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Georgian police disperse crowd protesting international agent regulation

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Police in Georgia’s capital have fired water cannons and tear fuel to disperse demonstrators across the parliament constructing protesting laws they are saying may stifle civil society

TBILISI, Georgia — Police within the capital of Georgia used water cannons and tear fuel late Wednesday to disperse demonstrators across the parliament constructing protesting a draft regulation that they are saying may stifle media freedom and civil society.

Lawmakers on Tuesday accepted the primary studying of the proposed regulation, which might require media and nongovernmental organizations that obtain over 20% of their funding from international sources to register as “brokers of international affect.” Greater than 60 protesters had been arrested outdoors parliament in Tbilisi after the approval.

The measure is just like one enacted in Russia in 2012 that has been used to close down or discredit organizations essential of the federal government. Opponents see it as doubtlessly obstructing Georgia’s said intention of becoming a member of NATO and the European Union sooner or later.

The draft regulation “goes immediately towards the Georgian authorities’ declared ambition to obtain candidate standing for EU membership,” mentioned a press release from European Parliament members Maria Kaljurand and Sven Mikser, who’re prime figures in relations with Georgia.

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“The brand new regulation’s objective, underneath the guise of selling transparency, is to stigmatize the work of civil society organizations and media,” the assertion added.

Protest leaders on Wednesday referred to as for demonstrators to stop parliament members from returning to the constructing till the measure is withdrawn.

It was to be mentioned on Thursday, however native media reported that the controversy has been suspended. Parliament speaker Shalva Papuashvili on Wednesday requested for the measure to be assessed by the Vienna Fee on constitutional regulation of the Council of Europe, the continent’s main human rights physique.

Whereas Georgia’s president, Salome Zurabishvili, has mentioned she would veto the invoice, its authors say it’s wanted for the transparency of the work of entities financed by representatives of international states. Parliament can override presidential vetoes.



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