The Georgian bill on “foreign influence” worries France, the United States and the United Nations (UN). On Thursday, May 2, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, called for the “withdrawal” of the text currently being considered in the Georgian Parliament and expressed his concern about the use “ disproportionate force” against those who oppose it.

“I urge the Georgian authorities to withdraw this bill and to engage in dialogue, in particular with civil society and the media,” said Mr. Türk in a press release, believing that “qualifying NGOs and media benefiting from funding foreigners from “organizations acting in the interests of a foreign power” constitutes a serious threat to the rights to freedom of expression and association.” “I am concerned by reports of unnecessary and disproportionate use of force by law enforcement against protesters and media workers in the Georgian capital Tbilisi this week,” Türk said. .

France, for its part, condemned the repression of demonstrations in Georgia and called on the Georgian authorities “to ensure respect for the right to peaceful demonstration as well as freedom of the press”. Paris “reiterates its deep concern” regarding the bill, which goes “against the values ​​on which the European Union is based and to which the Georgian people have shown their deep attachment”, underlined Christophe Lemoine, spokesperson Deputy of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The United States says it is “deeply concerned” by the text. “We are deeply concerned about this legislation, about the consequences it could have in stifling dissent and free expression,” said John Kirby, a spokesman for the National Security Council. executive. Georgia has “a vibrant civil society” that “plays a vital role in combating government excesses” and “we would not like to see anything move forward legislatively that (…) would make it more difficult the expression of the Georgian people,” he added.

Final adoption by mid-May

Since April 9, tens of thousands of demonstrators have been protesting against the controversial bill on “foreign influence”, adopted on second reading by Parliament despite the massive mobilization of its detractors. The ruling Georgian Dream party reintroduced the bill, seen as an obstacle to Tbilisi’s aspirations to join the European Union.

The deputies voted on Wednesday (83 for and 23 against) this text which the Georgian Dream intends to adopt definitively by mid-May, despite three weeks of mobilization in the streets by its opponents.

The text, severely criticized by the European Union or the United States, must still pass a third reading, and the Georgian president, Salomé Zourabichvili, in conflict with the ruling party, should veto it. The Georgian Dream, however, has enough votes to be able to override it.