In Georgia, a fight broke out in parliament while discussing a controversial law

In Georgia, a fight broke out in parliament while discussing a controversial law

This provision about “foreign agents” is inspired by a Russian law that the Kremlin has used for years to persecute dissenting voices.

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Deputies of the Georgian Parliament fight in Tbilisi (Georgia), April 15, 2024. (GEORGIAN PARLIAMENT / AFP)

They had an argument in the middle of the bike. In Georgia, a fight broke out on Monday, April 15, between members of parliament. The latter were discussing the reintroduction of the controversial bill on “foreign agents”, the cause of widespread demonstrations in 2023 and which its critics consider a killer of freedoms. Footage from the parliamentary session shows an opposition representative punching the head of a ruling party representative who participated in drafting the bill. A strike that caused a public quarrel and the interruption of the live broadcast.

The ruling party in this Caucasian country, the Georgian Dream, announced early last April the return of this draft law. Its first version was abandoned after protests gathered tens of thousands of people in Tbilisi in March 2023 to denounce a text inspired by Russian legislation targeting critics of the authorities.

On Monday morning, dozens of demonstrators gathered in front of Parliament and raised a large flag of the European Union, which Georgia wants to join. The country aspires to deepen its relations with the West, but the ruling party is accused of wanting, on the contrary, to bring this former Soviet republic closer to Russia. The return of this bill, which was criticized by Brussels, threatens to revive deep divisions. A large march is scheduled to be held on Monday evening against this text. Last week, about 8,000 people already demonstrated in Tbilisi.

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