Sixty-six demonstrators were detained in Georgia and dozens of police were injured after violent clashes broke out in the capital Tbilisi against the government’s plans to introduce controversial “foreign agent” legislation, authorities said Wednesday.
The demonstrations broke out late Tuesday after lawmakers in the ex-Soviet Caucasus country gave initial backing for the draft law reminiscent of Russian legislation used to pressure critics.
“Law enforcement officers arrested 66 people in accordance with articles… on minor hooliganism and disobeying legal requests of law enforcement officers,” the interior ministry said in a statement.
“As a result of violent actions of the assembled citizens, up to 50 employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs were injured,” the statement added, saying that several of law enforcement officers remained in hospital.
Georgian authorities have faced mounting international criticism over perceived backsliding on democratic reforms, including the jailing of ex-leader Mikheil Saakashvili.
The US embassy in Georgia described the legislation as “Kremlin-inspired” and said it contradicted the country’s aspirations to join the European Union.
Source- Hindustan Times.