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The Daily Beat: 25 April

Daily youth protests against the Foreign Agents Law continue in Tbilisi. On Thursday evening, students and young people gathered in front of the parliament and marched toward the foreign ministry, holding pro-EU slogans and chanting, “No to Russian Law.” Protesters say they will continue rallies for Georgia’s European future and won’t allow the government to derail the country from the EU path.

The European Parliament adoptedresolution condemning the Foreign Agents bill with 425 votes in favor, 25 against, and 30 abstentions. The joint resolution is based on the five draft resolutions proposed by MEPs on April 22. It encompasses five amendments, including those calling for sanctions against the Honorary Chairman of the ruling Georgian Dream party, Bidzina Ivanishvili, the withdrawal of the proposed anti-LGBTQ+ Constitutional amendments, and requesting the EC to assess the impact of the “foreign agents law” on Georgia’s continued fulfillment of the visa liberalization benchmarks.

The German Foreign Office also decried the GD-initiated Foreign Agents Law. “Thousands of people in Georgia have been demonstrating every evening for days for freedom of expression and preserving a lively and critical civil society. EU candidate status is a huge, historic opportunity. The government has a responsibility not to block this path intentionally,” posted the German Foreign Office on social platform X.

The ruling Georgian Dream party officials slammed the EP resolution, downgrading its importance and calling it a scrap paper. “The European Parliament has adopted yet another shameful resolution today. The MEPs who voted for this trash have once again insulted this European institution and the very idea of Europe, which is based on freedom, equality, transparency, and truth,” said Kakha Kaladze, Tbilisi Mayor and GD Secretary General.

While his country is being harshly criticized in Brussels, Prime Minister Irakli Kobakhidze lashes out at “so-called liberals” and accused them of threatening Christianity, national identity, and state sovereignty during his address at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Budapest. Prime Minister Kobakhidze is the second Georgian leader to address the conference, following his predecessor, Irakli Garibashvili’s conservative speech last May. 

More than 100 local CSOs 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 also says that by reintroducing and discussing the foreign agents bill in Parliament, “the government is leaving the constitutional framework and changing the foreign course of the country.

The Prosecutor’s Office reported that four people have been arrested in Georgia for organizing the theft of rare books from European libraries worth hundreds of thousands of Euros, including a 19th-century French-language book allegedly stolen from the National Library of Paris. The investigation continues to identify other perpetrators. The bust was conducted with the joint efforts of the Georgian, Lithuanian, French, and Swiss law enforcement agencies within the framework of the international investigative team created with the support of Eurojust.

Persons with disabilities and CSOs issued a joint statement condemning the Georgian Government’s non-inclusive and “shady” nomination of a candidate for the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD Committee). The signatories accused the country of violating the relevant Convention by excluding the procedures for due participation. The undersigned urged an international response.


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