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Rebuking French Criticism, Georgian MFA Points to “Brutal” Acts by French Police

The Georgian Foreign Ministry said the French criticism of the government’s handling of ongoing protests against foreign agents’ law in Tbilisi “lacked objectivity” and reminded that Tbilisi refrained from “making critical statements about France, even when in Paris the law enforcers confronted the protesters with brutal methods, contrary to the universal human rights standards.”

On May 2, the French Foreign Ministry issued a critical statement. Spokesperson Christophe Lemoine said France “condemns the violence and calls on the Georgian authorities to enforce the right to peaceful protest as well as freedom of the press.”

The Georgian MFA retorted that the freedom of assembly and expression is guaranteed in Georgia “to the highest standards” while said violence is “carried out by violent groups linked to the political opposition and financed from abroad.”

The Georgian MFA’s statement is nearly identical to Prime Minister Irakli Kobakhdize’s similar accusations made towards the United States on the same day. Kobakhidze said he “did not express concerns about a brutal crackdown of the students’ protest rally in New York City” during his conversation with US State Department Counselor Derek Chollet.

The unprecedented hardening of the Georgian government’s tone towards its erstwhile Western partners comes as the protests rage in Tbilisi against the Russia-inspired law that would label most civic groups and CSOs as “actors under the influence of foreign powers.”

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


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