Georgian NGOs vow to defy 'unconstitutional' foreign influence law

Around 200 Georgian NGOs on Wednesday vowed to defy a "foreign influence" law that has caused deep divisions in the Caucasus country, triggering mass protests and international condemnation.

The law, which critics have compared to repressive Russian legislation used to silence dissent, forces NGOs and media receiving at least a fifth of their funding from abroad to register as "organisations pursuing the interests of a foreign power".

The ruling Georgian Dream party pushed it through parliament in a final vote on Tuesday, overriding a veto lodged by pro-EU President Salome Zurabishvili.

"By adopting this law, the authorities want to subdue Georgia's civil sector," the roughly 200 NGOs said in a statement.

"The Russian law will not work in our country and will remain an empty piece of paper, which nobody will obey," it added.

Opposition parties and rights groups fear that Georgian Dream will use the measures to tighten controls over election monitors and journalists to secure another victory in a coming vote.

(AFP)


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