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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Georgia. Crowds on the streets of Tbilisi. There was a lot of police and water cannons appeared

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In the evening, on the X platform, activists and journalists reporting on the protest posted recordings showing officers beating unarmed protest participants. A very large police force was gathered in the center of Tbilisiincluding troops equipped to disperse protests, as well as equipment, including water cannons.

Pepper spray was used against demonstrators. According to the website Newsgeorgia.ru at least 20 people reported to the medics present on site.

An AFP journalist reported that “masked police intervened without warning, using tear gas and rubber bullets.” He added that dozens of people were arrested.

Georgia. Protests against the “Russian Law”. The police used force

The Ministry of Internal Affairs issued a statement on Tuesday evening that used special measures “provided by law”because the protest participants did not comply with the calls and did not disperse, blocking the entrance to the parliament and preventing MPs from leaving – reports the Interpress.ge portal.

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“The participants of the rally verbally and physically confronted the officers and threw various objects at them,” the statement said. A 21-year-old protest participant told AFP that the MPs “are afraid because they see their determination.” – We will not allow them to adopt this Russian law and bury our European future – she added.

Thousands of people take part in the protest in front of the parliament building. It is another huge demonstrationsince the ruling Georgia The Georgian Dream party resumed proceedings on the law on the transparency of foreign influence at the beginning of April. Last year, as a result of mass protests and calls from Western countries, Georgian Dream withdrew from adopting the bill. This time the party in power is determinedto pass a law that, he argues, will ensure “transparency in financing” of non-governmental organizations, the opposition and the media.

The bill arouses great emotions. Georgians take to the streets en masse

Act, modeled on the Russian one, hence called simply the “Russian Law” or the “Foreign Agents Law”, provides that legal entities and media receiving more than 20 percent from abroad would be subject to registration and reporting and would be entered into a special register of agents of foreign influence. The Ministry of Justice will be able to under any pretext carry out inspections of such organizations.

Representatives of the USA, EU, UN express concern about the resumption of rights over Act i they appeal to the Georgian authorities to withdraw from the project. They return, among others: attention that it is in contradiction with Georgia's European aspirations and the European integration process. In December 2023, Georgia received EU candidate status.

Even though Georgians took to the streets en masse again, the Georgian Dream argues that it will not give up, and calls critical comments and appeals from the US, EU and international organizations “interference in internal affairs”.

The Georgian parliament is scheduled to vote on the bill in second reading on Wednesday. After the third reading, the bill will be signed by President Salome Zourabishvili. Yeah she has already announced her veto, because in her opinion the bill is contrary to Georgia's pro-European path. The ruling party has the majority in parliament needed to override the presidential veto.

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