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Georgia cracks down on pro-EU protests as outcry over ‘Russian law’ intensifies – POLITICO

Georgia’s Interior Ministry issued a statement late Tuesday demanding that protesters move away from the gates around the parliament building “to ensure the safe movement of deputies and staff” and “avoid an artificial escalation of events.”

The violence marks a sharp escalation after weeks of public protests against proposals by the ruling Georgian Dream party to require NGOs, campaign groups and media outlets to register as “foreign agents” if they receive more than 20 percent of their financing from abroad.

The measures were initially proposed last year, but were abandoned amid public outcry and criticism from abroad, in which comparisons were drawn to rules introduced by Russia to stifle dissent and stifle civil society.

The EU, which granted Georgia candidate status in November, said the bill was “incompatible with European values.” A spokesperson told POLITICO earlier this month that the government should remove it or risk jeopardizing its chances of joining the bloc.

The US State Department, meanwhile, said the “Kremlin-inspired” legislation could “limit free speech, stigmatize organizations that provide these benefits to Georgian citizens, and prevent independent media organizations that strive to provide Georgians with access to high-quality information. »

Despite the criticism, Georgian Dream insisted the new rules were necessary to protect the country’s sovereignty. Parliamentarians are expected to vote in favor of the bill at second reading on Wednesday.

In a bombastic speech at a rally outside Parliament on Monday evening, prominent oligarch and former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili denounced Western-backed NGOs, saying a “world war party” was responsible for the war in Ukraine and vowed to punish his “world war party.” “criminals and traitors” political rivals after October elections.

“I promise that after overcoming these difficulties, with sovereignty and dignity intact, in 2030, Georgia will join the EU,” he insisted.

Politico

Sara Adm

Aimant les mots, Sara Smith a commencé à écrire dès son plus jeune âge. En tant qu'éditeur en chef de son journal scolaire, il met en valeur ses compétences en racontant des récits impactants. Smith a ensuite étudié le journalisme à l'université Columbia, où il est diplômé en tête de sa classe.Après avoir étudié au New York Times, Sara décroche un poste de journaliste de nouvelles. Depuis dix ans, il a couvert des événements majeurs tels que les élections présidentielles et les catastrophes naturelles. Il a été acclamé pour sa capacité à créer des récits captivants qui capturent l'expérience humaine.
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