US State Department expresses concern over Georgian foreign agents’ law

United States of America’s State Department expresses its concern over the recently passed foreign agencies law in Republic of Georgia. The law was passed in the first hearing despite the widespread protest across the country.

A spokesperson of the US State Department Vedant Patel on April 17, 2024 said that we are closely monitoring the incident that happened in Georgia.

While taking strong exception to the incidents he said “We remain deeply concerned that this draft, legislation if comes into force can stigmatize civil society organizations working to improve the lives of Georgian citizens. It can also cause irreparable loss to the media organizations operating within Georgia to provide information to Georgian citizens.”

He further stated that We think that civil society groups, journalism houses, and media organizations are the cornerstone of any democratic society, any threat to this institution is actually a threat to democracy. We would like to urge the Georgian government to pay attention to the raised concerns and warning that this bill is not in line with European Union’s norms and values. At the same time if this comes into force it would certainly negatively impact Georgia’s progress on its EU path and make the process of EU’s integration more difficult.

The spokesperson added that the US will continue to urge and reiterate to the Georgian government this dire concern that has been attached to this law.

Similarly when Patel was also asked to comment on the amendments to the tax code he refused the comment on the question. This code would make it easier to transfer assets from tax havens from abroad. spokesperson said that he is not familiar with this other piece of legislation but would check it and only then he can commnet.

This is noteworthy that there are many protests across many parts of the country against the foreign agent’s bill law. Some are equating it with the Russian law that will be used to stifle the voice of the Georgian people.

Zurab Kvaratskhelia

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