Georgia Withdraws Controversial "Foreign Influence" Bill Amid Opposition Protests
The ruling party of Georgia withdraws controversial "foreign influence" bill following two nights of rallies in Tbilisi, but the opposition has warned that additional demonstrations are planned for Thursday.
The statement that the measure will be rescinded was made by the country's official broadcaster hours after tens of thousands of people gathered outside the Georgian parliament for a second night of protests, some of whom clashed with police.
The proposed legislation, officially known as the Law on Ensuring the Transparency of Foreign-funded Organizations in Georgia, would have required non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that receive funding from outside the country to register as "foreign agents."
The law also gave the government broad powers to investigate and sanction NGOs that were deemed to be engaging in activities that were seen as harmful to Georgia's national security interests.
Opposition groups and human rights activists had criticized the bill, arguing that it was vague and could be used to target any group that was deemed critical of the government or its policies.
They also raised concerns about the potential impact on the work of NGOs that rely on foreign funding to carry out their activities.