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Police detain 63 people at protest rally in Georgian capital

Six operatives of the Interior Ministry sustained various serious injuries

TBILISI, May 1. /TASS/. The police have detained 63 people during a protest rally near the Georgian parliament in Tbilisi, Alexander Darakhvelidze, Georgia’s deputy interior minister, said at a briefing.

"The Interior Ministry’s operatives have detained 63 people for disorderly conduct and failure to comply with police orders under Articles 166 and 173 at a rally held on Rustaveli Avenue," he said.

The official also noted that "as a result of violence by the rally participants, six operatives of the Interior Ministry sustained various serious injuries."

On April 17, Georgia’s parliament approved in the first reading a bill on foreign agents. It was opposed by Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili, the opposition and Western diplomats, who saw it as an obstacle to the country's integration into the European Union. Since April 15, the opposition and civil activists have been holding rallies against the bill in Tbilisi. Protests sometimes turn into clashes with police. The police have detained some of the protesters.

The ruling Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia party announced in early April that it had decided to reintroduce the bill On the Transparency of Foreign Influence to parliament. This happened a year after a similar initiative triggered mass protests, forcing the authorities to abandon the bill. Its text remains identical to last year’s, except for the term "agent of foreign influence." Instead, the term "organization promoting the interests of a foreign power" is used.