Mar 8, 2023

What is Behind the Recent Protests in Georgia?

From the excellent Telegram channel @Slavyangrad comes the following synopsis. It seems like a reasonable law to me for a country that wishes to retain its sovereignty!

Kommersant: “At the end of February, members of the Georgian movement Power of the People submitted to parliament two bills on foreign agents—“On Transparency of Foreign Influence” and “On Registration of Foreign Agents.””
The draft law “On Transparency of Foreign Influence” recognizes as agents of foreign influence non-profit organizations and media outlets with more than 20% of their annual income coming from foreign funding. This will not affect organizations founded by administrative bodies and sports federations. Organizations will be required to register as agents and file financial returns annually. In case of violation, they will face a fine of 25 thousand lari (approximately $9.5 thousand). It was this document that was approved by the Georgian parliament on March 7. Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili has repeatedly spoken out against the bill, promising to veto it.
The draft law “On registration of foreign agents” provides not only administrative, but also criminal liability. Any natural or legal person with foreign funding will be required to register as a “foreign agent”. Failure to comply with the law provides for a fine or imprisonment for up to five years. The Power of the People movement claimed that the Foreign Agents Registration Bill was completely copied from the US FARA Act (adopted in 1938; requires foreign agents in the States representing the interests of foreign powers in a “political or quasi-political capacity” to disclose their relations with a foreign government and information about related activities and finances). The vote on this bill should take place on Thursday, March 9"

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