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Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Lithuanian parliament urges Georgia to repeal foreign agent law

In a significant development, the Parliament of Lithuania (Seimas) passed a resolution calling on Georgia to withdraw the foreign agent's bill.

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In a significant development, the Parliament of Lithuania (Seimas) passed a resolution calling on Georgia to withdraw the foreign agent’s bill. The resolution also termed the bill a violation of European democratic values, including respect for freedom of speech and expression.

 

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Lithuanians suggested that the measures against Georgia by the European Union if president is overruled by the Parliament. The Georgian President vetoed the foreign agent law and stated that “law has the Russian nature in its letter and spirit.”

 

The bill has now been again submitted to the Georgian parliament for reconsideration. The Lithuanian government expressed its deep concern while passing the resolution.  The government representative stated that ” the foreign agent law is formulated under the influence of Russia. If it passes in its present form, it has the full  potential to stifle independent media voices.”

 

The resolution advised the Georgian Dream-led government to respect public dissent. Moreover the withdrawal of the bill will further ensure freedom of speech and expression which must be protected to ensure Georgia’s smooth integration into the European Union.

 

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The resolution condemned the police crackdown on the protestors. The police and other law enforcement agencies have arrested many protestors under the different provisions of the Georgian criminal code.

The foreign agent bill proposed to make the registration of foreign funding receiver organizations mandatory. As per the basic provisions of the law  any media house, non-commercial organization, or non-government organization will be regarded as an organization under foreign influence if it receives more than 20 percent of its funding from any foreign country.

 

The resolution repeatedly urged the repeal of this law, as it is totally inconsistent with European Union law regarding personal freedom and freedom of speech and expression.  Several countries, including the United States of America  have demanded the withdrawal of the law as it will stifle independent media voices and civil organizations.

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