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Georgia's parliament reintroduces "Foreign agents" bill. Approval of the bill a year ago sparked mass protests

03 Apr, 2024
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Georgia's parliament reintroduces "Foreign agents" bill. Approval of the bill a year ago sparked mass protests

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In Georgia, the ruling party 'Georgian Dream' is once again introducing a bill on 'foreign agents' into parliament. This was announced by the party's executive secretary, the leader of the parliamentary faction from the party, Mamuka Mdinaradze. His words are cited by Echo of the Caucasus.

The bill is practically unchanged from last year. According to Mdinaradze, only one amendment will be made: instead of the term 'foreign influence agent,' the phrase 'organization conducting foreign interests' will be used.

The ruling party believes that the adoption of the law will ensure transparency of non-governmental organizations that finance 'extremism and revolutionary processes.

Last year, the 'Georgian Dream' party already introduced a bill 'On the transparency of foreign influence.' The document envisaged the creation of a registry listing all non-commercial legal entities and media financed by more than 20 percent from abroad. On March 7, 2024, the Georgian parliament approved the bill in the first reading, leading to mass protests. According to local media estimates, up to forty thousand people gathered near the parliament building that day.

 

 

Clashes between protesters and police were recorded, resulting in law enforcement officers using tear gas and water cannons. The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia did not provide data on casualties among the protesters, but more than a hundred people were detained. On March 8, the protests resumed, and on the morning of March 9, the 'Georgian Dream' and the 'Strength is in Unity' movement withdrew this bill from parliament.

In their statement, they said that the document had caused dissent in society. The 'lie machine' managed to present the bill in a negative light and mislead a certain part of the population. The bill was falsely labeled as a 'Russian law,' and its approval in the first reading was portrayed to some segments of society as a departure from the European course," they said.

The Odessa Journal

The Odessa Journal

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