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Clashes Break Out Between Police and Demonstrators at Georgia’s Foreign Agents Act Protests

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police and crowds of Clashes between protesters continued later on Wednesday over controversial bill critics could suffocate media Freedom and civil society.

police in Capital of Georgia used water cannon and tear gas to disperse the protesters around parliament building protest against the bill.

legislators on Tuesday agreed to first reading of Proposed law, which requires media and NGOs that receive over 20% of Funding them from foreign sources to register as “agents”. of Foreign influence.” More than 60 demonstrators were arrested outside parliament in Tbilisi after approval.

The scale is similar to one Issuance in Russia in 2012 that it was used for shut down or defamation organizations critical of the government. Opponents believe that it is likely to impede Georgia’s declared intention of joining NATO and the European Union one day.

The bill goes directly against The declared aspiration of the Georgian authorities to obtain candidate status for European Union membershipA statement issued by MEPs Maria Kaljorand and Sven Mixer stated, who They are outstanding personalities in Relations with Georgia.

“the new The purpose of the law, under the guise of of Promote transparency, is stigmatized work of civil society organizations and media,” Statement added.

Protest leaders called Wednesday for protesters to prevent parliament Members to return to building until the procedure is withdrawn.

The matter was to be discussed later Thursday, but locally media You mentioned that the discussion has been suspended.

Parliament Speaker Shalva Babuashvili on Wed request for Measure to be evaluated by the Vienna Commission on The Constitutional law of the Council of Europe, the continent leading human rights body.

While Georgia’s president, Salome Zurabishvili, has said she will veto the bill, its authors say it is necessary. for Transparency of the work of Entities funded by representatives of foreign countries. Parliament can override a presidential veto.

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