VIDEO | Georgian PM vows to pass ‘foreign agents’ bill as thousands protest – BNN

VIDEO | Georgian PM vows to pass ‘foreign agents’ bill as thousands protest – BNN
VIDEO | Georgian PM vows to pass ‘foreign agents’ bill as thousands protest – BNN
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Protests continued into the morning in Georgia, with demonstrators outside the parliament in Tbilisi making a last-ditch effort to prevent the controversial law from being passed. In spite of the opposition, the lawmakers of the ruling party “Georgia Dream” on the morning of Monday, May 13 quickly, in just 67 seconds, achieved the approval of the bill in the committee vote, reports the British broadcasting company BBC.

The bill, which will now go through its third and final reading on Tuesday, targets civil society organizations and independent media that receive foreign funding.

On Sunday, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Kobahidze vowed that his party would successfully pass the law, despite mass protests that began nearly a month ago.

Protesters fear the proposed law will crack down on the opposition and threaten Georgia’s bid to join the European Union (EU). Throughout the night, tens of thousands of people protested outside Tbilisi’s parliament, despite the rain, to express their opposition.

When the lawmakers arrived on Monday morning, they were met with screams and shouts of “slaves” and “Russians”.

but a police presence increased outside the building with shields and water cannons to prevent demonstrators from obstructing lawmakers from entering the parliament building to pass the new law.

Reports of clashes between protesters and law enforcement officers spread on social networks.

Two US citizens and one Russian citizen were reportedly among 20 people arrested during the protests.

Last week, the US said it was “deeply concerned” about the treatment of protesters and called for an independent investigation into reports of “physical violence”.

Opponents claim that the proposed bill in Georgia mirrors Russia’s 2012 laws, which have been criticized for cracking down on anti-Kremlin opposition. The legislation would require NGOs and media outlets that receive more than 20% of their funding from foreign countries to register as “organisations serving the interests of foreign powers”.

But the Georgian Dream party claims the law will promote transparency and protect the country’s sovereignty.

The President of the EU Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, emphasized Georgia’s efforts for the “future of Europe” and called on the legislators to continue moving towards EU integration.

Despite Georgia being granted candidate status in December, the EU warned that the controversial bill could hinder further progress towards integration into the bloc.

Also read: VIDEO | As protests grow, Georgia pushes ahead with EU-opposed ‘foreign agents’ bill

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The article is in Latvian

Tags: VIDEO Georgian vows pass foreign agents bill thousands protest BNN

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