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Georgia: Tens of thousands demonstrate against “Russian law”

Georgia: Tens of thousands demonstrate against “Russian law”

Tens of thousands of people again took to the streets in Georgia yesterday, against the “foreign influence” law after Parliament approved the controversial plan in its first reading. In the evening, about 20,000 demonstrators blocked traffic in front of Parliament in Tbilisi and chanted: “No to Russian law!” Hundreds of police officers were on duty.

A.B. Zurab Tsertsvadze

The demonstrators issued a warning to the authorities, demanding that the draft law be withdrawn within an hour. They then went to the office of Iraqi Prime Minister Kobakhidze and demanded to meet him, according to what an Agence France-Presse journalist saw.

Protest marches also took place in other cities across the country, including Batumi, Georgia's second-largest city, Interpress news agency reported.

An obstacle to foreign financing

Parliament had previously approved the “Foreign Influence” law in its first reading. The draft law stipulates that organizations that receive at least 20 percent of their funding from abroad must register with the authorities. Critics see similarities with Russia's anti-“foreign agents” law, which allows authorities there to take action against critical media and organizations.

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