Monday, February 05, 2024

Georgian who defaced Stalin icon in Tbilisi church locked up for 5 days

Far-right mob hunts woman for defacing Stalin icon in Georgian church –  POLITICO

A Georgian court has sentenced an activist to five days of administrative detention for defacing an icon featuring Georgian-born Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin in a cathedral in Tbilisi.

Nata Peradze, who is accused of splashing paint on the icon, was locked up on petty hooliganism charges, Young Lawyers Association — which defended her in court — told Georgian news agency InterPressNews.

The icon, which depicts Saint Matrona of Moscow, a Russian Orthodox saint, blessing Stalin, sparked uproar when it was recently discovered in the country’s main house of worship, Holy Trinity Cathedral, and civil society organizations called for its removal.

In mid-January, Peradze posted a three-second video on Facebook, showing the icon covered in paint. Far-right mobs started calling for her punishment and sending her death threats, even besieging her apartment and attempting to storm the building.

Peradze told POLITICO at the time that showcasing Stalin in church is “a weapon of influence.”

On Friday, Peradze said she plans to appeal the court’s decision, InterPressNews reported.

“They can’t scare me, the fight continues and I will expose illegality from inside the prison,” Peradze said.

On Jan. 18, days after it was defaced, the Georgian Church said it had removed the painting to be “amended.”