Georgia’s ‘Transparency of Foreign Influence’ Bill- What’s the Issue?

It seems the so called foreign agent bill has been withdrawn. From what I’ve read this bill would have ensured transparency and accountability of foreign influencers.–1i2jpHorBUk/index.html

What is the proposed ‘foreign agents’ law?

  • • Individuals, civil society organizations and media outlets that receive 20 percent of their funding from abroad would have been required to register as an “agent of foreign influence” with the Georgian Justice Ministry.
  • • Organizations would have to meet requirements and inspections and would face fines of up to 25,000 Georgian lari ($9,600) for failing to comply, with those requirements and inspections Including prison sentences of up to five years for repeated offenses.

So why the uproar?
Well it can’t be due to concerns about Russian influence? Because I’m sure these so called protestors would want Russia to held to account. One can conclude the protests formed to ensure that western influence would not come to light. Would not be scrutinized. And would not be required to comply with required inspections.

  • Government officials said the proposals are necessary to root out “foreign influence” and “spies” from Georgia’s political scene, and that Georgians have the right to know who funds non-government organizations working in the country.

Gee, I think Georgians not only have that right, but, would want to be informed of how foreign influencers are being paid and by who?

How did the international community react?

  • • European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said the bill went against EU values and Georgia’s aim of joining the EU, and its adoption “may have serious repercussions on our relations.”
  • • The U.S. Helsinki Commission, an U.S. government agency, said the law demonstrated “the present government’s increasing embrace of Russia.”
  • • The State Department said Washington was “deeply troubled” by the bill, which would “stigmatize and silence independent voices and citizens of Georgia.” Washington has rejected comparisons with its own legislation.

So the EU and the US are the entire international community?

  • Tbilisi has not imposed sanctions on Moscow over the war in Ukraine, despite large-scale protests in the country calling for a tougher line against what Russia calls its ‘special military operation.’

The image included in this article is from a video. The video is accessible in the tweet below:

The imagery looks to have come from a contrived protest that took place in Georgia in the early days of the Ukraine/Russian conflict.

Go back to March 06/22- You can see this protest in Georgia was covered here at that time-

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