This document provides an overview of the international standards related to the rule of law and human rights protection in time of emergency as well as analyses key challenges regarding the following fundamental rights: the right to a fair trial, freedom of expression/access to information and the right to privacy.
In the times when the world is fighting against the Coronavirus pandemic and looks forward to creating vaccine, the increase of public trust toward the vaccination has a paramount importance. Throughout the centuries, the vaccination has helped the mankind produce immunity against such diseases as measles, rubella, mumps, tuberculosis, tetanus, etc. However, since the day of the invention of vaccine, there have been some people who have been opposing the fighting against diseases through this method due the different reasons.
Coronavirus pandemic and socio-economic as well as political crisis associated with it has become one of the defining and biggest challenges of our time. In order to prevent the spread of the virus, most states continue to live in a lockdown. Although strict quarantine regulations and restraints to normal economic, civil or political activities in frames of the state of emergency reduce infection rates, “this virus will be with us for a long time” World Health Organization (WHO) .
International organizations such as WHO/Europe, UNODC, CPT and the Commissioner for Human Rights assert that reducing the prison population is one of the key necessary measures for preventing widespread of COVID-19 in prisons and other places of detention. This recommendation is especially noteworthy for Georgia in the light of the monitoring reports of the National Preventive Mechanism.
On January 19, 2020, Studio monitor and Radio Liberty released an investigative journalism film called “The Winner’s Justice.” It focused on accusations that prosecutors had not investigated the seizure of a luxury watch shop, the Albatros, from businessman David Begiashvili in 2011.
The fight against censorship and for the freedom of speech counts centuries. One of the most ancient cases of censorship is related to the philosopher, Socrates who was sentenced to death in 333 BC for spreading the ideas among the youth that opposed his contemporary moral and political code.
Based on the appeals of “Institute for Development of Freedom of Information” and “Media Development Foundation” the Constitutional Court of Georgia, by its decision of June 7, 2019, ruled that the provisions of the Law of Georgia on Personal Data Protection, specifically Article 5 and paragraphs 1 and 3 of Article 6 were unconstitutional as they prohibited access to the full text of court decisions delivered within the scope of public hearings by Common Courts of Georgia. The Court held that the disputed norms would be void from May 2020 and thus gave the Parliament of Georgia time to harmonize existing legislation with the requirements of the Constitution.
On 24 April 2020, IDFI published the article “The Mechanisms for Restoring the Rights of the Victims of Political Repression in Georgia and Their Assessment”. It is emphasized in the article that the amount of subsidy for the social support and daily living needs of the victims of political repression is not enough for satisfying the minimal daily needs.
On 25 March, “Georgia and the World” (Geworld.ge) published an article “The Living Artery of Georgia Lays on Russia”. It is argued in the article that due to the Coronavirus crisis, the European countries will not be able to provide Georgia with the products that they took to export until now and, for this, it is necessary to start the talks about expanding Georgia’s trade relations with Russia.
Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI), as the member of the Open Governance Inter-Agency Coordination Council, and together with the other representatives of the civil society, presented the draft version of commitments to the Secretariat of the Open Governance Inter-Agency Coordination Council. These commitments were distributed to the relevant state agencies.
|4 August 2019|