Mob Violence against Roma in Georgia

29 October 2003

On August 9, 2003, a group of approximately ten ethnic Georgian vendors engaged in mob violence against a group of Romani vendors in a market in the Georgian capital Tbilisi, according to the Tbilisi-based non-governmental organisation The Human Rights Information and Documentation Center (the "Center"). The Center reported that the violence and destruction started after a Romani vendor beat Ms Darejan Korsava, a non-Romani woman, who had attempted to return merchandise that she had earlier bought from the vendor. Ms Korsava was reportedly hospitalised and was recovering from her injuries as of August 17, 2003. On August 18, 2003, the Center informed the ERRC that the ethnic Georgian vendors destroyed five or six stalls owned by Romani vendors as well as the goods therein. The ethnic Georgian vendors then proceeded to physically abuse approximately five of the Romani vendors for several hours. However, the Center claimed to have received information that market officials had provoked the incident in order to gain control of the Romani trading stalls. Tbilisi police reportedly detained one man, 23-year-old Mr Vitali Khutsishvili, who allegedly organised the incident; however, Mr Khutsishvili was released after only three hours and was not charged with a crime. The police investigation was reportedly ongoing as of August 18, 2003, according to the Center.

(ERRC, Human Rights Information and Documentation Center)


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