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Tear gas was used against protesters in Georgia – media

Photo: Guram Muradov/Civil.ge

People took to the streets after representatives attempted to pass an anti-democratic “foreign agents law.” The document almost completely repeats a similar Russian law.

Protests against the bill on “foreign agents” continue in Georgia for the second day in a row. Special forces tried to push the protesters away from the entrance to the parliament using tear gas. Echo of the Caucasus reported this on Tuesday, April 16.

Protesters shouted “Slaves!” They also held posters and flags of Georgia and the European Union.

According to journalists, the police are trying to prevent the protesters from entering the parliament courtyard.

According to media reports, special forces used physical force against some of the protesters. In addition, security forces periodically fired tear gas.

As indicated by the local media, citing the press service of the Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs, so far, 11 people have been detained by the security forces.

The department says protesters “physically confronted police and threw various blunt objects, including rocks and bottles,” in their direction. As a result, an employee of the Interior Ministry was injured and hospitalized. A police car was also damaged.

“To avoid physical confrontation, the Ministry of Internal Affairs used special means – the so-called pepper spray,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili urgently appealed to her French counterpart Emmanuel Macron and the head of the European Council Charles Michel regarding the events in the country due to the law on foreign agents, reports TV Pirveli.

Zurabishvili believes that the issue can be considered at a special meeting of the European Council, which will be held in Brussels on April 17-18.

“I turned to Charles Michel and Emmanuel Macron about the situation here, tomorrow is a meeting of the European Council of the European Union,” the TV channel quoted Zurabishvili as saying.

Earlier, Zurabishvili called the government’s attempt to “push this law against the will of the population and against the protest of partners” a “direct provocation” and a “strategy of destabilization of Russia.”

It should be noted that on March 7, 2023, the Georgian parliament supported in the first reading the bill on foreign agents, which is actually an analogue of the law previously adopted in Russia. Mass protests began in Tbilisi.

On March 9, after mass protests, Georgian Dream and People’s Power withdrew the embarrassing bill on foreign agents. The authorities then said that “the lie machine is able to present the bill in a negative light and mislead a certain segment of the population.”

On April 3, 2024, the leader of the Georgian Dream parliamentary majority, Mamuka Mdinaradze, announced that his party would introduce a bill on foreign agents in parliament for a second time.

He said the only requirement of the bill is an annual financial report from organizations that receive funding from abroad. It is proposed to impose penalties for violation of this requirement. He also added that the text of the bill will be left unchanged, but the term “agent of foreign influence” will be replaced by “an organization that pursues the interests of a foreign state.”

Let’s remember that last year there was an attempt to pass a bill on “foreign agents” that caused mass protests across Georgia. The protesters were supported by Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili.

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Source: korrespondent

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