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Police in Georgia crack down on protesters in Tbilisi

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A woman forms a heart with her hands after standing in front of a line of riot police at the National Assembly in Tbilisi. Photo: Zurab Tsertsvadze / AP / NTB

Of NTB | 05/01/2024 09:43:59

The ministry also states that six police officers were injured, but says nothing about whether protesters were injured.

A photographer from the AFP news agency is said to be among those arrested.

The demonstration started on Tuesday evening and was initially peaceful, but ended with the police using tear gas, water cannons, rubber bullets and stun grenades against the crowd.

He himself has published a picture from the hospital on social media, which shows a very bruised face.

The Georgian government, which the opposition believes cooperates too closely with Russia, has long tried to pass a law which means that all organizations and businesses that receive financial support from abroad will have to register as foreign agents.

A similar bill was voted down in March last year, while a revised proposal was up for debate in the National Assembly on Tuesday.

They fear that the Georgian authorities, with the law in hand, will be able to search all documents and computers to gain insight into the business, which could, among other things, threaten the identity of sources and victims of human rights violations.

Russia has a similar law that has been used to gag Western-backed media and organizations.

Georgia has applied for membership in both the EU and NATO, but the protesters believe that the current government is not serious about the applications.

Earlier it was reported that one of the country’s leading opposition leaders, Levan Khabeishvili, had to have health care after he was beaten up, according to his party UNM.

If the proposal goes through, it could affect, among other things, liberal and power-critical media and human rights organizations that receive Western financial support.

(© NTB)

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