The signatory organizations refer to the decision of the Government of Georgia on keeping the curfew in force yet again whilst easing restrictive measures in general. We believe that maintaining the curfew in this form is contrary to the Constitution of Georgia and, in light of easing restrictions, is even a better example of the arbitrary exercise of powers delegated to the Government of Georgia.
On 4 February 2021, the government announced that part of the restrictions will be eased on February 8 and 15. However, no changes were applicable to the question of curfew, which by the decision of the government remains in force.
As non-governmental organizations, we have repeatedly stated that restricting freedom of movement in the form in which it is restricted today is contrary to the Constitution of Georgia. In particular, curfew is established by a resolution of the Government of Georgia when, according to the Constitution of Georgia, the restriction of freedom of movement must be imposed by the Parliament of Georgia on the basis of law. Delegating restriction of freedom of movement to the Government of Georgia is allowed, if preconditions, scope and content of the restrictions is determined by law, and the government merely specifies how it should be executed. Although ‘the Law of Georgia on Public Health’ provides a formal legal basis for the restriction of freedom of movement by the government, it is so general and vague that it can be interpreted as a ground to delegating virtually any authority to the government. This in itself contradicts the above-mentioned rule of delegation established by the Constitution of Georgia.
Current curfew disproportionately restricts the freedom of movement of persons, raises reasonable doubts about its usefulness towards achieving an objective and does not constitute the least restrictive mean of the Human Rights (is not necessary in a democratic society).
We call on the Government of Georgia to lift the curfew and end an unjustified restriction of human rights and the use of unconstitutional measures under the pretence of combating the spread of COVID-19.
Georgian Democracy Initiative (GDI)
Human Rights Center (HRC)
Institute for Democracy and Safety Development (IDSD)
Transparency International Georgia (TI Georgia)
Rehabilitation Initiative for Vulnerable Groups (RIVG)
Partnership for Human Rights (PHR)
Georgia's Reforms Associates (GRASS)