Georgia’s Internal Affairs Ministry: all people detained for ‘administrative offences’ during rallies against ‘foreign agents’ bill released

All protesters against the “foreign agents” bill who were detained for committing administrative offences have been released in Georgia, the country’s Ministry of Internal affairs reports.

The investigation into criminal cases connected to “the violent events” that took place on 7-8 March during the protest rallies is still ongoing, the ministry adds.

“Investigative activities are being carried out in order to determine, identify, and arrest those who attacked the police and to expose other violent acts during the demonstration in the area surrounding the parliament building,” the ministry’s statement reads.

Furthermore, it is not mentioned whether the people who have already been brought before the court because of their “administrative offences” will be exempt from the liability.

At the same time, a third evening of protests has begun in Tbilisi, Georgia’s capital. The protesters are demanding that all people who have been detained be released.

Earlier today, following the continuous protests against the bill, it was withdrawn from the parliament. However, human rights defender Pavel Chikov notes that the Georgian Parliament’s regulations stipulate that a bill cannot be withdrawn if it were approved in the first reading.

“[The bill] can be not brought forward for the second reading or, if it has already been brought forward, it can be turned down by a majority vote. The concern is that the bill’s initiators will pause [the process], wait for the public outrage to calm down, and then push it through the parliament anyway,” Chikov warns.

On 7 March, Georgia’s Parliament approved in the first reading one of the two bills on “foreign agents”. It was supported by the ruling party Georgian Dream. A protest rally erupted in front of the parliament building in Tbilisi on the same day. According to different estimates, 5,000-10,000 people took to the streets to protest the bill.

The police used tear gas and stun grenades against the protesters.

Editor in chief — Kirill Martynov. Terms of use. Privacy policy.
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