May 22, 2024

Brighton Journal

Complete News World

Thousands of protesters jammed Georgia’s capital after the controversial “Russian law” was passed.

Thousands of protesters jammed Georgia’s capital after the controversial “Russian law” was passed.
At least 13 people were arrested (REUTERS/Irakli Gedenidze)

Large crowds of protesters blocked the streets in the capital Georgia Lawmakers chanted angrily outside the parliament building on Tuesday after they passed a bill. “Foreign Influence” Critics call it a Russian-style threat to freedom of expression and aspirations to join the European Union.

After the 84-30 vote, a crowd of protesters outside parliament tried to break down metal barriers near the building. At least 13 people were arrested And Georgian news reports showed one of them with severe cuts and bruises on his head.

The protests widened after dark, with thousands of protesters marching to Knights Square, two kilometers from parliament, and blocking streets that converge on the square.

Media, non-governmental organizations and other non-profit groups must register. “Pursuing the interests of a foreign power” If they receive more than 20% of their funding from abroad.

The bill says it is necessary to stop the government from considering Harmful foreign actors It is trying to disrupt politics in the South Caucasus nation of 3.7 million people.

FILE PHOTO: Demonstrators rally against the “foreign agents” bill in Tbilisi, Georgia. May 14 (REUTERS/Irakli Gedenidze)

The opposition has condemned the bill as a “Russian law”. Moscow uses a similar law to suppress independent media. Non-profit organizations and activists critical of the Kremlin.

President of the Council of Europe Charles MichaelGeorgians said on Tuesday that “if they want to join the European Union, they must respect the fundamental principles of the rule of law and democratic principles”.

White House Spokesperson, Karine Jean-Pierre, he said the US was “deeply concerned” about the law, which he said was “against democratic values ​​and would further distance Georgia from the values ​​of the European Union”. And let’s not forget NATO.

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Proclamation of Law “It will force us to fundamentally rethink our relationship with Georgia.” he added.

United States Under Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, James O’BrienPrime Minister Irakli Kobakitse met on Tuesday and said, “If the law moves forward contrary to EU rules, if democracy is undermined here and violence against peaceful protesters happens, we will see it coming from the United States”.

The bill is similar to one that the ruling Georgian Dream party was pressured to withdraw after street protests last year. New protests have rocked Georgia for weeks The protesters clashed with the police. He used tear gas and water cannons to disperse them.

President Salome Zorapichvili, who is increasingly at loggerheads with the ruling party, has promised Preventative Bill, however Georgian Dream has enough of a majority to override that final veto. Zourabichvili has 14 days to act.

Over the weekend, thousands of people took to the streets of the capital, Tbilisi.

Debate stalled due to infighting within Parliament. Legislator of Georgian Dream, Dmitry SamgaratzeAccusing was seen Eleven Kapishvili, The leader of the main opposition United National Movement accused Samkaradze of organizing mobs to beat up opposition supporters.

In a speech Tuesday, the Georgia Dream lawmaker Archil Talakvadze It accused the “extremist and anti-national political opposition united by political vendetta” of using the protests for their own political ends and “waiting for a radical turn of events”.

Ana Sitlidge, He said that the struggles of the United National Movement show how “Georgia United”In the struggle for its European future.”

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Another prominent opposition figure, Giorgi Vashatze, said the Georgian Dream party was “absolutely unconstitutional, illegal, and they are betraying the European future of our country.”

(With information from AP)