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US slams Georgia’s ‘Kremlin-inspired’ foreign agents bill – POLITICO

The rules would require NGOs, campaign groups and media outlets that receive more than 20 percent of their funding from abroad to register as agents of “foreign influence.” If passed, Miller said, the measures “could limit free speech, stigmatize organizations that provide these benefits to Georgian citizens, and prevent independent media organizations that work to provide Georgians with access to high-quality information.” high quality “. The overall effect would be to undermine civil society, he concluded.

On Wednesday, the bill, presented by the ruling Georgian Dream party, took another step towards adoption into law by passing its first reading in Parliament. Thousands of people demonstrated in the streets of the capital Tbilisi, condemning the bill as “Russian law” and waving EU flags, before being forcibly removed by riot police.

Speaking to POLITICO last week, a European Commission spokesperson called on the government to withdraw the measures. Last year’s decision to grant candidate status to the South Caucasus country, the official said, was made with the knowledge that several subsequent steps would be taken by Tbilisi, including “guaranteeing freedom of assembly and expression and consult and engage civil society”. »

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Kobakhidze, however, refused to back down, accusing American and European officials of “persisting in making baseless political statements in the public space.” He called on them to publicly debate the issue with him, insisting the measures are compatible with EU membership – a claim Brussels has contradicted.

In a national poll conducted in December 2023 by the National Democratic Institute, 79% of Georgians surveyed supported their country’s EU membership ambitions.

On Tuesday, Georgian Dream parliamentary leader Mamuka Mdinaradze was attacked in Parliament while defending the foreign agents proposals, sparking a fight between MPs.


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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