Tear gas and rubber bullets fired at thousands of anti-government protesters in Tbilisi

Police used violence against protesters in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia. Thousands of people rallied for a third week against the controversial bill.

Georgia's riot police, using tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons, swooped in without warning, beating and arresting dozens of protesters in Tbilisi, an AFP reporter said.

An eyewitness told Reuters Police were seen firing tear gas shells without warning And carry water pumps.

Police repeatedly assaulted the protesters, who responded by throwing eggs and bottles at them.

Earlier on Holy Tuesday evening, protesters gathered in front of Parliament to demonstrate Against the “Foreign Influence” BillThe opposition and the West condemn it as repression and dictatorship.

“We will not allow this Russian law to pass”

Brussels has said the bill affects the prospect of Georgia, a former Soviet republic in the Caucasus, becoming a member of the European Union.

Since April 9, the ruling party Georgian Dream has been trying to pass the bill after a failed attempt in the spring of 2023 in the face of mass protests.

According to its critics, the bill was inspired by Russia's “foreign agents” law and was used to crack down on dissent.

Members of the Georgian parliament discussed the bill in the second reading on Holy Tuesday (30.04.2024). The ruling party hopes to pass the bill by mid-May.

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“They are afraid of our determination,” 21-year-old protester Nadia Kapisonia told AFP outside parliament. “We will not let this Russian law pass and bury our European future“, he added.

Independent media outlet Formula TV reported that demonstrations took place in Georgia's second-largest city of Batumi and Kutaisi.

On Holy Monday (29.04.2024), thousands of people participated in a protest organized by the Georgian Dream organization in front of the parliament.

European Council President Charles Michael said the bill contradicted Georgia's desire to join the EU.

In December, the European Union granted Georgia Official candidate country status for joining the UnionNegotiations for its accession will officially begin, while it warns that it must continue to reform mainly its judicial and electoral systems, strengthen press freedom and limit the power of oligarchs.

Info: APE BEE – Photos: Reuters

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