Menu Close

Georgia president vetoes ‘foreign agents’ law

President of Georgia Salome Zourabichvili on Friday vetoed a controversial “foreign agents” law that has been decried as “Russian-style” legislation and has sparked massive protests in the country.

Zourabichvili took to her Twitter account to announce the veto, saying, “Today, I vetoed the Russian law. This law, in its essence and spirit, is fundamentally Russian, contradicting our constitution and all European standards. It thus represents an obstacle to our European path.” Zourabichvili said the veto was legally sound because the law was not “subject to any changes or improvements.”

Georgia’s parliament adopted the controversial law on May 14th, which would have designated civil society organizations that receive funding from abroad as “foreign agents.” The law, which is known as the Law on Transparency of Foreign Influence, would require any organization in Georgia that receives more than 20% of its income from foreign sources to register as a foreign agent.

The adoption by parliament sparked widespread protests as critics viewed the bill as directly inspired by Russia and said the government was trying to isolate Georgia from the rest of the world. The backlash has been so severe that several Georgian officials have stepped down in protest, most notably Gotcha Javakhishvili, the current ambassador to France.

The legislative process has spurred local protests and provoked the ire of international advocacy groups, which argue the law stifles civil society and fundamental freedoms. Marie Struthers, Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia at Amnesty International, stated the law “contravenes Georgia’s international obligations on the rights to freedom of expression and association and strikes at the heart of civil society’s ability to operate freely and effectively.”

Article: Georgia president vetoes ‘foreign agents’ law

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *