More than 400 CSOs Denounce Foreign Agents Bill

On April 8, Georgian civil society organizations (CSOs) issued a joint statement “categorically opposing” the ruling party bill on foreign agents. More than 400 CSOs call on the Government to withdraw the law from the parliamentary discussions.

The CSOs stress that the Georgian Dream has “broken its promise” to withdraw the bill given to every Georgia citizen last year, which was crucial to Georgia’s European future. The organizations emphasize that curbing their work “will leave children and women victims of violence, people with disabilities, scientists, workers and youth vulnerable; it will stop the help provided to socially vulnerable families, farmers, displaced, homeless and brave people fighting for their rights.”

“The government does not want the voices of people in the regions who inform the public about their plight through local, independent media to be heard,” – reads the statement, adding that this and other “hostile” laws initiated in recent weeks serve the purpose of “dividing the population, damaging the country’s European future and canceling freedom of speech.” The NGOs note that this is the government’s response to organizations that expose the ruling team for corruption, violence, illegality, and selective application of law.

The CSOs remind the public that last year the draft law was condemned by the EU, OSCE, the US, and other international partners, who congratulated Georgians when the law was dropped. They reiterate that this bill is a “Russian authoritarian tool” to destroy freedom of speech, which will make it impossible for Georgia to start accession negotiations with the EU by the end of the year. “Instead of pursuing the nine steps defined by the European Union, the government with this law separates us from the European Union and immeasurably harms the democratic and secure future of Georgia.”

The statement concludes: “adoption of Russian law would be an attack on the main Georgian values —sense of dignity, independence, and civil solidarity. This law should be withdrawn from the Parliament in accordance with the will of the Georgian people. Russian law is not Georgia’s choice.”

Also Read:

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)


Back to top button