Georgia Drops Foreign Agent Legislation

Georgia’s ruling party announced Thursday it is withdrawing a proposed foreign agent law after the legislation sparked two days of massive protests. 

The measure would have required media and nongovernmental organizations receiving more than 20% of their funding from foreign sources to register as “agents of foreign influence.” 

Opponents of the bill compared it to a 2012 Russian law that has been used to suppress or shut down organizations critical of the Russian government. 

The ruling Georgian Dream party said Thursday the bill was presented in a negative way and that a portion of the public was misled. 

Georgia’s President Salome Zurabishvili had said she would veto the bill if it reached her desk, while other opponents expressed concerns that the measure would affect Georgia’s hopes of joining the European Union. 

Tens of thousands of people protested against the proposal outside the parliament on Tuesday and Wednesday. 

Some demonstrators threw objects at police, while officers dispersed crowds with tear gas, stun grenades and water cannons. 

Some information for this report came from The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and Reuters. 

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