Police within the capital of Georgia used water cannon and tear-gas late Wednesday to disperse demonstrators across the parliament constructing protesting a draft regulation that they are saying may stifle media freedom and civil society.
Lawmakers on Tuesday permitted the primary studying of the proposed regulation, which might require media and nongovernmental organizations that obtain over 20% of their funding from international sources to register as “brokers of international affect.” More than 60 protesters have been arrested outdoors parliament in Tbilisi after the approval.
The measure is much like one enacted in Russia in 2012 that has been used to close down or discredit organizations vital of the federal government. Opponents see it as probably obstructing Georgia’s acknowledged intention of becoming a member of NATO and the European Union in the future.
The draft regulation “goes immediately in opposition to the Georgian authorities’ declared ambition to obtain candidate standing for EU membership,” stated a press release from European Parliament members Maria Kaljurand and Sven Mikser, who’re prime figures in relations with Georgia.
GEORGIANS PROTEST AGAINST DRAFT LAW ON MEDIA, NONPROFITS AS POLICE USE TEAR GAS, WATER CANNONS
“The new regulation’s objective, underneath the guise of selling transparency, is to stigmatize the work of civil society organizations and media,” the assertion added.
Protest leaders on Wednesday referred to as for demonstrators to stop parliament members from returning to the constructing till the measure is withdrawn.
It was to be mentioned on Thursday, however native media reported that the talk has been suspended. Parliament speaker Shalva Papuashvili on Wednesday requested for the measure to be assessed by the Vienna Commission on constitutional regulation of the Council of Europe, the continent’s main human rights physique.
While Georgia’s president, Salome Zurabishvili, has stated she would veto the invoice, its authors say it’s wanted for the transparency of the work of entities financed by representatives of international states. Parliament can override presidential vetoes.
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