Legal Issues Committee Holds Contentious Second Hearing on Foreign Agents Law

On April 29, Legal Issues Committee of the Parliament of Georgia is holding the second hearing on the highly contentious Foreign Agents Bill. The Committee Chair has extensively used his authority to limit the opposition remarks. Citing “violations” of the rules of procedure, the Committee Chair has expelled six opposition MPs, including Giorgi Vashadze, Levan Bezhashvili, Tamar Kordzaia, Salome Samadashvili, Tamar Charkviani, Ketevan Turazashvili.

Media outlets, except for the TV stations, are still banned from entering the Parliament. Following the Committee hearing, the bill is expected to be heard in the plenary session tomorrow.

The hearing precedes by hours a planned rally by the ruling Georgian Dream party in support of the legislation, scheduled for 18:00 in front of the Parliament budling. There are multiple reports that the Georgian Dream party is mobilizing its supporters nationwide, mostly those employed in public institutions, to attend the rally.

“The “Russian” [refers to Georgian Dream] authorities do not want the truth to be heard even by the people who are being brought to the rally. The truth is that the adoption of this law will not only prevent Georgia from starting any negotiations with the European Union, but the visa-free regime will be revoked if this law is adopted,” MP Salome Samadashvili of Lelo said.

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