Georgia police unleash water cannons on protesters

STORY: Reuters eyewitnesses saw some police officers physically attack protesters, who threw eggs and bottles at them, before using tear gas and water cannon to force demonstrators from the area outside the Soviet-built parliament building.

Earlier, riot police used pepper spray and batons to clear some protesters who were trying to prevent lawmakers from leaving the back entrance of parliament. Some protesters shouted “Slaves” and “Russians” at police.

The bill has deepened divisions in the deeply polarized southern Caucasus country, setting the ruling Georgian Dream party against a protest movement backed by opposition groups, civil society, celebrities and Georgia’s figurehead president.

Parliament, which is controlled by the Georgian Dream and its allies, is likely to approve the bill, which must pass two more readings before becoming law. Lawmakers ended Tuesday’s session without a vote and the debate will resume on Wednesday.

The bill would require organizations receiving more than 20% of their funding from abroad to register as “foreign agents.”

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