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Georgian MP Allegedly Punches Another Parliamentarian in the Face During Heated Bill Debate

Several hundred Georgian opponents gathered to protest outside Parliament on Monday against the proposed foreign agents law supported by the ruling Georgian Dream party. The protesters attempted to surround Parliament while shouting slogans against the police, who were preparing to disperse the crowd with water cannons.

Reports from Georgian media confirmed that the police arrested several protesters, including former opposition MP Zurab Dzhaparidze. The demonstrators, many of them young, were heard chanting “No to the Russian law!” and “Russian slaves!” as they clashed with law enforcement officers.

Georgian President Salomé Zurabishvili expressed solidarity with the protesters on social media and criticized the use of water cannons against civilians defending their European future. She vowed that Georgia would resist any attempts at re-Sovietization.

Meanwhile, the Legal Committee of the Georgian Parliament began discussions on the controversial law under the leadership of Mamuka Mdinaradze. The majority leader defended the law, arguing that there was no evidence to suggest it was a Russian imposition.

Tensions during the parliamentary session culminated in an altercation between opposition deputy Alexandr Elisashvili and Mdinaradze, resulting in Elisashvili’s expulsion from the legislative body’s premises.

Prime Minister Irakli Kobajidze reiterated the government’s commitment to transparency in funding for non-governmental organizations and media. He insisted that the proposed law only required NGOs to disclose their funding sources annually, echoing similar laws in democratic societies.

The opposition raised concerns that the law could be used to suppress dissent, likening it to measures in Russia. The bill had previously sparked mass protests in March last year, leading to its withdrawal, but the government vowed not to deceive the public again.

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