Demonstrations in Georgia: 66 arrests, around 50 police officers injured

Protests in Georgia: 66 arrested, around 50 police officers injured


Georgia police arrested at least 66 people during protests in the capital Tbilisi on Tuesday against a controversial law targeting the media and NGOs, authorities in the Caucasus country said on Wednesday. 

< p>“Nearly 50 police officers” were injured during these protests, dispersed with tear gas and water cannons, the Georgian Interior Ministry added in a statement.

The ministry indicated that “violent incidents” had taken place during these demonstrations, near the Georgian Parliament, and specified that “civilians” had also been injured, without specifying the number.

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According to this source, protesters threw stones and “Molotov cocktails” at the police, trying to carry out an “organized attack” against the Georgian Parliament.

The protesters were protesting against a bill that would require Georgian organizations receiving more than 20% of their funding from abroad to register as “foreign agents” or face fines.

This text recalls a similar law adopted in Russia in 2012 and which the Kremlin uses to repress the media and opposition organizations or simple critical voices, considered as “foreign agents”.

Georgia, small ex-Soviet republic in the Caucasus, has ambitions to join the EU and NATO, but several government moves have recently cast a shadow over those aspirations and raised doubts about his ties to the Kremlin.

Zelensky wants “ democratic success” for the demonstrators

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Wednesday that he wanted “democratic success” for the demonstrators in Georgia opposed to a bill that would threaten the media and NGOs and that his detractors compare to a Russian draconian law .

“There is not a Ukrainian who does not wish success to our friend Georgia. Democratic success. European success”, he said in his daily address. 

“All the free nations of Europe deserve” to be part of the European Union, he argued, while Kyiv and Tbilisi aspire to join the EU.