Let me explain what is happening in Georgia now:
1. A group of 'former' members of Georgian Dream(the ruling party) initiated a law on 'foreign influence agents'. The law copied russian repressive legislation that banned NGOs and independent media from operating in the country
2. The draft law aims to control NGOs/media+marginalize them. The word 'Agent' is the same as a 'spy' in Georgian.
3. Georgian Dream supported the draft law the day it was registered. Yesterday proposed law was adopted by its first hearing.
4. GD claims that the proposed law aims to ensure financial transparency. In reality, NGOs publish their financial information on their webpages(+donor,the purpose of the grant)and go through the audit several times a year. At the end of the year,NGOs publish detailed reports
5. Ironically enough, an absolute majority of NGOs/media and the Georgian state receive donations from the same organizations(for instance, USAID, EU, UNDP,
countries/affiliated organizations). But GD thinks that NGOs are using this money to 'polarize society'
6.on the other hand, GD never questioned the incomes of openly pro-russian groups. For instance, Alt-info, a radical group behind July 5 massacre, opened dozens of offices and TV and visited Moscow several times after russias invasion of Ukraine(you can guess with what money)
7. Majority of Georgian NGOs provide different services (legal aid, psycho-social and medical services)and run shelters for the victims of violence. +As all state institutions are politicized, many highly qualified professionals prefer to work at NGOs.
8.Georgia is about to receive EU candidate status.
makes it clear that if the Parliament adopts the law, we will not get the candidate status. Additionally,
the biggest strategic ally made it clear that the law would jeopardize relations between the two countries
9. Georgian Dream made its decision. It's clear that they're sabotaging EU membership. This decision directly violates article 78 of the Constitution. Plus isolates Georgia from the
. And without a European perspective,
won't have any future but turning into russia's backyard.
That what current protests are all about
and let's not forget that Georgian Dream is preparing for the 2024 parliamentary elections and doing its best to silence critical voices