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17 Jan, 2022 14:54

Unjabbed against Covid shouldn’t be discriminated, Amnesty warns EU state

Human rights group believes Italian anti-Covid-19 restrictions to be too harsh 
Unjabbed against Covid shouldn’t be discriminated, Amnesty warns EU state

Amnesty International has issued a statement calling on Italy to change its strict anti-Covid-19 policies to prevent possible discrimination against unvaccinated people after a recent government decree.

In an official statement, issued by Amnesty International on Saturday, the organization urged the Italian government to provide alternative protective measures, such as wearing masks or taking tests, in order to allow unvaccinated citizens to continue their work and use public transport. 

It also insisted that all safety measures “must respond to the principles of necessity, temporariness and proportionality,” and called for the government to reconsider if the national state of emergency should be extended beyond March 2022. 

According to the current restrictions, which will remain in place until June 15, 2022, it is no longer sufficient to wear a mask or have a negative Covid-19 test in order to use public transport or, for people aged over 50, to access their workplace. 

Amnesty International Italia, local chapter of the international organization, noted that mandatory vaccination might be justified and enforced under exceptional circumstances. However, such restrictive measures should be targeted, limited in time and accompanied by evidence-based logic, as well as proportionate to a legitimate purpose of public health protection. 

“The government must continue to ensure that the entire population can enjoy its fundamental rights, such as the right to education, work and medical treatment, with particular regard to non-Covid patients who need urgent surgery,” it said, according to Reuters.  

Earlier this month, the Italian government declared the Covid-19 vaccination mandatory for everyone over the age of 50. The jab is also required for access to public transportation and a range of other services. Italy was one of the few European countries to take such measures, aiming to ease pressure on the health services and reduce possible fatalities.

Before that, Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s government had made vaccination mandatory for teachers and health workers, and all employees were obliged to be vaccinated or provide negative Covid-19 test results in order to access their workplace. Refusal would lead to suspension from work without pay.