The global organization Amnesty International requested this Thursday from the Argentine government the information on the thousands of Argentines who are stranded abroad due to the restrictions it imposed by limiting the quota of people who can enter the country, and considered that the government of Alberto Fernández violates human rights.
“We began to receive complaints from people stranded. They sleep at the airport and have to do PCR every day. The restriction in Argentina is not contemplated in a law. Citizens must be given predictability. Human rights are being violated, not all the necessary requirements for restrictions are met. Citizen rights are being violated”, emphatically assured Mariela Belski, Executive Director of Amnesty International Argentina, in dialogue with Maria Laura Santillán for CNN.
Given the situation that citizens are going through, the entity made a request for a report to the National Cabinet Headquarters, the Ministry of the Interior and the Chancellery for details on the consequences of the restrictions imposed for re-entry into the country.
Furthermore, Amnesty International requested a meeting with the Chief of Staff and the Minister of the Interior to dialogue and provide input from a human rights perspective.
In an official statement, the global organization recalled that on June 26, from the Administrative Decision 643/2021 of the Head of Cabinet of the Nation, in Argentina a quota of 600 daily places was established for re-entry into the national territory of Argentines, Argentines and residents who are abroad, through passenger flights, with the aim of “preventing the entry of new cases of the Delta variant of COVID-19.”
According to the official information, at least 10,000 people left the country the week prior to the implementation of the measure.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Amnesty International has been documenting all the initiatives implemented to curb the spread of the virus, “with the aim of ensuring that they comply with international human rights standards.”
At present, the organization is surveying the cases of different people stranded abroad to “know the impact on their rights and will forward that information to the authorities”.
The entity recalled that “international law provides exceptions to freedom of movement to protect public health in extraordinary situations. However, any action taken within this framework must be proportionate, strictly limited and necessary, and should not be perpetuated indefinitely in the time”.
“Respect for human rights, far from being an obstacle to control the pandemic, is a necessary condition for government decisions to be legitimate and socially accepted,” they emphasized.
In this sense, Belski pointed out: “We are not seeing that the Government can respond if these requirements are being met, for example legality, if the restriction is contemplated in a law, which we already know is not, if there is a need, if the restriction is proportional to the interest that it is trying to protect, and the most important thing is that we do not see the issue of the term : the restrictions must have a defined time limit”.
“In this report we accompany a document where we show in ten countries different measures that were taken in a pandemic: in many of them we agree, but in this one it differs, not to mention the issue of the province of Formosa, which is the different case in the world, no it happened in no other place.”
Belski insisted that “We are not talking about abandonment, we are talking about violation of human rights, which is what is happening with this, the right to information of people is being violated, and the type of restriction that the State can take”.
In this context, Belski pointed out: “More than a year after the pandemic began, the authorities must be extremely committed to human rights and guarantee that the policies implemented do not cause a disproportionate impact on people. In this sense, both the Executive Power, the Legislative Power and the Judiciary have a key role and must ensure the maximum respect for rights in the response to COVID-19”.
Finally, the organization recalled that “the authorities must guarantee that the exceptions that they establish in relation to the prohibition of entering the national territory in order to attend to circumstances of extreme necessity guarantee respect for the family unit and the best interests of the child in all moment and do not result in the denial of any right, in particular the right to health, food, shelter, regardless of where the person in need of assistance is located”.
“We want the Chief of Staff to see the cases that we have documented so that he can see that they are not millionaires who went to Miami to vaccinate; we want the law to be followed. The State cannot force you to sign anything where you renounce your rights”, it concluded.
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