Authorities in Georgia have forcibly harvested over 33 tons of its citizens’ urine over the past eight years, jailing hundreds who tested positive for drug use, while coercing thousands of others into enduring humiliating procedures, according to opponents of the nearly decade-long war on drugs in Georgia.
Opposition to the country’s harsh anti-drug policies is becoming more vocal, underscored by a December 10 rally in downtown Tbilisi, where hundreds of protesters gathered to call for the decriminalization of drug use. Some protesters carried signs with slogans like, “Prison is Not a Hospital” and “Stop Urine Tests!”
The rally was led by the White Noise movement, a coalition of drug users, human rights activists, physicians and psychologists. Taking its name from TV static, the campaigners aim to make noise until authorities decriminalize drug use and treat drug abuse as a public health, rather than a criminal, issue. The protesters scuffled with police as they blocked Rustaveli Avenue in the heart of Tbilisi.
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Giorgi Lomsadze is a freelance journalist and a frequent contributor to EurasiaNet.org's Tamada Tales blog.