29 May 2024,   09:44
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I was very disturbed by the news that the Georgian parliament re-introduced the law on foreign agents, it is similar to the law that Russia passed - Senator Shaheen

The draft law “On the transparency of foreign influence”, initiated in Georgia, was discussed at the session of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where the head of the American International Development Agency [USAID] was heard. Senator Jeanne Shaheen, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, addressed Samantha Power, the Head of the USAID.

“I was very disturbed by the news last week that the Georgian parliament re-introduced the law on foreign agents that would tighten restrictions on civil society. It is similar to the law that Russia passed. Can you talk about the consequences of an American-sponsored civil society organizations, if they pass the law on foreign agents in Georgia?”, - Shaheen asked Power.

“We’ve seen copycat versions of Russia’s foreign agent law appear in many places, and the results are less accountability for corruption and restrictions on free speech. Of course, Georgia is now on, or seems to be, on the path to Europe and has recently received some recognition of these ambitions. Fundamentally, there is no place for such a law of foreign agents in Europe. Human rights and democratic principles must not only be recognized, but also protected”, - answered the Head of the USAID.

Senator Shaheen expressed hope that “the Government of Georgia will decide to support what the people of Georgia want”. And this, according to her, is “the move towards Europe and the rights that accompany democracy, full democracy”.

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