Georgia.  Protests in Tbilisi against the “foreign agents” law.  The same applies to Russia

Demonstrators gathered in front of the Georgian parliament in Tbilisi on Tuesday to protest against a law that critics say is inspired by Russian legislation on “foreign agents”. The police used water cannons and tear gas against them. The Georgian parliament adopted a controversial law on first reading. And a battle took place on Monday in the legal committee of this parliament, in which representatives of the ruling Georgian Dream Party and the opposition participated.

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Many observers believe that the adoption of this law is an authoritarian turn in the policy of the authorities in Tbilisi. The Georgian government defends the new law, stressing that it “meets European and international standards.” Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili confirmed on Tuesday that the purpose of the regulation is to eliminate harmful interference by third countries in Georgia’s internal affairs.

Even before the law was passed on Tuesday, they gathered for the second day in a row in front of parliament in the Georgian capital. Protest against the bill introducing the concept of “foreign customers”.

The protest was attended by players from Dinamo Tbilisi, who sent a message against the law on Monday. The protesters also played the Ukrainian national anthem, said Georgian journalist Maryam Nekoradze, who shared a recording of the demonstration.

And on Monday A quarrel broke out between the members of parliament during the discussion of the bills. On the same day, a protest was held in front of the building of the Georgian legislature. The demonstrators brought with them the flags of Georgia and the European Union and posters with portraits of Vladimir Putin and the head of the ruling party, Irakli Kobachidze.

Law “Foreign Customers” in Russia

Similar solutions also apply in Russia. Organizations and individuals who operate publicly and receive support from abroad must identify themselves as “foreign agents”. This entails an additional reporting obligation. Officials or departments control their actions and decide whether or not the law will be respected.

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In Georgia, a similar bill was introduced by the People Power movementconsisting of former politicians from the Georgian dream; It was created after the war broke out in Ukraine.

The project relates to two operations. The first requires “transparency of foreign influence”and the second “Foreign Agents Registration”. According to local reports, the project was approved on March 3 by the parliamentary committees on international affairs and defense. The law still has to go through several stages before it goes into effect.

“Foreign clients” will be defined as NGOs, media and individuals who receive at least 20 percent of foreign financial support. They will have to file financial returns each year; They cannot request any information from government officials. The Ministry of Justice will also monitor organizations with foreign support.

President of Georgia veto

The Georgian Dream Party announced that the laws adopted in the first reading will be submitted to the European Commission for Democracy through law for an expert opinion. Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili confirmed that she would not sign the law. However, parliament can override the veto.

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