66 people were arrested during protests in Georgia

RockedBuzz
By RockedBuzz 2 Min Read

As protests against the “foreign agents” law escalated into violence, 66 protesters were arrested and dozens of police officers were injured in the Georgian capital Tbilisi on Tuesday, the authorities announced on Wednesday.

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Photo: AFP/SCANPIX

As protests against the “foreign agents” law escalated into violence, 66 protesters were arrested and dozens of police officers were injured in the Georgian capital Tbilisi on Tuesday, the authorities announced on Wednesday.

Protests broke out on Tuesday after Georgia’s parliament approved the first reading of a bill that has drawn comparisons to Russia’s 2012 “foreign agents” law, which the Kremlin has used to suppress opposition and shut down independent media.

The draft law envisages including non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and media, which, excluding revenues from advertisements, receive at least 20% of their funding from foreign countries in the list of “foreign agents”. A fine of 25,000 GEL (8,800 euros) can be imposed for refusing to register in the “foreign agents” register.

“Law enforcement officers detained 66 people under Articles [..] for minor hooliganism and disobeying the lawful demands of law enforcement officers,” the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia announced.

The ministry also announced that up to 50 employees of the Ministry of the Interior were injured in clashes with protesters, several of whom are being treated in hospital.

Georgian authorities have drawn widespread international criticism for backing away from democratic reforms.

The US Embassy in Georgia stated that this bill was inspired by the Kremlin and contradicts Georgia’s desire to join the European Union (EU).

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