The promoters of the controversial bill on foreign agents, denounced by the Georgian opposition as a repressive instrument and which has provoked massive protests, have withdrawn this Thursday “unconditionally” their legislative initiative, already approved in first reading by Parliament.
“First of all we must take care of the peace, tranquility and economic development of Georgia, the advancement of Georgia on the path of European integration. For this reason, as responsible forces, we have decided to unconditionally withdraw the bill,” the People’s Force movement and the ruling Georgian Dream party announced in a joint statement.
The law intended to force non-governmental organizations with 20% foreign funding to register with the Ministry of Justice
The two formations have stressed that the “lie machine” has confused part of society, since the bill was attributed the “false ‘Russian’ label”, and its approval at first reading was interpreted as a resignation to the country’s integration into Europe, according to his statement. The demonstrators have gathered in front of the Parliament and have shouted “no to the Russian law!”. Moscow has a law in place to label certain organizations of foreign agents.
“Furthermore, the radical forces managed to involve some of the youth in illegal actions, to which our hero police officers responded to the highest standards,” the statement added.
Fuerza del Pueblo and Sueño Georgiano stress that the country will continue its integration policy in Europe and have announced that it will start a campaign to “explain the truth” to public opinion.
According to the Georgian Ministry of Interior, more than 130 people have been detained in Tbilisi in the protests and clashes of the past two days, in which at least 60 policemen were injured.
The latest clashes occurred this morning, when riot police cleared Rustaveli Avenue, the capital’s main avenue, of barricades, where protesters burned two cars, one of them police.