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Photo Story | Protest Against Foreign Agents Law During Third Reading

On May 14, against the backdrop of another massive public protest on Rustaveli Avenue, the Georgian Parliament adopted a notorious law on foreign agents in its third and final reading.

Citizens gathered on Rustaveli Avenue from 10:00 a.m. The plenary session began at 12:00 p.m. After a few hours, when the law was finally adopted, the MPs left the Parliament building accompanied by law enforcement for their safety. There was an unprecedented heavy mobilization of riot police on Rustaveli Avenue, although the protest was peaceful.

Police arrested dozens of citizens. They used pepper spray and brute force. Lazare Grigoriadis, 22, who had earlier been released from prison, and Davit Katsarava, a leader of the anti-occupation movement, were among those arrested and brutally beaten. Video footage shows demonstrators being snatched and dragged into the courtyard of the Parliament or into a group of riot police and severely beaten.

Despite the excessive use of force by the police, the citizens remained on Rustaveli Avenue until the late evening part of them moving also to the Heroes Square, where the crackdown by police continued. The Chairmen of the Foreign Affairs Committees of the Parliaments of Lithuania, Czech Republic, Finland and Poland and the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the German Bundestag, who were on their visit to Georgia, joined the people on Rustaveli Avenue, addressed the protesters and expressed their solidarity with them.

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