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US bans entry of Georgian politicians

US bans entry of Georgian politicians

The reason for the entry ban is a controversial law restricting foreign influence on NGOs. Two to three dozen people are affected by the sanctions.

The United States banned members of parliament from Georgia's ruling party after a controversial law restricting foreign influence on non-governmental organizations came into effect. Two to three dozen people, including members of the ruling Georgian Dream party and their family members, will initially be affected by the sanctions, US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said on Thursday.

If Georgia doesn't change the law, mass protests against it have been ongoing for months, and the bans could continue. The law, signed by the parliament speaker on Monday, imposes stricter accountability on independent media and other civil society organizations if they receive more than 20 percent of their money from abroad.

Critics fear transparency

Critics fear that this will make critical reporting in the media more difficult and, as in Russia, critical organizations will be stifled and silenced. The ruling Georgian Dream party justifies the law as more transparent; It strengthens the sovereignty of Georgia.

US State Department spokesman Miller called the law and the Georgian government's actions “anti-democratic”. “This approach endangers Georgia's European future and contradicts the Georgian constitution and the will of the people.”

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