Eight people hospitalized following protests in Tbilisi

Demonstrators fighting riot police in Tbilisi, Georgia
Demonstrators fighting riot police in Tbilisi, Georgia

Eight demonstrators have been hospitalized in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi following protests against the so-called ‘foreign agents bill’, the Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty media project Echo of the Caucasus reported on May 2, citing a statement by the Georgian Ministry of Health.

<span class="copyright">REUTERS/Irakli Gedenidze</span>
REUTERS/Irakli Gedenidze

People were hospitalized with injuries of various types, as well as with intoxication and respiratory tract complications.

One of them has already been discharged, while seven are still receiving treatment, Georgian officials claimed.

20 medical teams are on duty near the country's parliament building where the protests are taking place, providing assistance to demonstrators who complain of headaches and eye irritation.

<span class="copyright">REUTERS/Irakli Gedenidze</span>
REUTERS/Irakli Gedenidze

Read also: Pro-Russian Georgian authorities furious over European Parliament's anti-'foreign agents' resolution

The "foreign agents" bill and protests in Georgia

A wave of mass protests broke out in Georgia on April 9, after Mamuka Mdinaradze, the leader of the Georgian Dream majority party, announced that his party would re-submit a bill on "foreign agents" to parliament.

The "Foreign Agents" bill is supposed to protect Georgia from "Ukrainization", Gerogian Prime Minister Iraklii Kobakhidze said on April 18.

Civil society activists have noted that the bill's language is almost identical to language used in an analogous law in Russia, which has been used to persecute and suppress civil society, media, and non-governmental organizations.

The law would be scrapped or rewritten should the EU say that Georgia is ready to become a member, the leader of Georgian Dream said on April 20.

The European Parliament adopted a resolution on the Georgian bill on April 25. The document calls into question negotiations on Georgia's accession to the European Union so long as this law is in effect.

Georgian President Salomé Zourabichvili promised to veto the bill.

The Georgian Parliament adopted the bill in the first reading on April 17.

Clashes broke out between police and demonstrators outside the Georgian parliament building on April 30.

Zourabichvili called for an end to the crackdown on protests in Tbilisi and placed responsibility for the events on the government.

Police have detained 60 protesters, accusing them of hooliganism and disobeying police orders. Six law enforcement officers were injured during the clashes, Georgia's Interior Ministry reported on May 1.

The Georgian parliament supported in the second reading the bill on "foreign agents" later on May 1. Thousands of people gathered again near the legislative building, and special forces once again deployed water cannons and tear gas.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine