Copyright © 2024

The work of Euromaidan Press is supported by the International Renaissance Foundation

When referencing our materials, please include an active hyperlink to the Euromaidan Press material and a maximum 500-character extract of the story. To reprint anything longer, written permission must be acquired from [email protected].

Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Georgia enacts controversial “foreign agents” law, NGOs vow opposition

In a statement, Georgian NGOs vow to help all those punished for disobedience to the “Russian law” while opposition prepares for October elections
Georgia foreign agents law
Protesters against the foreign agent law outside Gerogia’s parliament in Tbilisi, 28 May 2024. Photo: Mariam Nikuradze/OC Media
Georgia enacts controversial “foreign agents” law, NGOs vow opposition

The controversial “foreign agents” bill, hotly protested by Georgian civil society, was signed into law by the parliamentary speaker on 3 June.

Mirroring analogous Russian legislation, it will require local NGOs and media outlets that receive more than 20% of their funding from abroad to register as “organizations pursuing the interests of a foreign power” and be subjected to “monitoring” by the Ministry of Justice or pay a fine.

The adoption of the law follows two months of protests, during which government critics and protest leaders faced police brutality and attacks by masked men, as well as criminal cases and hefty fines.

Its adoption was also marked by the proliferation of anti-western rhetoric from the ruling Georgian Dream party and the espousal of a “global war party” conspiracy, against which the government was allegedly protecting Georgia with the means of this law.

The bill was signed by the parliamentary speaker after Georgia’s parliament had overturned President Salome Zourabichvili’s veto earlier on 28 May. Zourabichvili, whose criticism of the ruling Georgian Dream party included calling them the “Russian Dream,” condemned the law as undermining Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration.

In a speech to protesters in front of the Georgian parliament, Zourabichvili stressed that the task of the opposition is to prepare for the parliamentary elections on 26 October.

“You are angry today, aren’t you? Get upset, but let us get to business,” she said, adding that the election would decide if the country had “a European future or Russian slavery.”

Preparing for the elections seems to be the strategy of choice of the Georgian opposition, but civil society organizations continue voicing their opposition to the law, which has obliterated Russian civil society since its introduction in 2012.

On 25 April, over 100 NGOs suspended their cooperation with the government over the law and vowed to never register in any “defamatory” registry.

After the parliament overrid the president’s veto of the law, Georgian NGOs declared their disobedience in a joint statement called “We will not obey the Russian law.” Published on the website of the Georgian chapter of Transparency International, the statement with undisclosed signatories claims that the NGOs will continue their protest and confrontation until the law is repealed.

“The ‘Russian law’ will not work in our country! It will remain an unrecognized document which none of us will obey!” the statement says.

The signatories vow to protect the rights of those detained and fundraise to pay the bills of those who are fined.

“This is Georgia! We won’t become Russified! The Georgian people will once again and not only once astonish the whole world with their struggle for freedom,” the statement vows.


You could close this page. Or you could join our community and help us produce more materials like this.  We keep our reporting open and accessible to everyone because we believe in the power of free information. This is why our small, cost-effective team depends on the support of readers like you to bring deliver timely news, quality analysis, and on-the-ground reports about Russia's war against Ukraine and Ukraine's struggle to build a democratic society. A little bit goes a long way: for as little as the cost of one cup of coffee a month, you can help build bridges between Ukraine and the rest of the world, plus become a co-creator and vote for topics we should cover next. Become a patron or see other ways to support. Become a Patron!

To suggest a correction or clarification, write to us here

You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter

Please leave your suggestions or corrections here

    Euromaidan Press

    We are an independent media outlet that relies solely on advertising revenue to sustain itself. We do not endorse or promote any products or services for financial gain. Therefore, we kindly ask for your support by disabling your ad blocker. Your assistance helps us continue providing quality content. Thank you!

    Related Posts