TBILISI/ July 22 (The Bulletin) — Georgian condom manufacturer Aiisa won a case in the European Court for Human Rights (ECHR) when judges ruled that the Tbilisi City authorities had broken its right to free speech by banning its condoms for carrying cartoons of religious figures on packaging.
Tbilisi City fined Aiisa 500 lari ($150) in 2018 and banned the condoms for depicting a cartoon of Georgian Queen Tamar on its packaging which it said insulted the “national morality and dignity”.
But the ECHR said that Aiisa had a “human right” to be able to use religious figures on its condom packaging which might offend people.
Georgia has a predominantly traditional Georgian Orthodox society, although many people see themselves as European and want to join the EU.
Aiisa has a reputation for poking fun at the authorities. It has published jokes about religion on its condoms and supported gay rights. It has also published a cartoon of Russian President Vladimir Putin under an umbrella with the slogan: “Every dick needs protection”.
>>This story was first published in issue 494 of the weekly Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin