Georgia Supports For Protests Against 'Foreign Influence' Law

Georgia is preparing for protests on Monday against a proposed law that is similar to a controversial Russian law on “foreign agents”. Critics argue that this law could be used to silence and intimidate dissidents.

The ruling Georgian Dream party made a surprise announcement this month, stating that they plan to adopt a new law next month. A similar plan was abandoned one year ago due to large protests.

Georgia has been trying for a long time to strengthen its ties with Western countries. However, the current ruling party is accused of trying to reestablish connections with Russia, which used to be part of the Soviet Union. Some people argue that the project is similar to a law in Russia and weakens Georgia’s efforts to join the European Union.

Before a planned rally on Monday evening, a group of protesters gathered outside parliament and shouted: “We are against the Russian law!” A large European Union flag was displayed outside the parliament building.

“According to Saba Gotua, an architect, Georgia’s society is strong enough to prevent the country from becoming an authoritarian state like Russia,” “We won’t allow Georgian Dream to miss the opportunity for Georgia to join the EU.”

Also Read: Pennsylvania Launches KEEP Home Energy Loan Program to Boost Efficiency for Homeowners

Monday’s protests happened when the parliamentary legal affairs committee started having meetings about the proposed law. The ruling party MPs say that this law will make things more transparent.

Georgian Dream has modified the language of the law. Now, foreign-funded NGOs, media organizations, and independent journalists are required to register as a “organization pursuing the interests of a foreign power” instead of being labeled as a “agent of foreign influence”.

Last week, about 8,000 people gathered for a rally in central Tbilisi. They were protesting because the ruling party surprised everyone by saying they wanted to pass a bill in May. The decision is expected to worsen the existing divisions in Georgia. The country’s president, Salome Zurabishvili, who strongly supports the West, has criticized the decision, saying it harms democracy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.