Over 100 CSOs, Media Suspend Cooperation with Government

On April 25, more than 100 local civil society organizations and media outlets issued a joint statement saying that they are suspending cooperation with the government until it drops the controversial foreign agents bill, vowing to never register in any “defamatory” registry, and announcing a public rally against the law on Sunday, April 28, at Republic Square in the capital, Tbilisi.

The statement says that by reintroducing and discussing the foreign agent bill in Parliament, “the government is leaving the constitutional framework and changing the foreign course of the country.” Noting that almost all segments of society, including scientists, students, doctors, cultural and sports figures, and others, oppose the Russian-style law, the statement stresses that the government has betrayed the will of the Georgian people.

The signatory CSOs and media organizations stress the appeals of Georgia’s Western partners that the adoption of the law will lead to distancing the country from the EU.

“Reviewing and adopting the Russian law is an anti-constitutional step that affects all citizens, destroys Georgian democracy, and leaves us alone, facing Russia,” the statement reads.

The signatory CSOs and media outlets say they won’t participate in meetings alongside the political leadership, suspend participation in official working groups and advisory councils, as well as coordination with them in any international or other working formats.

But they vow to continue to perform their duties. “We work only for people. We serve people only and continue to work to protect the rights of children, women, workers, persons with disabilities, and other vulnerable groups,” the statement reads.

The statement calls the GD-organized April 29 march the “Russian march” and claims that the government is pressuring people to participate in it. It says that the march “aspires to return us to the past, while our future is in Europe.”

The statement adds: “The authorities are going against their children, future generations, civil servants, and the absolute majority of people who support the European future of this country.”

“We will never live by Putin’s rules. Russian Law will never be the will of the Georgian people. Yes to Europe! No to Russian law!” the statement concludes.

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


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