Family and Friends of Safarov Say they Will Fight for Justice

The World Jewish Congress, an international federation of Jewish communities and organizations, has recently published the video in social network in memory of Vitaly Safarov, a young Jewish man who was killed in the center of Tbilisi on September 30, 2018.

According to the video, “On September 2018, a young Jewish man was killed in the center of Tbilisi, Georgia by a group of neo-Nazis. Now the court has ruled that the murder of Vitali Safarov was not a hate-motivated crime. His family and friends continue to fight for justice”.

Vitaly Safarov, a 25-years-old Georgian human rights activist raised in Tbilisi who had Jewish and Yazidi roots, was stabbed to death in Tbilisi while he was leaving the Warszawa bar near Freedom Square.

The Human Rights Centre (HRIDC) stated that his murder may have been motivated by xenophobia.

The key witness in the trial over the murder of Vitali Safarov has testified that he was killed because he was Jewish. The conflict presumably broke out due to Safarov not speaking Georgian. According to the witness, several people took part in the fight.

The two young men - 21-year-old Avtandil Kandelakishvili and 24-year-old Giorgi Sokadze that were arrested in connection to the incident are said to be part of a neo-Nazi organization. Lawyers of both defendants claim that their clients are not members of any neo-Nazi groups.

In June 2019, the Tbilisi City Court sentenced two men to 15 years in prison for the gang murder of Vitaly Safarov. The court ruled that the murder of Safarov is not a hate crime. Safarov’s family and witnesses to the murder claimed that the attackers were Nazi ideology supporters and had swastika tattoos. According to the friends and relatives of Safarov, they continue to fight for Justice.

Safarov worked in the Centre for Participation and Development. He was actively engaged in projects against racism, xenophobia, and discrimination.

Full video is available here

Related Story: The Two Men Accused of Killing Vitali Safarov Remain in Custody

Photo: Vitaly Safarov/Facebook

By Ana Dumbadze 

16 July 2019 13:03