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Thirty-six Countries are Urging the Georgian Government to Repeal the "Foreign Agents" Law

36 countries at the UN Human Rights Council urge Georgia to repeal its "foreign agents" law, warning it stifles media and civil society, posing grave threats to human rights and democracy.

Thirty-six Countries are Urging the Georgian Government to Repeal the "Foreign Agents" Law

Image: Murrr Photo/Shutterstock

(JAMnews) At the 56th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, 36 countries called on the Georgian government to repeal the “foreign agents” law enacted in mid-May.

The statement on this matter was disseminated by Lithuania’s permanent mission in Geneva.

The statement emphasizes that, from the perspective of Western states, this law is aimed at suppressing independent media and civil society in Georgia. It also highlights that the law poses a serious threat to human rights and the rule of law.

We urge the Georgian government to repeal the ‘Law on Transparency of Foreign Influence,’ end the campaign of intimidation against those who oppose the law, and protect the freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly,” the statement reads.

Additionally, the authors of the statement call on the Georgian government to cease and transparently investigate the use of force against peaceful protesters, take appropriate measures to ensure the safety of protesters, civil society activists, opposition members, journalists, and other media workers, and refrain from rhetoric that could further exacerbate extreme polarization in the country.

• The “foreign agents” law is aimed at having a detrimental impact on the work of the media, human rights defenders, and civil society organizations, effectively silencing them.

• The law was passed despite the concerns of a significant portion of the Georgian populace and repeated calls from the international community, including detailed legal arguments from the Venice Commission, to refrain from advancing it.

• Civil society is the backbone of democracy, helping to ensure accountability, true transparency, and resilience against harmful influences.

• The organized campaign of defamation, intimidation, and physical violence against civil society leaders and others is unacceptable and must be stopped.

The statement was signed by:

  1. Albania
  2. Austria
  3. Belgium
  4. Bulgaria
  5. Canada
  6. Croatia
  7. Cyprus
  8. Czech Republic
  9. Denmark
  10. Estonia
  11. Finland
  12. France
  13. Germany
  14. Greece
  15. Iceland
  16. Ireland
  17. Italy
  18. Latvia
  19. Liechtenstein
  20. Lithuania
  21. Luxembourg
  22. Malta
  23. Monaco
  24. Montenegro
  25. Netherlands
  26. Norway
  27. Poland
  28. Portugal
  29. Romania
  30. Slovenia
  31. Spain
  32. Sweden
  33. Switzerland
  34. Ukraine
  35. United Kingdom
  36. United States of America