Georgia withdraws foreign agent bill after days of violent protests

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Georgia's ruling party said Thursday it is withdrawing a draft law from the parliament criticized as potentially stifling media freedom and civil society after several days of protests against it in the capital.

The Georgian Dream party and and its allies said they were withdrawing the proposed law, citing “divisions in the society” it triggered.

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The bill required media and nongovernmental organizations that receive over 20 percent of their funding from foreign sources to register as “agents of foreign influence.”

It trigged mass protests in the country's capital, Tbilisi, that lasted for several days and were brutally dispersed by police.

European Parliament members Maria Kaljurand and Sven Mikser, top figures in relations with Georgia, said the proposed law “goes directly against the Georgian authorities’ declared ambition to receive candidate status for EU membership.”

Georgia’s president, Salome Zurabishvili, has said she would veto the bill.

Read more: Georgia police use tear gas to break up protest, make arrests

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