In parallel with the discussion of the Russian law on so-called Foreign Agents at the Legal Affairs Committee meeting, a protest is being held near the Parliament building. Online media representatives are also gathered at the rally, including accredited journalists who were not allowed into the parliament today.

"Everything happening here shows that the ruling Georgian Dream is scared. This morning, before I came here, I saw that the yard of the SSS building was full of special forces, with hundreds of policemen mobilized. Yesterday, an emergency announcement was made that no one except TV media could enter the parliament building.

This Russian law primarily targets online media that mainly exist with the support of international organizations. The parliament should at least let us in symbolically and listen to us; maybe I'm not shouting, but they are afraid by default, they are cowards. They don't allow us inside so we can't make our voices heard, but we will stand here until we stop the adoption of this law," said Gela Mtivlishvili, Editor-in-Chief of Mtis Ambebi

"We demand that the government take back this Russian bill, just as they did last year. It is impossible for Georgian society to accept people being labeled as agents in the pure Russian or Soviet-style and then persecuted and killed. This is unacceptable in Georgia," noted Zurab Vardiashvili, Editor-in-Chief of Publica.

At the rally, chants of "No to the Russian law!", "You Slaves!", and "Russians!" can be heard. Demonstrators unfurled a large EU flag.

"We can be the generation that will bring this country into the European Union in just a few years, or we can be the generation that will witness this country become a province of Russia and turn into Caucasian Belarus. Therefore, standing here is a privilege, and we will strive to the end to prevent the passage of this law, or at least to make the processes that are now beginning in the Parliament of Georgia very costly," said the former president of the National Bank, Giorgi Kadagidze.

"They made a promise that they would never return to this law, and this is a betrayal of the population. After the reunion that we saw a few days ago, the main charge that our society hasn't had for so many years, that we were united by football, everyone loved each other, hugged each other and some other hopes arose, the society split again. I think we shouldn't put up with it," said actor Kakha Kintsurashvili.

Students also joined the rally.

The Georgian Dream has returned to the parliament and intends to adopt the draft law on so-called Foreign Agents before the end of the current session, which it refused a year ago following a large-scale public protest, and promised to withdraw it "unconditionally, without any reservations". The text of the draft law remains the same - only the term "agent of foreign influence" has been replaced by "organization carrying out the interests of a foreign power". The Russian law has been criticized by the United States of America, the European Union, NATO, the United Nations, and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). They believe that such a law will divert Georgia from the European path and will negatively affect the work of independent non-governmental and media organizations.

Georgian News
Georgian News
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