Tbilisi rocked by clashes over 'foreign influence' bill for third consecutive night

Tens of thousands of people took to the streets in Georgia on Thursday to protest against a "foreign influence" bill likened to Russian laws silencing dissent, an AFP journalist said.

The Black Sea Caucasus nation has been gripped by mass anti-government protests since April 9, after the ruling Georgian Dream party reintroduced the bill that critics see as repressive.

Unlike previous demonstrations in the capital Tbilisi, Thursday's protests took place in two different locations: the traditional one in front of parliament, but also on Heroes Square, home to a monument dedicated to fallen Georgian soldiers.

Police fired tear gas and arrested several protesters who had blocked the main road leading to Heroes Square.

Demonstrators in front of the parliament then headed to the square, shouting "No to Russia!" and holding up placards of Georgia Dream MPs they branded as "traitors".

"We are all together to show the Kremlin's puppets that we will not accept the government that goes against the Georgian people's wishes," said protester Giorgi Loladze, 27, from Kutaisi, Georgia's third-largest city.


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