# 28, 1 October - 1 November, 2017

Discriminative and Anti-Western Sentiments in Media  

177 discriminative expressions and 26 anti-Western comments were disseminated by the media outlets selected for monitoring in October. The typology of discrimination is provided on the table below:


Sources: The majority of homophobic comments (21) were made by civil society organizations with the March of Georgian taking the lead:

              The March of Georgians -19           Union of Human Rights Defenders - 2

17 homophobic comments were made by the following media outlets:

   Asaval-Dasavali - 9                    Alia - 4                       Georgia and the World - 4

The representatives of political parties made 13 homophobic comments:

Alliance of Patriots – 5   Georgian Dream – 4   Democratic Movement – 3     Erovnulebi – 1

14 homophobic assessments were made by various individuals in the media.

Homophobic messages were mainly related to Guram Kashia, vice captain of Georgia’s national football team and a defender of Dutch football club, Vitesse, for wearing a rainbow flag armband in support of the LGBT community. A part of these messages were also related to the anti-discrimination law and the freedom of expression of LGBT individuals.

Political parties

Alia, October 2-8, Tengiz Tavdgiridze, Alliance of Patriots’ Batumi mayoral candidate: “This [anti-discrimination] law concerns sexual minorities too. Nobody is insured against having such a person in the family. There were a lot of such people, who never spoke out about their physical defects and took it to the grave… It is a human defect. There were some people in the past, who spoke loudly about it, but nobody oppressed them in the streets or somewhere else. These defects may be inborn and their treatment may have no effects. So, this is a family’s own business. Do you like when a man kisses a man, or a woman kisses a woman in the street?”

Alia, October 30 – November 5, Zaza Papuashvili, Georgian Dream lawmaker: “Most important for me is to make sure that our young generation is not poisoned. I would like to address homosexuals, please, try to take public opinion into consideration; find your small group, do not use violence against the majority; it will lead to complications. I have nothing to do but to chase homosexuals and punch them in the heads; I do not care at all about what they will do…”


Asaval-Dasavali, October 23-29, Giorgi Gigauri, journalist: “Guram Kashia, vice captain of the Georgian National Team, expressed solidarity to the LGBT sect. He completely neglected Georgian fans, millennia-old Georgian church and entire Georgia, 99.99 percent of whose population deems this homosexual and lesbian behavior absolutely inadmissible.”

Civil society organizations

Alia, October 30 – November 5, Sandro Bregadze, the March of Georgians: “Of course, it is inadmissible, when a Georgian, Caucasian man wears symbols in the colors of pederasts’ flag. But you cannot demand heroism from everyone. Sanctions would have been imposed on [Guram] Kashia, if he had behaved differently.”


Sources: Number of the sources of xenophobic statements (13) was equally distributed among politicians and media representatives. Among politicians, the majority of discriminative comments were made by the representatives of the Alliance of Patriots:

   Alliance          Free Georgia – 2               Erovnulebi – 1              Independent lawmaker

 of Patriots – 8                                                                         (Salome Zourabichvili) – 2

As for media outlets, 14 xenophobic comments were made by:

Georgia and the World – 6     Asaval-Dasavali – 4          Obieqtivi – 3  Sakinformi – 1

Xenophobic messages:

  • Entry of various ethnic groups into the country poses a threat to Georgian national identity;
  • Ethnic Georgian population will turn into the minority in the near future;
  • Alienation of land to foreign nationals and foreign investors = a threat.

Political parties

Obieqtivi, Gamis Studia, October 13, Vazha Otarashvili, Alliance of Patriots: “One thing is that we are already facing a demographic collapse of Georgians; look, people, quite soon, the immigrant population, among them the Turks, Chinese, Indians, Iranians, people of other races will exceed us in number.”


Georgia and the World, October 12, Davit Mkheidze, author: “Only last year and this year the Public Service Hall granted the so called residence permits to tens of thousands of foreign nationals and this process is still underway, along with secret or open alienation of Georgian lands. Long-suffering Georgia still faces a threat of physical destruction and if we survive it, we will face, at least, moral degradation.”


Sources: The majority of Islamophobic comments (7) were made by media representatives. The editorial board of Georgia and the World is leading with Islamophobic statements: ბს:  

Georgia and the World – 5         Obieqtivi – 1                             Sakinformi – 1

The representatives of political parties made a total of six Islamophobic statements:

                    Free Georgia – 5                                     People’s Assembly – 1

The March of Georgians is the only source of Islamophobic statements among civil society organizations:

 The March of Georgians – 2

Political parties

Imedi, Kronika, October 4, Kakha Kukava, Free Georgia: “We will start deportation of illegal migrants from Georgia, and wearing hijabs and chadors in public places will be banned.”  


Georgia and the World, October 6, Nika Korinteli, journalist: “Even such countries as France, Great Britain, Germany, Spain and others are not protected against a threat of terrorism, and Georgia, whose capital and several regions already have “the areas without authorities” [areas densely populated by migrants are meant], small country , where foreign nationals are granted the right to purchase lands and where citizenship is granted to anti-Georgian foreigners, faces a huge threat, because the defenders of Western values, tolerance and multiculturalism want to create the same situation in our country, as in France that has the Notre Dame de Paris Mosque, or in Belgium, Germany or Denmark.”

Civil society organizations

Georgia and the World, October 5, Gia Korkotashvili, the March of Georgians: “Someone will protest against being barred from entering a school with hijab; then such people will gather in the street and start talking about their rights; then they will together settle down in one of the districts, where others will not be permitted… The same happened in Europe in its time. Do you think that they found themselves in this situation in one day? And when one day our angry citizens express protest, our “dear” non-governmental organizations will start talking about tolerance with concerned faces.”


Sources: The majority of Turkophobic comments (6) were made by media outlets. “Georgia and the World” takes the lead by the number of Turkophobic statements.

Georgia and the World – 3             Obieqtivi – 2                   Asaval-Dasavali – 1

Three out of four Turkophobic comments made by politicians were made by the Alliance of Patriots and one – by Free Georgia.

Turkophobic messages

  • Turkey tries to carry out cultural and economic annexation of Adjara;
  • Turkish business projects being implemented in Tbilisi are dangerous for the country’s security;
  • If Russia is an occupant, the same should be said about Turkey as well.

Political parties

Rustavi 2, P.S., October 22, Samuel Petrosyan, the Alliance of Patriots: “Russia has not annexed Abkhazia and Tskhinvali; it was Turkey that annexed Georgian lands. If we talk about territorial integrity, we should mention these lands too.”

Alia, October 2-8, Gia Kruashvili, Free Georgia: “If anyone had dared and granted residence permit to a Turkish or other national under the rule of that person [Aslan Abashidze], you would see what would have happened to them. You have registered 25 000 Turks in Adjara and led it [Adjara] to the verge of losing. Who was more in favor of Georgia, you, the bedwetters, or that man?”


Obieqtivi, Gamis Studia, October 29, Bondo Mdzinarashvili, host: “By the way, in the meantime, not only in the latest period, not after “the Seljuk Turks” occupied the Agmashenebeli Avenue… we may turn into servants in our own country.” დ.“

Anti-Western sentiments

Sources: Media outlets (9) and among them Georgia and the World are leading by making the statements with anti-western sentiments.

Politicians: The both anti-Western statements made by political parties were made by the members of Democratic Movement – United Georgia.

Anti-Western messages:

  • The western world wants to destroy Georgian national values;
  • Discussions on the rights situation of LGBT community serve to pursue the interests of western rather than Georgian institutions;
  • Russia protects Georgia against LGBT community and “the propaganda” carried out by them;
  • The West offers Georgia to accept migrants in exchange for the monetary compensation that creates a threat to the Georgian society.

Political parties

Marshalpress, October 31, Nino Burjanadze, the United Democratic Movement: “It is unacceptable when we talk that he/she belongs to sexual minority. The minority representatives come out and speak proudly about it. Who cares about it? I do not care what a person is doing in a bedroom, what relations they have with others. It is abnormal when such things are propagandized. It is abnormal and what is now coming from the West, it has nothing to do with human rights; it is propaganda and it is unacceptable; but all people, regardless of their views and sexual orientation equally need protection. Let us not intensify this issue artificially. Similar topics aim at destructing, destroying the countries and dividing the societies.”


Georgia and the World, October 12, Davit Mkheidze, author: “We will have security guarantees, and not only military ones, only under the umbrella of Russia, which shares a common religion with us. Nobody will dare to impose an anti-discrimination law on us, through which they plan to impose Sodom and Gomorrah on Georgia. They say that NATO and EU mean the inflow of modern technologies and investments, but the only thing that is flowing from the West into various countries, among them Georgia, is a technology of depravity threatening with washing away the mankind.”

Gender stereotypes

Sources: The Alliance of Patriots (1), Democratic Movement – United Georgia (1) and Labor Party (1) were the sources of gender stereotyping (3).

As for the civil society organizations, the only gender stereotyping statement was made by a member of the Stalin Society.
Gender discrimination messages mainly further intensified traditional stereotypes related to women’s role; the superiority of men over women was emphasized as well.

Political parties

Obieqtivi, Gamis Studia, October 13, Vazha Otarashvili, the Alliance of Patriots: “It aims at degrading a Georgian man, Georgian warrior; those national values were firstly imposed on a man. Why does the Gospel make a man superior to a woman; a man is the head of a family… now, look, what they [liberals] introduce – gender equality, more women in politics… In case of a small nation, a woman should stay at home; look after the family and reproduce the nation.”


Sources: Two out of three Armenophobic statements were made by the representatives of two media outlets (Asaval-Dasavali, Obieqtivi); one comment was made by the March of Georgians movement.


Obieqtivi, Gamis Studia, October 18, Bondo Mdzinarashvili, host: “Do we plan to return Armenians to Abkhazia and do we plan to return Abkhazia of Armenians to Georgia?”

Civil society organizations

Alia, October 9-15, Gia Korkotashvili, the March of Georgians: “In Akhaltsikhe, Armenian separatists beat police officers when the latter were performing their official duties and the Interior Minister now apologizes saying that they will be released… Soon, our so called “kind” neighbors will grab our lands.”

Discrimination on religious grounds

Two comments involving discrimination on religious grounds were directed against the Jehovah's Witnesses with one statement made by the author of Georgia and the World and the other – by an individual.


Georgia and the World, October 25, Beso Barbakadze, journalist: “Several days ago the so called South Ossetian government declared the Jehovah's Witnesses as a sect and prohibited their activities there. We are glad to hear it because the sect has been prohibited on a small part of Georgian territory, even if it is occupied.”


Sources: Media representatives (Georgia and the World and Obieqtivi) are the authors of two racist statements:


Obieqtivi, Gamis Studia, October 25, Bondo Mdzinarashvili, host: “[Mikheil] Saakashvili has turned the Agmashenebeli Avenue into a Hollywood decoration and you will fail to hear Georgian speech in the evening there. Only foreigners are walking there – not Europeans, but black people talking in their own language. They opened their own bars, restaurants; they host there people like themselves and call it the Istanbul Street. Think of what problem we are facing and the current government turns a blind eye on this problem. Only once [Prime Minister] Giorgi Kvirikashvili made a statement about the plans to eradicate it, but since them they keep silence and do absolutely nothing. Should they create some districts like in various countries, where even police fail to enter; should they create similar districts in Georgia and in Tbilisi for you to realize the threat faced by our people? A girl cannot walk there without being insulted.”

See full collection of examples of discriminatory statements at the website:

Newsletter was developed by Media Development Foundation (MDF) within the frameworks of the Promoting Integration, Tolerance and Awareness Program in Georgia, supported by USAID and implemented by UNAG.

Opinions and ideas provided in this newsletter are those of the Media Development Foundation (MDF) and do not represent the official position of the U.S. Agency for International Development and the UN Association of Georgia.

Media Development Foundation

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