26 February 2021,   20:08
NGOs are calling for an investigation into the Bukhnari incident

Georgian NGOs said in their today’s statement that “the situation with regard to the protection of freedom of religion and belief has deteriorated sharply”.

The statement comes after the January 12 skirmish between Christian and Muslim Georgians of Buknari village.

The civil society outfits alleged the Government of “unequal treatment” on religious grounds, as well as of violating “the principles of secularism and equality,” and “the rights of non-dominant religious groups”.

Noting that the arrangement of a private shrine is a constitutional right, the NGOs said the state is responsible for taking measures to prevent actions that interfere with the Muslim community’s right to worship.

The civil society organizations urged the Georgian Government to “ensure an effective investigation” of the clash in Buknari village, as well as “to cease discriminatory policies against religious associations”.