Amnesty International Assesses Georgia’s Response to COVID-19

Amnesty International (AI) has released a report concerning the Eastern European and Central Asian countries’ response to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Emphasizing Georgia's introduction of timely and effective emergency measures to tackle the illness, AI goes on to praise the government’s initiatives to protect the most vulnerable.

“On April 14, the Prime Minister of Georgia declared that the government plans to give out unemployment benefits to those who lost jobs due to COVID-19, and the ensuing restrictions. The government also announced that it will cover payments for gas, electricity and water bills for those who consume less than 200 kw of electricity and 200 cubic meters of natural gas during the state of emergency months,” AI said in its report. 

However, the country applied certain restrictions “in a discriminatory fashion”, AI adds, primarily referring to the exclusive right of Georgian churches to remain open for Easter ceremonies during the national lockdown.

“Contrary to medical advice, religious gatherings have not been restricted by law largely to ensure that the Georgian Orthodox Church could conduct liturgies for Orthodox Easter. During Palm Sunday and Easter celebrations on 12 April and 19 April in Georgia, several Orthodox churches hosted dozens of worshippers. All other religious groups in Georgia have voluntarily agreed to close their places of worship to the public,” reads the report.

Amnesty International is a non-governmental organization which sets as its mission to advocate basic human rights for all. It’s vision of a perfect world is described as: “a world in which every person enjoys all of the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international rights instruments.”

By Elene Dzebisashvili

29 April 2020 16:29