CNN – Georgia’s parliament on Friday formally repealed a controversial “foreign influence” bill that sparked large protests amid concerns that it resembled Russian laws used to stifle political dissent.
Georgian lawmakers voted against the bill in its second reading by a 35-to-one margin, according to Georgia’s public broadcaster First Channel.
Friday’s vote came a day after the country’s ruling party announced it would scrap the proposed legislation, hours after tens of thousands of people rallied outside the Georgian parliament in a second night of protests. Senior U.S. and European Union officials also expressed concern over the bill.
The controversial legislation would have required organizations receiving 20% or more of their annual revenues from abroad to register as “foreign agents” or face heavy fines, a proposal that rights experts warned would have a chilling effect on the country’s civil society and damage its democracy.