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Georgia approves controversial law that sparked mass protests

by editor

Georgia’s parliament has voted through a divisive “foreign agent” law that has sparked weeks of mass street protests.

However, the bill now faces a likely veto by Georgia’s president, which parliament can override by holding an additional vote.

Critics say the bill – which they call the “Russia law” – could be used to threaten civil liberties.

Thousands of people were gathered near the parliament in Tbilisi to protest the decision.

On Monday, Prime Minister Irakli Kobakhidze warned that if authorities backed down at the bill’s third reading, Georgia would lose sovereignty and “easily share the fate of Ukraine”, without detailing what he meant.

Protesters heckled the police – clad in full riot gear – guarding the side entrances to the building. The atmosphere was tense inside the parliament too, with physical and verbal altercations taking place between pro-government and opposition MPs.

As she walked into the parliament building, President Salome Zourabichvili – an opponent of Mr Kobakhidze – told the BBC she would veto the law.

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