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Civil Platform “No to Phobia!” Statement On Increase In Xenophobia Against Ethnic Azeri Citizens

25.03.2020

Civil Platform “No to Phobia!” expresses its concern about the wave of xenophobia following the events that had taken place in Marneuli. We call upon media, politicians and public figures to promote to a possible extent the spread of correct, reliable and non-discriminatory information in society and to play an active role in integration process of our ethnic Azeri co-citizens.

The Government of Georgia declared Marneuli and Bolnisi a quarantine zone as one of the residents of Marneuli had been tested positive on new coronavirus – COVID 19. Unfortunately, following this fact the statements promoting discrimination and containing hate speech has been spread in a society especially in social media.

Taking into consideration the systemic problems that the ethnic minorities face (language barriers, lack of information in the ethnic minority languages, vulnerability towards disinformation, low level of integration, lesser extent of political participation and etc), the xenophobic attitude emerged after the spread of the virus further more aggravates the existing challenges and promotes their exclusion. In light of the recent events, it is crucially important to promote unity in a society and that each citizen feels his/her civic responsibility. Therefore, we call upon:

Media, within the framework of their editorial policy, to insure an adequate response to those comments, made by the media consumers on the social pages managed by the media, which are of xenophobic content and promote further partition in a society in such a crisis and promote discrimination of the citizens on the ground of ethnicity or their health status;

Politicians and public figures, to make statements supporting the equality and thus contribute to the civil integration of ethnic minorities;

Civil activists and other groups, in case of finding the xenophobic content in social media, to report on them according to the Facebook and Twitter public standard rules and policies.
  • Georgian Democracy Initiative (GDI)
  • Media Development Foundation (MDF)
  • Tolerance and Diversity Institute (TDI)
  • Human Rights Center (HRC)
  • Article 42 of the Constitution
  • Sapari
  • Baltic to Black Sea Alliance
  • International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED)
  • Tbilisi Pride
  • Georgia’s Reforms Associates (GRASS)
  • Transparency International - Georgia (TI)
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