Protesters Rally at Georgian Parliament, Vote, Foreign, Bill, Second Against 'Foreign Influence' Law

Thousands protest in Georgia against 'Russia-inspired' foreign influence law, sparking clashes with police and raising concerns over EU integration.

Mazhar Abbas
New Update
Protesters Rally at Georgian Parliament, Vote, Foreign, Bill, Second Against 'Foreign Influence' Law

Protesters Rally at Georgian Parliament, Vote, Foreign, Bill, Second Against 'Foreign Influence' Law

Thousands of protesters gathered at the Georgian Parliament in Tbilisi on Tuesday to demonstrate against a controversial 'Foreign Influence' law that was undergoing its second reading. The opposition and students rallied, blocking Rustaveli Avenue, as they opposed the proposed legislation which they claimed was 'Russia-inspired'.

The draft law would require non-entrepreneurial (non-commercial) legal entities and media organizations to register as 'organizations pursuing the interests of a foreign power' if more than 20% of their income comes from abroad. The amendments provide the Ministry of Justice with the authority to monitor these organizations and impose fines for non-compliance, such as failure to register or fill out financial declarations.

Critics argue the law would undermine democracy and have labeled it as a 'Russian law', while the government claims it would boost transparency. The European Union has warned that the proposed legislation would undermine Georgia's bid for EU membership. "The EU urges Georgia to uphold its commitment to the promotion of democracy, the rule of law and human rights," said a spokesperson for the EU's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell.

The protests came amid ongoing unrest in Georgia over the proposed legislation. Clashes erupted between the police and the opposition demonstrators during the march, protest, controversial, bill. There have been reports of police brutality, with demonstrators being beaten and detained.

Why this matters: The proposed 'Foreign, Bill' in Georgia has sparked widespread protests and raised concerns about its potential impact on civil society and the country's path towards EU integration. The controversy highlights the ongoing tensions between pro-Western and pro-Russian factions in Georgian politics.

Georgian Political Rift: Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili, who is at odds with the ruling, party, mass, rally, counter, anti, governm, criticized the government's actions, saying civil servants were forced to attend a pro-government rally. She has declared she would veto the bill, but the ruling Georgian Dream party, which holds a majority in parliament, can override the veto. Former prime minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, the founder of the ruling party, defended the bill, saying it would bolster national sovereignty, and accuses, global, war, party, domestic, affairs.

Key Takeaways

  • Thousands protest 'Foreign Influence' law in Georgia, claiming it's 'Russia-inspired'.
  • Law would require NGOs/media with >20% foreign funding to register as 'foreign agents'.
  • EU warns law would undermine Georgia's EU membership bid, urges upholding democracy.
  • Protests turn violent, with reports of police brutality against demonstrators.
  • President vows to veto law, but ruling party can override; founder defends it.