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Another major protest against the law planned in Georgia

Another major protest against the law planned in Georgia

Thousands of pro-European demonstrators demonstrated in the South Caucasus Republic of Georgia for the second day in a row against a planned law to control foreign influence. In the capital, Tbilisi, clashes broke out between demonstrators and police yesterday in front of Parliament, where the draft law was being discussed in the first of three readings. Media reported that security forces used pepper spray. The Ministry of Interior reported that a police officer was injured.

The project, which has been criticized as a “Russian law,” requires NGOs that receive money from abroad to disclose their financial sources. According to its own statements, the Georgian government wants to ensure more transparency and more closely control the extent of foreign influence. Many civil society and democracy promotion projects in Georgia are funded by the West, including funds from the European Union and the USA.

Critics fear that such a law could be abused, Russian-style, to stop money flows and politically persecute pro-Western forces. EU Council President Charles Michel noted that Georgia obtained candidate status for accession to the European Union last December and that this law is not compatible with that. He wrote on Twitter that this initiative would move Georgia away from the European Union rather than closer to it. On the other hand, the ruling Georgian Dream party rejected Western attempts to intervene.

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