Georgia passes 'Russian law': police charge and arrest anti-protesters

The Parliament of Georgia approved this Tuesday the controversial law on the transparency of the activity of foreign agents, despite the rejection of the opposition and the West, who compare it with the norm that the Kremlin uses to blacklist the opposition and any dissenting voice.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
14 May 2024 Tuesday 04:45
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Georgia passes 'Russian law': police charge and arrest anti-protesters

The Parliament of Georgia approved this Tuesday the controversial law on the transparency of the activity of foreign agents, despite the rejection of the opposition and the West, who compare it with the norm that the Kremlin uses to blacklist the opposition and any dissenting voice. Although Russia claims that Georgian law is not “Russian.”

The law was approved on third reading with 83 votes in favor and 30 votes against, since the ruling Georgian Dream party has the majority in the Legislative Assembly of the Caucasian country.

During the session, environmental tension arose; it came to blows between the opposing deputies and the majority of those from the Government. In recent weeks, similar situations had already occurred.

“Russian slaves!”, the protesters reacted to the departure of the pro-government deputies who were leaving the parliamentary headquarters.

Ahead of the vote, some 5,000 protesters, including opposition deputies and several representatives from Western countries, gathered in front of Parliament, where the discussions were not exempt from scuffles between pro-government deputies and opposition legislators who demanded that the bill be withdrawn, as It could be seen in the live broadcast of the plenary session of Parliament.

After the approval, the large deployment of riot police - in the face of a possible assault on the institutional building - attacked with violence some 2,000 people who remained outside the chamber. Several protesters were treated by emergency medical teams after police used tear gas on the crowd, while several officers dragged some people away.

At the moment, thirteen protesters have been arrested “after disobeying police orders,” according to the Ministry of the Interior, adding to the seven from Monday's protests.

However, Georgian Dream managed to impose its will and responded to those who accuse it of deviating from the European route that remained "committed to the European path and the protection of Georgian sovereignty."

“We will support all regulations that allow Georgia to be even stronger and guarantee our security and democratic development,” said the vice president of Parliament, pro-government deputy Archil Talakvadze.

The Prime Minister of Georgia, Irakli Kobajidze, gave explanations on Tuesday about the law to the Undersecretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, James O'Brien, with whom he met on Tuesday in Tbilisi.

The recently approved law “On Transparency of Foreign Influence” provides for the annual publication of statements by non-governmental organizations and media, whose budget is made up of more than 20% of foreign contributions.