Since the day of its establishment, the Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI) has been working on the issue of the Soviet repressions, has published numerous studies and articles, has carried out various activities and has been cooperating with the internationally well-known universities, research institutes and centers. One of the most important issues is the study of the Bolshevik, so-called Stalinist repressions in Georgia, rehabilitations of victims and their financial and legal support.
Also, the society for commemorating the victims of the Soviet Union and solidarity “Memorial” and its head, Guram Soselia have addressed to the government and the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia many times to protect the equality principle granted by the Constitution, recognize the historical contribution of the repressed individuals and take effective steps toward restoring their rights and their rehabilitation. Unfortunately, these attempts were not followed by any results.
IDFI, in collaboration with “Memorial”, launches a new campaign, The first activity is to demand the increase of living subsidy for the repressed individuals because among the living subsidies established for the different social categories, the amount for the victims of political repressions (together with the persons who were at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant) – 7 GEL is the lowest. IDFI addressed to the Prime Minister with an open letter.
The letter sent to the Prime Minister was redirected to the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia. According to the response received from the Ministry (№01/7411, 1 July 2020), the increase of the amount of allocation was not considered by the law on “the 2020 State Budget of Georgia”. Besides, according to the position of the Ministry, the increase of living subsidy only for the victims of repressions would cause a just dissatisfaction among the individuals belonging to the other social categories receiving living subsidies (Second World War veterans, people with disabilities due to crashing the 9 April demonstrations, the persons with disabilities who were at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, etc.).
On 1 July 2020, IDFI published a petition on ichange.gov.ge, through which the organization demand the increase of 7 GEL living subsidy for the repressed individuals in order to make it equal with the amount of the living subsidies for the other social categories – 44 GEL. If the petition gets at least 10,000 signatures in 30 days, the Government of Georgia will be obliged to discuss the petition through the experts of electronic petition at the administration.
In the case of increasing the subsidy to 44 GEL (which is the amount for Second World War veterans, people with disabilities due to crashing the 9 April demonstrations, etc.) since September 2020, the total cost will be 3,8 million GEL (2,95 million GEL increase) and 5 million GEL (4,2 million GEL increase) in 2021.
The qualitative data about the victims of political repression receving living subsidy shows that the number of recipients declines each year. For instance, in 2010, 20,775 received 7 GEL living subsidy while their number in 2020 was 10,396.
Considering that the repressions included the mass executions, resettlement, confiscation of the property of the repressed, stigmatization of their family members, their exclusion from the society, creation of unequal social conditions for them and their oppression, the amount of subsidies is not proportional compared to the damage the repressed individuals and their descendants have experienced. The increase of the living subsidy for the repressed individuals would be an important and real support for 10,000 citizens from the state.
You can find the articles on the same issue published by IDFI on 24 and 28 April here – “Victims of Soviet Repressions in Georgia – Legal Remedies and Their Assessment” and “The Statistics of Social Assistance for the Victims of Political Repressions”.
This material has been financed by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, Sida. Responsibility for the content rests entirely with the creator. Sida does not necessarily share the expressed views and interpretations.
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