Thousands of Georgians protest in Tbilisi against ‘foreign influence’ law

Tens of thousands of people demonstrated in Georgia against a draft law on “foreign influence” on Sunday night. Around 1,000 people continued the rally outside the country’s parliament in Tbilisi on Monday morning, AFP reports.

If adopted, the law will require any NGO or media organisation receiving more than 20 per cent of its funding from abroad to register as an “organisation pursuing the interests of a foreign power”. 

Critics say the text is inspired by Russian legislation that the Kremlin has used for years to quell dissident voices. The government says it is intended to force organisations to be more transparent about their funding.

The text was approved on Monday by a parliamentary committee for legal affairs and is due to be examined by MPs in its third and final reading on Tuesday. An initiative of the ruling Georgian Dream party, it is seen by opponents as an obstacle on Georgia’s path to membership of the European Union, which has roundly criticised it.

Demonstrators have held several rallies in Tbilisi in recent weeks, waving Georgian and EU flags. Tens of thousands protested on Sunday night, with around 1,000 people continuing their protest on Monday morning. Hundreds of riot police were deployed and part of the capital’s main thoroughfare was closed off. A group of about 10 people were arrested at dawn.

“I keep warning all members of radical opposition groups that they will be prosecuted for their acts of violence,” prime minister Irakli Kobakhidze said on Sunday. 

In December 2023, the EU granted Georgia official candidate status but said the country would have to carry out reforms to its judicial and electoral systems, increase press freedom and limit the power of oligarchs before accession negotiations could be officially launched. 


Demonstrators protest against the "foreign influence" bill near the parliament in Tbilisi, 13 May 2024 © PHOTO GIORGI ARJEVANIDZE / AFP

Related news

Website preview
Belgium calls for independent investigation into Navalny's death
Belgium is calling for an independent investigation into the death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. The country also wants Navalny's...
Website preview
Reporters Without Borders: ‘Worrying decline’ in support for press freedom
There has been a “worrying decline” in support and respect for media autonomy and an increase in pressure from political actors, NGO Reporters...

Get updates in your mailbox

By clicking "Subscribe" I confirm I have read and agree to the Privacy Policy.


Belga News Agency delivers dependable, rapid and high-quality information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from Belgium and abroad to all Belgian media. The information covers all sectors, from politics, economics and finance to social affairs, sports and culture, not to mention entertainment and lifestyle.

Every day, our journalists and press photographers produce hundreds of photos and news stories, dozens of online information items, plus audio and video bulletins, all in both national languages. Since the end of March 2022 English has been added as a language.

For public institutions, businesses and various organisations that need reliable information, Belga News Agency also offers a comprehensive range of corporate services to meet all their communication needs.


Arduinkaai 29 1000 Brussels