georgia protest
20 people, including 3 foreign nationals, were detained by law enforcers during protests against 'foreign influence' bill, according to Georgian Interior Ministry
A Georgian parliamentary committee on Monday approved the third and final reading of a "foreign influence" bill amid ongoing protests in the capital Tbilisi.

The Georgian parliament's legal committee approved the draft bill "on transparency of foreign influence" during a session that lasted only a few minutes due to the absence of opposition lawmakers, the country's public broadcaster 1TV reported.

The approval came amid ongoing protests in Tbilisi overnight, during which 20 people, including three foreign nationals, were detained by law enforcers, according to the Georgian Interior Ministry.

Russia's state news agency TASS reported that two of the three foreign nationals detained are Americans, while the other is Russian.

The bill's third reading will be considered by the parliament on Tuesday.

Comment: And so it's possible that the very foreign entities that this bill is designed to monitor will attempt to escalate these protests to prevent this bill going through.

The bill requires organizations, including media outlets, which receive more than 20% of their funding from abroad to register with the state. It also obliges them to publish annual financial reports.

The bill, first introduced in March 2023, was shelved after it triggered mass protests resulting in the arrest of 66 people and the injury of more than 50 law enforcement officers, but was resubmitted to the parliament early last month.

Critics say the bill would undermine democracy and have labeled it as a "Russian law," but members of the ruling majority say it would boost transparency.

Comment: It's being labeled as a 'Russian law' despite the fact that Moscow's law was in response to America's 'foreign agents' bill, that was, basically, brought in as a way of censoring Russian media.

Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili also declared that she would veto the bill. However, the country's ruling Georgian Dream party can override the president's veto by collecting 76 votes, after which the parliament speaker can sign the bill into law.