Dozens of arrests and scuffles in Parliament as Georgia's bill on 'foreign agents' advances

Dozens of people have been arrested in Georgia, and an opposition leader was seen bandaged and bruised, after police overnight used tear gas and water cannons to disperse the latest protest outside Parliament against a bill accused of limiting media freedom.

Georgia's Interior Ministry said 63 people were arrested Tuesday in the demonstration against the law that would require media and non-commercial organizations to register as “pursuing the interests of a foreign power” if they receive more than 20% of funding from abroad. Protesters denounce it as “the Russian law” because Moscow uses similar legislation to stigmatize independent news media and organizations critical of the Kremlin.

Protesters say the bill would derail Georgia’s integration with the European Union, which granted it candidate status in December. The ruling party proposed a similar law last year but withdrew it after tens of thousands of demonstrators protested.

Read moreGeorgia’s Zourabichvili: Contentious 'foreign influence' bill a copy of Russian law

Police broke up Tuesday’s protest after demonstrators tried to block entrances to Parliament.


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