Police say 14 detained, officer injured during transparency bill protests

16.04.24 12:15

Georgian police on Monday arrested 14 individuals during public protests over the controversial domestic bill on transparency of foreign influence outside the Parliament in the country’s capital Tbilisi, the Ministry of Internal Affairs said.


The Ministry said the arrests had been made for “violations of public order”, adding the participants of the rally had resisted law enforcement and verbally insulted them, with one officer injured.


It also said police had been mobilised outside the legislative body to “protect public order” for several hours, and noted they “repeatedly called on organisers and participants” of the rally to “not exceed norms established by the law on freedom of expression and peaceful assembly”.


The protest was organised against the legislative initiative which calls for registration of non-commercial legal entities and media outlets in the country as “pursuing the interests of a foreign power” if they derive more than 20 percent of their funding from abroad.


The bill has been reintroduced by the ruling Georgian Dream party after its retraction following protests last year, and has been met by criticism from the opposition, the domestic NGO sector and a part of Georgia’s foreign partner states and diplomatic representations.


Beside the Tbilisi rally, the protests included action in several other cities, as the Parliament’s Committee on Legal Issues started heated deliberations on the draft law. Mamuka Mdinaradze, the head of the ruling party in the Parliament, was physically assaulted by Aleko Elisashvili, the leader of the Citizens opposition party, during the arguments.




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