The Parliament of Georgia adopted the law on foreign agents in the first reading

Cairo: Hani Kamal El-Din


The Georgian parliament approved in the first reading the bill “On Transparency of Foreign Influence,” which critics call a copy of the Russian law on foreign agents. 83 deputies participating in the meeting voted unanimously for it, conveys Echo of the Caucasus. The opposition boycotted the vote.

According to the bill, NPOs, broadcasters and media owners that receive more than 20 percent of their annual income from a “foreign power” are required to register as an organization promoting the interests of a foreign power.

Evasion of registration entails a fine of 25,000 lari (about 900 thousand lari), and repeated fines are also provided.

One of the controversial provisions of the bill is an article according to which the Georgian Ministry of Justice can conduct monitoring to “identify an organization pursuing the interests of a foreign power” or to verify compliance with the requirements of the law. The basis for monitoring may be a written statement from a citizen.

The document caused a sharp reaction from the opposition. She calls the law sent from Russia and accuses the ruling party of working for Moscow. Mass protests against the bill are being held in Tbilisi. Georgia’s Western partners called on Tbilisi to refuse to approve the bill.

Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili yesterday addressed the President of the European Council Charles Michel and the President of France Emmanuel Macron with a request to discuss developments in Georgia at today’s session of the European Council. This caused sharp rejection by the ruling Georgian Dream party. The authors state that the law has nothing in common with the Russian one.

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