Thousands Return to Streets Against Foreign Agents Law in Georgia – Current Affairs

According to the France Press Agency (AFP), which followed the protests, the number of protesters was down compared to previous nights when tens of thousands of people took to the streets.

The demonstration on Wednesday was dispersed by police using tear gas and rubber bullets.

Today, protesters gathered in front of the Batti Hotel, owned by the oligarch and former Prime Minister Pitsina Ivanishvili's company, where the Asian Development Bank Forum is being held with the participation of members of the Georgian government.

The protesters then marched to the headquarters of the ruling Georgian Dream party.

At demonstrations, protesters chanted “We will not give up!”, “Georgia will win!” and “No to the Russian government!”, Georgian Dream and its ministers were accused of playing into Moscow's hands.

The law that sparked the protest movement was inspired by legislation the Kremlin has used for years to suppress dissenting voices.

“We are going to the Georgian Dream headquarters to free the young people who have been detained in recent days and to abandon Russian law,” Data Nataraya, a 24-year-old student in Tbilisi, told AFP.

The Ministry of Home Affairs said that one person was arrested by the police today and 23 people were arrested the day before.

The bill on “foreign influence,” also known as the Foreign Agents Act, was approved by parliament in its second reading on Wednesday, requiring any non-governmental organization or media organization that receives more than 20% of its funding from abroad to register as an “organization that pursues the interests of a foreign power.”

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The text was criticized by the UN, the US and the European Union, which Georgia wants to join.

The government says the move is aimed at forcing companies to be more transparent about their funding.

The first version of the text was dropped last year after large-scale street protests.

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