Georgian police and demonstrators face to face at protest outside parliament over controversial law

(15 Apr 2024)
RESTRICTION SUMMARY:

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Tbilisi – 15 April 2024
++NIGHT SHOTS++
1. Various of police and protesters clashing, people being pushed
2. Riot police
3. Various of police and protesters clashing, riot police gathered
4. Various of protesters waving EU and Georgian flags and phone torches
5. Close of police officers
6. Wide pan of rally
STORYLINE:
Thousands rallied in Georgia’s capital of Tbilisi on Monday against a draft law calling for media and non-commercial organisations to register as being under foreign influence if they receive more than 20% of their budget from abroad.

As the protest went into the evening, a heavy police presence surrounded the demonstrators outside Georgia’s parliament building.

Opponents of the measure denounce it as “the Russian law” because it is similar to a law that Russia uses to stigmatise independent news media and organisations seen as being at odds with the Kremlin.

Its foes also say that passing the law would obstruct Georgia’s aim of joining the European Union, which issued the country long-desired candidate status last year.

The measure is nearly identical to a proposal that the governing Georgian Dream party was pressured to withdraw a year ago after large street protests.

The law would require non-commercial organisations and news media that receive 20% or more of their funding from overseas to register as “pursuing the interests of a foreign power.”

That phrase is the only change from the draft that was withdrawn last year, which said that relevant groups must register as “agents of foreign influence.”

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Author: admin