Protest movement against forced drug testing, Tbilisi
As many people are aware Georgia remains the only country in the region where drug use is considered as a criminal offence instead of a public health problem.
Existing drug policy is oriented on punishment of people who use drugs (PUD) rather than their support and social reintegration. This further intensifies the problem and negative consequences caused by it.
Based on repressive drug legislation, for the past decades Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) have been implementing punitive approaches towards PUDs, which deteriorated their health conditions, caused severe socio-economic harms to their families and caused their isolation, further aggravating overall situation. Unfortunately, despite the change in government MIA still continues punishment of PUDs. One of the methods is so called “street drug testing”. Police take thousands of citizens to specialized facilities for drug testing leading to administrative and penal sanctions which is a heavy burden for PUDs and their families.
On 24th of November 2013, at 14:00 “Georgian Network of People using Drugs “(Gen-PUD) is organizing a protest action against “Street Drug Testing”. Action will start at Samgori metro station (Kakheti highway) and will continue towards the Ministry of Internal Affairs where improvised action will take place. Action is supported by “Georgian Harm Reduction Network”, “Medicine du Monde-France”, “Alternative Georgia” and “Open Society Foundation-Georgia”.
I’m sending text of a petition which is addressed to Georgian Government and Parliament. For supporting the petition, please visit this link and place your signature (individual or organizational): http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/stop-repressive-drug-policy-in-georgia.html
You can also visit Facebook page for the Action at https://www.facebook.com/events/1420559164828375/?ref_newsfeed_story_type=regular
Станислав Ежи Лец