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The Daily Beat: 8 May

For the second day in a row, hundreds of activists involved in ongoing protests against the foreign agents law continue to receive abusive and intimidating phone calls from unidentified foreign numbers. The Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association has voiced concern about calls targeting protesters, alleging a violation of the processing of personal data, possibly involving the use of state agencies’ databases.

Following the targeted campaign of abusive and intimidating phone calls, several activists and opposition representatives were physically assaulted and beaten up near their apartments.  A member of the UNM party, Dimitri Chikovani, a biker, Lasha Ghvinianidze, a Professor at the University of Georgia, and a brother of Girchi-More Freedom opposition party, Zurab Japaridze, Gia Japaridze are among those who were beaten late Tuesday evening.

At a briefing, Speaker Shalva Papuashvili addressed the ongoing protests against the Foreign Agents Law and announced that the political leadership of the ruling Georgian Dream party has decided to create a database containing information on all individuals “who are involved in violence, blackmail, threats and other illegal acts”, or “who publicly endorse these actions. According to Papuashvili, a special website will host the incriminating database and it will be “public and transparent.”

The State Security Service (SSSG) issued a long statement warning of “provocations” planned during the rallies near the Parliament and conspiracies allegedly involving Georgian fighters in Ukraine. Without providing any evidence, the security service also said that protesters were planning violent attacks on riot police and “staged” refusals by police officers to obey orders.

The Director of the Central Criminal Police Department of the Interior Ministry, Teimuraz Kupatadzeheld a briefing to show how the European and American governments disperse protests through a specially prepared collage of the scenes of rally dispersal abroad and warned the demonstrators against the Foreign Agents bill that the Interior Ministry will use the same “strict measures” to prevent “violent rallies”.

Two more Georgian fighters – Davit Ghoghadze and Beso Lomidze – have been killed while fighting in Ukraine, the Georgian combat unit “Black Eagle” reported on May 7. The Foreign Ministry confirmed the death of both Georgian citizens to Reportedly, both fighters were killed in the vicinity of the Ukrainian city of Avdiivka. The latest casualty brings to 50 the unofficial number of Georgian citizens who have died fighting in Ukraine since the Russian invasion on February 24.

On the occasion of the 79th anniversary of the victory in the Great Patriotic War, Vladimir Putin sent congratulatory greetings to the leaders of foreign states as well as to the people of Georgia and Moldova. “It is important to stop any attempts to distort or consign our common history to oblivion. And of course, carefully preserve and pass on to the next generations the glorious traditions of friendship and mutual assistance that helped our fathers and grandfathers with honor withstand difficult military trials and crush Nazism,” said Putin in his greetings which is published on the Kremlin’s official website.

In his post on social network X, Rikard Jozwiak, the Europe Editor of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty revealed that the situation in Georgia was discussed at the EU Ambassadorial meeting in Brussels. According to Jozwiak, 26 EU members expressed concern over developments in Georgia surrounding the reintroduction of the foreign agents law, while Hungary remained silent. Jozwiak also suggests that there could be an EU Statement coming soon as well as an update from the EC on how foreign agents law relates to the EU accession criteria.  


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