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Georgia: new protests as Parliament passes law on “foreign influence”

Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets Wednesday evening in Georgia to protest the controversial proposed law. on "foreign" influence", adoptedé in second reading by Parliament despite the weeks of massive mobilization of his detractors.

The deputies voted 83 for and 23 against this text which the ruling Georgian Dream party wants to adopt definitively by mid-May, despite three weeks of mobilization in the streets of opponents of the draft law.

The text must still pass a third reading and President Salome Zourabishvili, who is in conflict with the ruling party, is expected to veto it, but the Georgian Dream has enough votes to be able to override.

On Tuesday evening, the police used tear gas and fired rubber bullets to disperse the thousands of demonstrators who had gathered against this text seen as an obstacle to the country's aspirations to join the EU.

Georgia: new protests as Parliament passes law on “foreign influence”

Demonstration of the controversial “foreign influence” bill on May 1, 2024 in Tbilisi, Georgia © AFP – Giorgi ARJEVANIDZE

Waving Georgian and European flags, thousands of demonstrators gathered again in front of the parliament, trying to block the entrances to the building, noted an AFP journalist.

If this law is passed, it will require any NGO or media organization receiving more than 20% of its funding from abroad to register as an “organization pursuing the interests of a foreign power”.

A first version of the text, inspired by a Russian law used by the Kremlin to repress dissident voices, was abandoned last year after large-scale street demonstrations.

All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116