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IDM: The government violated human freedoms and rights during the Covid-19 pandemic
In Tirana, a study by the Institute for Democracy and Mediation points out that state authorities violated democratic standards and human rights during the management of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The study contains some of the lessons learned from the management of the Covid-19 pandemic from an economic, legal, human rights and democracy perspective.
One of the main problems highlighted in the study is that at the beginning of the pandemic, the government changed the public procurement law and normal legal procedures were no longer followed, but accelerated and with companies that were selected in an unclear manner, which raised suspicions of corruption.
The author of the study, Romario Shehu, says that many of the government's decisions were announced without being approved by the Assembly and without public consultation, which violated human rights.
Another problem, he says, was the freedom of expression, because journalists were not allowed to participate in the press conferences of the authorities, which gave space to misinformation, and the media was even described as a damaging factor.
"I believe you remember during that period, the prime minister himself sent messages to people on their phones, declaring that they should be careful of the media, that they misinform them. This was a kind of attack on the media" , said Mr. Shehu.
The report states that "the practices of 'secret tenders' and allowing public institutions to contract companies without a public tender can erode public trust in institutions and harm good governance and democracy in the country".
But the director of the National Emergency, Skënder Brataj, says that experience showed that the laws in this field have room to be supplemented and integrated with them.
"There are many things where there are legal gaps, for which an institution, or the head of the institution, is faced with the fact where it should be supported to act. This is also an emergency in terms of institutional and inter-institutional work ", says Mr. Brataj.
During the Pandemic, the government signed 15 secret tenders, totaling 37.6 million euros. Such tenders were considered risky, problematic for the race or competition.
" The decision to announce all tenders as "essential interests of the state" raised concerns about possible misuse of state funds, favoritism, suspicions of corruption, as well as violations of public interest," the report states .
Drejtuesja e Qendrës Open Data Albania, Aranita Brahaj thotë se marrëdhëniet e qeverisë me firmat ishin klienteliste, pa transparencë dhe pa integritet, e megjithatë kontratat secrete të qeverisë qeverisë nuk arritën të prokuronin furnizimet mjekësore në kohë.
“Qeveria shqiptare jo vetëm nuk bëri transparencë, jo vetëm u orientua një formë blerje tek klientë të mëparshëm, por edhe dështoi të siguronte në kohën e duhur disa materiale, të cilat ishin shumë të rëndësishëm për jetën e njerëzve si testet dhe aparatet që kanë të bëjnë me trajtimin e pacientëve terminalë”, thotë zonja Brahaj.
Juristja Ardita Kolmarku solli të dhënat e një Barometri Kombëtar të përgatitur nga Komiteti i Helsinkit, sipas të cilit qytetarët ishin të painformuar mbi ndryshimet ligjore, që u bënë gjatë pandemisë, ndërsa vlerësuan si të panevojshme gjobat e rënda dhe antikushtetuese, aktet normative me masa represive për një vend demokratik.
Ata cilësuan të tepërta kufizimet në lirinë e lëvizjes drejt spitaleve, ndërsa masat për ndalimin e tubimeve ishin joproporcionale.
“Qytetarët e kanë vënë theksin që edhe ndalimin që qeveria ndërmori kundrejt përfaqësuesve të shoqërisë civile, apo qytetarët e thjeshtë aktivistë, të cilët vërshuan në protesta për të mbrojtur kauzat e tyre në tubime paqësore, ishte një kufizim lëvizje i panevojshëm”, thotë juristja Kolmarku.
Albania took tough measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, such as movement restrictions, fines for quarantine violations, criminalization of quarantine violations and intentional infection, and used police and military forces to enforce these measures.
The right to assemble was suspended and movement was severely restricted. Civil society activists and the People's Advocate have expressed concern that these measures violated the rights and freedoms of citizens./VOA/