Georgia: Council of Europe calls on Georgian authorities to withdraw legislation | EUROtoday

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The Council of Europe has Georgia “Strongly” really helpful reversing a controversial “foreign influence” legislation. The Council of Europe's Venice Commission mentioned the legislation restricts rights equivalent to freedom of expression, freedom of affiliation and the appropriate to privateness and is due to this fact inconsistent with the rules of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The ruling Georgian Dream occasion launched the controversial legislation in April and handed it in parliament final week. Accordingly, organizations and media which can be not less than 20 % financed from overseas should in future determine themselves as representatives of the “interests of foreign powers”. According to the federal government, this could guarantee extra transparency.

Georgians demonstrated for weeks in opposition to the legislation

However, critics see parallels within the new regulation with the legislation in opposition to “foreign agents” in Russia. This was handed by the federal government in Moscow in 2012 and has since enabled the authorities there to take motion in opposition to media and organizations important of the federal government.

The legislation additionally met with widespread criticism from the Georgian inhabitants. Since mid-April, hundreds of individuals have been demonstrating each night within the capital Tbilisi. Among different issues, they demanded the federal government's resignation. The safety forces have at occasions used violence in opposition to the demonstrators and arrested quite a few folks.

The Venice Commission advises Council of Europe in constitutional issues. Shortly after the legislation was handed, EU politicians had already criticized the Georgian authorities for the choice. This additionally raises the query of whether or not accession negotiations with the nation will start subsequent yr as deliberate. Georgia was formally granted EU accession candidate standing in December final yr.