Anti-vaxxers are Involved in Manipulating Events around Ninotsminda Boarding School


The video of Georgian homeopath Tina Topuria speaking about the events unfolding around the Ninotsminda boarding school is being disseminated through social networks (link 1 and link 2). The video is a fragment from an interview aired on Salte on 31 May 2021. In her interview, Ms Topuria voiced a number of manipulative and false items of information in regard to COVID-19 and the vaccines which FactCheck has already debunked. In the fragments of the interview which were promoted by Facebook users, Ms Topuria links the events in the Ninotsminda boarding school to the COVID-19 vaccination campaign.

In particular, Tina Topuria claims that there is “huge pressure” on the Ninotsminda boarding school and Bishop Spiridon from TV stations and UNICEF. This pressure started after Bishop Spiridon asked Ms Topuria and her team to arrange a conference about vaccination. Ms Topuria argues that the active fight against Bishop Spiridon and TV reports were launched precisely after the conference as they became aware that “Spiridon is a formidable power.” In addition, Ms Topuria claims that UNICEF’s aim is to conduct vaccine experiments on children which would be the easiest vis-à-vis “ownerless kids.”

These claims are manipulative since Tina Topuria deliberately distorts the context of the events around the Ninotsminda boarding school and artificially links them with Bishop Spiridon’s statements and attitudes in regard to vaccination.

In fact, the events around the Ninotsminda boarding school were triggered by hindering the Public Defender’s Office from carrying out monitoring of the boarding school and not by the vaccination campaign. On 16 April 2021, the Public Defender released a statement that the previous day in which it was stated that representatives of the Public Defender were not allowed to carry out monitoring in the Ninotsminda boarding school. On 7 May 2021, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child issued an interim measure to approve the 5 May 2021 appeal from the Partnership for Human Rights (PHR) NGO and urged the government to immediately instruct the relevant monitoring body to inspect the situation of children's rights at the Ninotsminda boarding school. As clarified by the PHR, the UN uses this measure when faced with emergency and the threat of irreversible damage against children. In addition, each state party has a legal obligation to fulfil the measure according to Article 6 of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a Communications Procedure.

On 19 May 2021, the Public Defender’s trustees paid another visit to the Ninotsminda boarding school. However, despite the UN Committee’s interim measure they were still not allowed to carry out monitoring. The school officials refused to speak and named a request from their leadership as the reason.

The fact of the hindering of effective monitoring was also registered in 2018 when the Public Defender’s representatives were denied a chance to talk with children during the monitoring and were asked to leave the school premises. In addition, a social worker from the Agency of State Care was also devoid of an opportunity to carry out monitoring from June 2020 to May 2021.

Different reports from the Public Defender reports include information about the situation in the Ninotsminda boarding school. In turn, these reports are based on the visits of the Public Defender’s representatives to boarding schools and their interviews with beneficiaries. The information in the reports as well as identified facts of violence warrant the necessity of monitoring in the Ninotsminda boarding school (see FactCheck’s article for a more detailed overview of information related to the Ninotsminda boarding school).

Therefore, Tina Topuria’s claim that events around the Ninotsminda boarding school are related to Bishop Spiridon’s views is a manipulation. In addition, the claim that UNICEF aims to test the COVID-19 vaccine on boarding school children is a conspiracy theory which lacks any real ground.


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