Controversial draft law in Georgia drags public protests

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Controversial draft law in Georgia got its first approval. People took to the streets to protest the law. 66 people were arrested in Tuesday's protests.

Controversial draft law in Georgia drags public protests

Georgian people protested the controversial foreign agent law on Tuesday. Protesters believe the law will suppress liberties.

The police intervened the protesters with tear spray and water cannon until late.

In the operations held on Tuesday, 66 people were arrested and 50 police officers were injured.

'FOREING AGENTS'

The law, drafted by the ruling Georgian Dream Party, will make all media outlets and non-governmental organisations that receive 20% of their funding from abroad register as "foreign agents". This would subject them to monitoring and possible sanctions. 

It has been slammed by the country's civil society, media and analysts, who say it "threatens the fall of Georgian democracy".

Authorities have claimed the law is necessary to improve transparency. 

'A VERY BAD DEVELOPMENT FOR GEORGIA'

Western states also condemned the law. It is thought that the law could undermine EU goals.

On Tuesday, European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell described the law as "a very bad development for Georgia and its people". 

"The European Union urges Georgia to uphold its commitment to the promotion of democracy, the rule of law and human rights, and recalls the right of people to a peaceful protest," he added. 

Foreign ministers of several EU member states, including the Baltics, echoed concerns about the foreign agent law, urging Georgia to uphold the principles of "democracy, rule of law and human rights".

PARLIAMENT HAS BEEN BLESSED

The bill on the agenda of the parliament led to a fight among the deputies. Georgia's president, Salome Zurabishvili, announced that she will veto the bill.

Khatia Dekanoidze, a member of the opposition National Movement Rally, told parliament: "Everyone should understand that saving our country, saving our young generation, saving our future lies only through the European path."

'NO TO RUSSIAN LAW'

The bill, dubbed a Russian-style law by opponents, received initial approval in parliament. 

In Russia, a foreign agent law has been used to silence organisations and news outlets that criticised the government. 

Protesters blocked both entrances to the parliament building last night, chanting: “No to Russian law!” “Russians!” “Slaves!”

(euronews)

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