08.Mar .2023 23:22

Water cannon, tear gas | Second day of protests in Georgia over ‘foreign agents’ law

Water cannon, tear gas | Second day of protests in Georgia over ‘foreign agents’ law
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Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets of Georgia's capital for the second day after parliament backed a draft law which critics say limits press freedom and civil liberties and which Georgia’s president says is “dictated by Moscow.”

On Tuesday, demonstrators clashed with police who used water cannon and pepper spray to disperse them.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) said 50 police officers were hurt and equipment was damaged.

MIA said some 66 people were arrested, including an opposition leader Zurab Japaridze who was reportedly beaten. 

Some protesters in Tbilisi were seen falling on the ground and coughing, while others waved EU and Georgian flags.

There has been widespread international condemnation of the bill. It would require non-governmental and media organisations that receive more than 20% of their funding from abroad to declare themselves as "foreign agents", or face hefty fines and possible imprisonment.

Today, the protesters addressed the Government with two demands, which was voiced by Giorgi Vashadze, the leader of Strategy Builder. According to Vashadze, the demands are as follows: "Georgian Dream should immediately withdraw the Russian law from the Parliament and all persons who were illegally arrested yesterday should be released." Authorities were given a 1-hour time limit to fulfill the demands.

After an hour, the protesters decided to besiege the parliament building. 

Participants of the rally have surrounded the Parliament. Citizens were standing at the parliament entrances.

Riot police was mobilized on the spot.

Protesters broke the windows of the parliament building. They throw stones and various objects at the windows of the legislative body.

Riot police used water cannon and pepper spray to disperse protests.

Dozens of participants of the rally were injured.

Ambulance crews are mobilized on the spot and they are providing assistance to the injured, according to reports.