Renewed protests against 'Russian law' in Georgia

Tbilisi, May 12 (IANS/DPA) Tens of thousands of people protested again in the Georgian capital Tbilisi against a planned law to control foreign influence.

They were expressing their displeasure at the plans of their pro-Moscow government.

In the eyes of the protesters, the law jeopardises their country’s European Union prospects.

In addition to Georgian flags, many therefore also waved EU flags once again.

According to media reports, the protests against the controversial “Russian law” initially took place without any major incidents.

Thousands of people wanted to form a vigil in front of the Parliament building until Sunday morning.

The law, which is due to pass its third reading in Parliament early next week despite weeks of massive protests, is called “On Transparency of Foreign Influence” and stipulates that non-governmental organisations that receive more than 20 per cent of their funding from abroad must account for its origin.

Many observers accuse the government of the former Soviet Republic of having modelled the planned law on a Russian “agent” law to hinder the work of critical associations and media.

In Russia, numerous organisations and individuals are branded as “foreign agents,” which often causes major problems for those affected. The measure is seen as a means of political repression to silence critics.

In Georgia, there are fears that the new law could pave the way for an authoritarian approach in the country, which has been a candidate for EU accession for several months.



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