A new demonstration in Georgia against the “foreign influence” law

A new demonstration in Georgia against the “foreign influence” law

Several thousand demonstrators took to the streets on the evening of Saturday, May 11, in Tbilisi to once again protest against the controversial bill on…“Foreign influence”wanted by the government but criticized by the United States and the European Union.

In the crowd that gathered in Europe Square, demonstrators raised the flags of Georgia and the European Union – Georgia has officially been a candidate for membership since December 2023 – despite this text, which its critics consider similar to Russian legislation used against the opposition.

In downtown Tbilisi, an impressive crowd gathered after dark, despite heavy rain, to show their opposition, and a large police force was deployed earlier in the day. “No to Russian law!”, “No to the Russian dictatorship!” »“, chanted many protesters marching along the Koura River.

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The text is inspired by Russian legislation

Georgia, a small Caucasus country, has been witnessing anti-government protests since early April after the ruling Georgian Dream party reintroduced a bill seen as an obstacle to Tbilisi's aspirations to join the European Union.

This text is inspired by Russian legislation that the Kremlin has used for several years to suppress dissenting voices.

The bill is scheduled to soon pass its third reading in Parliament, and President Salome Zurabishvili – a former French diplomat with Georgian citizenship – is expected to veto it, in a conflict with the ruling party. But Georgian Dream has enough votes to pass.

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At the end of 2023, the European Union decided that Tbilisi must reform its judicial and electoral systems, increase press freedom and limit the power of the oligarchs before officially launching its membership negotiations.

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