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31st March 2021, 20:22

Government says it worked with organisers of recent sporting events to ensure public safety, after claims of discrimination

The Government has made it clear that it did not organise the football and boxing events in the past week, but that it did work with organisers to guarantee a safe environment.

This comes after a group calling themselves “Freedom Gibraltar” protested against what it calls, the Government’s ‘controversial decision’ to deny entry into events to unvaccinated individuals.

In answer to GBC questions, Number Six said it will not be making vaccinations mandatory.

The statement from Freedom Gibraltar comes after protesters unfurled a large banner in the car park overlooking the Victoria Stadium during Tuesday night’s World Cup Qualifier against the Netherlands.

The group says this is the second sporting event where those who have been unable to have the vaccine for medical reasons, reasons of conscience or ethical considerations, were denied access.

It also claims this is a breach of the Council of Europe resolution 2361 passed in January 2021, which states that all members of the public must be informed that no vaccine is mandatory; furthermore, anyone who refuses the vaccine must not be discriminated against.

It adds that a failure to adhere to these directives would 'open the floodgates' to similar behaviour and help create a two-tier system in Gibraltar.

Freedom Gibraltar also calls for the removal of the Director of Public Health, Dr Sohail Bhatti, whom they describe as the ‘puppet master’ behind the removal of civil rights.

However, in answer to GBC questions, the Government stressed that all civil rights are protected by the Constitution in Gibraltar, and are enforced by an independent judiciary. As such, any citizen who believes their civil rights are being infringed is able to seek redress from the Supreme Court.

It adds legal assistance is available in appropriate circumstances.

The Government said it will not maintain any restrictions on civil liberties for a moment longer than it is advised is absolutely necessary in the interests of Public Health. This, it explained, will be determined in strict adherence with the best scientific research and advice available. Finally, the Government told GBC it will not make vaccination for COVID-19 compulsory.

The RGP has confirmed to GBC, that between 30 and 40 people were removed from the car park area, although not all of these were demonstrating. Some were just watching the game. However, Covid regulations for gatherings only permits groups of less than 16.