law is so unjust that the one for smoking weed and the one for killing someone in fact can be charged the same way. If we add the police regime to all this, that so gravely rests on our shoulders, is creating such an unsustainable and unsafe environment for youth, and not just for them, that as someone gets a chance they are ready to leave the country. This by itself is creating a demographic problem. Despite the above mentioned facts, the Patriarchate of Georgia demonises LGBTQ+ community making scapegoats from them and recognising them as the source of the demographic problems. In these circumstances, we see the guilt of both the state and the Patriarchate of Georgia; they do not correctly understand and address the issues. Having a huge authority among the population they directly or indirectly encourage the extremist groups and hate-motivated behaviours; and all this ends as lethally and dreadfully as it happened in Vitali’s case.