Posted on: 16 May 2013
Statement of the Media Development Foundation, MDF concerning the International Day against Homophobia
May 17 is the International Day against Homophobia and Transophobia. The citizens of many countries across the world organize rallies protesting against the stigmatization of persons and violation of human rights on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Tomorrow the world protest will be also expressed in Georgia. In the meantime, a parallel rally with homophobic slogans is also planned tomorrow against the peaceful demonstration of human rights’ defenders.
Constitution of Georgia guarantees the fundamental freedoms of assembly and expression, and the responsibility to provide and protect these rights is a direct obligation of the state. Media Development Foundation, MDF calls on the society to respect the freedom of expression of other persons. Completed and ongoing studies by MDF demonstrate that media as well as homophobic expressions of concrete public persons play a negative role in shaping the public opinion with regard to sexual minorities. In this context, the Foundation welcomes the public statements made by the Prime Minister and Speaker of the Parliament concerning the protection of LGBT persons’ constitutional rights.
MDF reminds journalists that their professional obligations are to:
•Refrain from encouraging hatred and discrimination of persons on the basis of their sexual orientation or any other identity; ensure the balanced and unbiased coverage of the events.
At the same time, we call on journalists to:
•Wear a special media identification symbols (special jacket and press badge) while covering the protest rallies, in order to enable policemen to identify media representatives.
MDF joins civil society’s initiative concerning the civil monitoring of the ongoing developments in Georgia. The Foundation implements the daily monitoring of minority coverage by the Georgian TV and Press and the foundation will publish its findings covering the period before the rally, as well as the coverage of May 17 events in the nearest future. MDF will also plan to hold a public discussion on the above mentioned issue.
Media Development Foundation, MDF
May 16, 2013
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