Human rights defender
Tsiala is a human rights defender from Georgia who focuses on issues of LGBTQI and women’s rights. She is the primary lawyer for the organisation ’Women’s Initiatives Supporting Group’ (WISG) and has been engaged in LGBTQI activism for seven years. The organisation strives to ensure equal participation of women in all aspects of society, with a special focus on marginalised groups of women including women with disabilities and transgender women.
Human rights violations in Georgia
The current climate in Georgia is very hostile towards the LGBTQI community. The 2017 Constitution changed the definition of marriage from “a voluntary union based on equality between the spouses” to “a union between a man and a woman”; excluding same sex couples from legal recognition. In August of the same year, police arrested two LGBTQI activists after a violent incident at a nightclub in Batumi. Despite being the victims in this instance, the activists were arrested and charged with ’disorderly conduct’ and were physically and verbally attacked by police. Homo/bi/transphobic attitudes are widespread due to traditional gender roles in Georgia, and the level of right-wing authoritarianism and religious fundamentalism present in the county.