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politics

EU condemns Georgia for brutal crackdown on ‘Russian law’ – POLITICO

“Intimidation, threats and physical attacks against representatives of civil society, political leaders and journalists, as well as against their families, are unacceptable,” they added. “We call on the Georgian authorities to investigate these documented acts. »

Dozens of Georgians have been arrested in recent weeks while protesting against proposals by the ruling Georgian Dream party to qualify NGOs, campaign groups and media outlets that receive more than 20 percent of their funding from abroad of “organizations serving the interests of a foreign power”.

On Tuesday, as the country’s parliament voted in favor of the bill at its third reading, riot police, armed with shields and batons, backed by water cannons, moved in to evacuate protesters gathered outside of the building.

Meanwhile, academics and opposition figures have been threatened and even beaten in what they see as an organized campaign to silence their criticism of the bill.

“The EU has clearly and repeatedly stated that the spirit and content of the law are not in line with EU fundamental norms and values,” the statement warned. “This will undermine the work of civil society and independent media, while freedom of association and freedom of expression are fundamental rights at the heart of Georgia’s commitments under the Association Agreement and of any path to accession to the EU. »

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