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Georgian NGOs Unite in Defiance Against 'Foreign Agents' Law

By Liza Mchedlidze
Wednesday, May 29, 2024
Georgian non-governmental organizations have issued a joint statement declaring their disobedience to the "Foreign Agents" law, most commonly referred to as the "Russian law". They asserted their unwavering commitment to disobedience against the "Russian law" and reaffirmed their dedication to Georgia's European path.

In the statement, the NGOs expressed their steadfast opposition to the "Russian law", which they argue poses a threat to Georgia's economy, international reputation, civil order, and peace.

The NGOs highlighted the government's decision to re-initiate the "Russian law" despite earlier promises to the Georgian people, viewing it as an attempt to undermine the civil sector. However, they emphasized the unity and resilience of the Georgian people in defending their European future and refusing to live under Russian influence.

The statement reads that despite attempts by the authorities to intimidate them through various means, including physical violence, arrests, and fines, the NGOs vow to continue their work of helping people and supporting each other. They pledge to provide assistance to those who have been arrested or fined, both legally and financially:

"We will not obey the Russian law!

55 days ago, the government broke the word given to the Georgian people and re-initiated the Russian law. They wanted to break the civil sector by passing this law, but they received unprecedented unity and tireless opposition. The Georgian people firmly defend and will defend their European future and will never get used to living under the Russian boot. Russian law will not work in our country! It will remain a piece of paper that no one will obey!

The authorities knowingly created a threat to the economy, international reputation, civil order and peace of our country. They did this on purpose, so that the citizens of this country could no longer help each other. But we have been proving for 55 days that people never get tired of loving their country. Our protest and struggle will continue until this law is repealed!

They tried to intimidate us with special forces, beatings and swearing, arrests and illegal fines, but they did not consider that nothing can stop us in the righteous work called helping people. We will continue our work - we will help people and each other and we will not obey the Russian law!

We will not leave anyone alone, we will protect all those arrested and all fined. Our lawyers will fight in domestic and international courts. We will collect money to pay each other the fines imposed on us for the love of Georgia and the fight for freedom.

Our struggle is seen and supported by the whole civilized world. With the adoption of the Russian law, monitoring of the elections is in danger, but we, Georgian civil organizations, promise to protect the elections and the vote of each citizen. We will be with you in every polling station and we will observe to protect free and fair elections!

This is Georgia! We will not go Russian! Georgian people will excite the whole world once again with their fight for freedom.

We declare disobedience - not Russian law! Yes to Europe!," the statement reads.