Smearing Publications Targeting Nino Lomjaria are Disseminated Through Social Networks

Verdict: FAKE NEWS

On 1 July 2021, Facebook user Irakli Jankarashvili published a photograph of Nino Lomjaria, the Public Defender of Georgia, with the following caption: “Public ‘depraver’ calls for the state to protect anal holes.” This publication, under different smearing captions, was reposted by private accounts of other Facebook users and shared in the Bring the National Movement to Justice! Facebook group.

In reality, the Public Defender has not made such a statement. Recently, there has been numerous pieces of fake news and smearing messages vis-à-vis Nino Lomjaria which are related to the March for Dignity scheduled by Tbilisi Pride for July.

On 1 July 2021, the Public Defender released an official statement about the March for Dignity and called for competent bodies and officials to take measures to protect the safety, the freedom of expression and the freedom of assembly of the participants of Tbilisi Pride. In particular, the statement reads:

“In connection with the March for Dignity scheduled for 5 July 2021, the Public Defender of Georgia considers it important for the state to ensure the freedom of assembly and expression of citizens by preventing risks and taking appropriate protection measures. In addition, the statements made by far-right and violent groups, containing threats against the LGBT+ community and their supporters, need special attention and an appropriate legal response.

The LGBT+ community and their supporters have had to exercise their freedom of expression and peaceful assembly in a life-threatening environment for years. Against this background, the state, instead of taking responsibility for ensuring the safety of the LGBT+ community, is limited to insufficient measures and general public statements. Responses to the violations and alleged crimes committed by homo/transphobic people are, in most cases, fragmented and ineffective.

Any peaceful protest or solidarity act related to the protection of human rights, regardless of its content, is protected by the Constitution of Georgia and the authorities are obliged to ensure its protection. In contrast, high officials contribute to the politicisation of the issue and portray the restriction of the rights of the community as a guarantee for their safety.

In view of the above, the Public Defender calls on the competent bodies and officials, based on the experience of previous years, to take measures that will actually protect the safety, the freedom of expression and the freedom of assembly of the participants in the March for Dignity as well as to respond effectively to the violations of law in order to avoid the sense of impunity and similar incidents in the future and make statements in support of the LGBT+ community.”

Therefore, Irakli Jankarashvili’s publication is fake news and aims to discredit the Public Defender within the context of the events unfolding around the March for Dignity.

FactCheck would like to inform readers that Tbilisi Pride Week is taking place from 1 to 5 July. As a part of the week, several cultural and political events are to be held and a March for Dignity will take place on 5 July on Rustaveli Avenue. Of note is that since the announcement of the march, far-right and nationalist groups are permanently asserting that the March for Dignity should not be held. The leader of the Unity, Essence, Hope movement, Levan Vasadze, also made similar statements. Mr Vasadze openly urged the government to oppose the holding of the March for Dignity. On 29 June 2021, the Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (Guram and Aleksandre Palavandishvili) unveiled its action plan to disrupt the Pride Week. In the course of the past several weeks, the anchors of Alt-Info’s Alt-Analytics broadcasts (Irakli Martinenko, Shota Martinenko, Zurab Makharadze and Giorgi Kardava) were constantly feeding their viewers with messages targeting Pride Week and LGBT community members and were seeking to mobilise and recruit viewers in special groups to obstruct the Pride Week.


This article was produced as part of Facebook’s Fact-checking Programme. Given the rating, Facebook may impose different restrictions – click here for full information. For information on issuing a correction or to dispute a rating, please see here.