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Georgia’s ‘Foreign Agents’ Law Withdrawn After Massive Protests



Demonstrators during a protest against the Foreign Agents Act in Tbilisi, Georgia.  / AFP

Demonstrators during a protest against the Foreign Agents Act in Tbilisi, Georgia. / AFP

Georgia’s ruling party on Thursday announced the withdrawal of a controversial “foreign agent” law, sparking mass protests in the Caucasian country over the past two days.

“As a governmental party responsible to all members of society, we have decided to unconditionally withdraw this law we have supported,” the Georgian Dream Party said in a statement on its website.

The announcement came after a second night of massive demonstrations in the capital, Tbilisi. During the demonstration, police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse tens of thousands of people who had gathered near the Capitol.

Despite the withdrawal of the law, opposition parties have announced that they will continue to demonstrate against the government until they “guarantee Georgia’s resolute commitment to the pro-Western path.”

In the joint multiparty statement, the opposition also called for the “immediate release of dozens of protesters” arrested over the past two days.

The protests were sparked after the bill was approved in its first reading on Tuesday, citing pain of sanctions, to force Georgian organizations that receive more than 20% of their income from abroad to register as “foreign agents”. rice field.

For critics of the project, the text was inspired by a similar law adopted in Russia in 2012 that allowed dissenters, independent media and human rights groups to be silenced.

In its statement, Sueño Georgiano believed the law was “presented in a distorted and misleading manner” and launched a public consultation to “better explain” the purpose of the article. The ruling party has not ruled out returning the bill to parliament entirely.

The European Union delegation in the country welcomed the decision and encouraged “all Georgian political leaders to resume pro-European reforms”.

Instead, Kremlin spokesman Dimitri Peskov expressed concern over the protests in Georgia. I was.

The tiny former Soviet republic, scarred by Russian military intervention in 2008, wants to become part of the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), a change of course it took after the 2003 “Rose Revolution”. thinking about.

These aspirations were overshadowed by some government-approved measures that also cast doubt on its relationship with Moscow.

This revolution brought pro-Western President Mijail Saakashvili to power in 2004. He is now in the opposition and is in prison, from which he denounces political reprisals.

Source: Diario.Elmundo

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